My background.

 

My family (Mum, Dad, Grandparents, Great Grandparents, Great Great Grandparents and on....) are from Donegal in the rugged and remote north-west of Ireland. Like many Irish people did, my Mum and Dad left Ireland (in the mid 1950's) due to the lack of work and resources for everyone there at the time.

With the Irish disposition for travel they left home and shortly after settled in the town of Fflint (not a typo, that's just the Welsh spelling!) North Wales. Some of their Brothers and Sisters settled there too, marrying Welsh Women and Men. Growing up surrounded by Irish ex-pats I had a mixed upbringing of being born in Wales but from a 100% Irish family and background.

I'm very lucky to be a part of two great Celtic nations. 

 
 
 Meredith and I at Glenveagh Castle in County Donegal, June 1991

Meredith and I at Glenveagh Castle in County Donegal, June 1991


 

Hello, America

Looking for adventure and fortune I came to the United States in 1989 and have been here ever since. While I'm still looking for my fortune I did find adventure and love. I met my wife, Meredith, at a Hothouse Flowers concert in Philadelphia and in 1993 we moved back to her home state of Michigan to raise our family. We now have two grown children, Liam and Aine.

 

 That's our kids, Liam and Aine, in the middle. Both are in university now...they really do grow up too fast! (Note: Liam has graduated the University of Michigan and Aine has 1 more year to go at this time)

That's our kids, Liam and Aine, in the middle. Both are in university now...they really do grow up too fast! (Note: Liam has graduated the University of Michigan and Aine has 1 more year to go at this time)

 Our first time at the Milwaukee Irish Festival in 2000, the largest of its kind in the world. This will be our 18th consecutive year participating! (L to R: Bryan Gallagher-cousin, Tom Kenny-friend, Me, Meredith)

Our first time at the Milwaukee Irish Festival in 2000, the largest of its kind in the world. This will be our 18th consecutive year participating! (L to R: Bryan Gallagher-cousin, Tom Kenny-friend, Me, Meredith)


 

Bringing Ireland To The People

In 1999 we started our business Real Irish (called Out of Ireland at the time), importing unique and well-made Irish goods to sell at festivals at a time when most items being sold were rather lacking. In 2004 we started selling online, now able to bring our varied collection of Irish goods to an even larger audience. We've grown a lot since then and 2014 saw us open our first storefront in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We're now in the charming downtown area of Brighton, Michigan.

 

 Hitching a ride near Ballydehob, West Cork, June 1991. Meredith and I backpacked around Ireland, Scotland, and northern England before returning to Wales.

Hitching a ride near Ballydehob, West Cork, June 1991. Meredith and I backpacked around Ireland, Scotland, and northern England before returning to Wales.


 

Now We're Headed Back To Our Roots

And we want you to come along. I return to Ireland several times a year so it only made sense to bring others with me. As Real Irish Travel I lead personalized, small group tours of Ireland designed to give you a true Irish experience and forever leave you with treasured memories of a magical, green island I'll always call home.

 

 At Glenveagh National Park on our family trip to Donegal in March 2016. Meredtih, Aine, myself (Stuart), and Liam.

At Glenveagh National Park on our family trip to Donegal in March 2016. Meredtih, Aine, myself (Stuart), and Liam.