Vistors from the US arrived off a flight at 5am to be greeted to more of an Irish experience than they had bargained for as local sean-nós dancer Emma O’Sullivan and Aran Island natives, the Mulkerrin Brothers, were there at Shannon Airport recently ready to treat them to a musical performance traditional Irish style.
This musical wake-up call was not just some bonus that came with increased air miles, but rather it was part of an unique marketing campaign to promote the new tourism initiative ‘Spirit of Connemara’ which hopes to attract more visitors to our shores giving them a real taste of Connemara.
The ‘Spirit of Connemara’, run by Celtic Footstep, is a specially tailored Irish culture tourism package set up to coincide with The Gathering and the International Hurling Festival which takes place in Galway this September. It aims to showcase the very best talent of Connemara cultural traditions, from folklore to history, and Irish language to music and dance. During their tour, guests will be treated to lessons in the basics of Irish language, ceili dancing, and taken to hurling matches. Well known local broadcaster Séan Bán Breachnach will also be on hand to act as MC for the guests at a Ceili Mor.
Speaking at the early morning launch at Shannon Airport, Celtic Footstep spokesperson Kerry O’Sullivan said: “The ‘Spirit of Connemara’ is all about showcasing Connemara as the best place in the world to experience Irish language and traditions. In the words of President Michael D Higgins we are putting out a call or ‘Glaoch’ to all those with a connection to Connemara, to those who attended Irish college here or who have an interest in Irish culture and language to connect with the unique heritage of the Connemara Gaeltacht in September.”
Celtic Footstep has created a group tour package, which will showcase the unique experience that the Connemara Gaeltacht has to offer visitors to the area, which will comprise six nights’ accommodation, transport and tour package from September 19 to 24.