First Year’s in Westport – Richard Enright and Mark Ryan
On the 6th of March 2015, the First years left for Westport to cycle the Greenway. Everybody was in good humour. The bus trip would be long and boring, somebody was bound to get bus sick. The bus was seriously cool: brand new with leather seats and all. We set off and reached the Cooke’s house, Lisdonagh House in near Headford in Galway at around 3.00 o’clock. We went inside for some tea and cake and we are very grateful for their wonderful hospitality. We were entertained in the main reception room by Uiseann’s brother Aonghus who played the recorder and Olwyn, Uiseann’s sister who played on the harp. Lisdonagh House itself is a beautiful Georgian manor which has been lovingly restored by the Cooke family and is now open for business as a guest house.
After about an hour and a half we were on our way to Westport which was now just around the corner. We arrived at about 7 o’clock and had dinner at half past. After dinner we had the evening free before heading to bed at about 10.00pm.
The next day we rose at what seemed to be the crack of dawn, 7 o’clock. Breakfast was very nice and we were on the road at around 9-ish. We went by bus to Mulranny, got our bikes and were off to cycle the Greenway. We cycled 18 km from Mulranny to Newport with a few casualties on the way. We took a short break at a shop in the town and were on the Greenway again within an hour. The second leg from Newport to Westport, although shorter, was much tougher due to a strong head wind and was mostly uphill.
We arrived in Westport at around 3 o’clock and took the opportunity to take a well-deserved rest in the Leisure Centre of Hotel Wesptport before going to mass in the local church at 6.30pm. After mass we went back to the hotel and had dinner. During our stay there was also a wedding taking place in the Hotel Westport. We congratulated the newly wedded couple and their families.
The next day we slept in till around 9 o’clock. We spent the morning after breakfast, packing and cleaning. We were then free to go around the town until our departure at 12 o’clock. On the way back we stopped at Supermacs where we had a small lunch before arriving back at Glenstal at around 4 o’clock.
Overall we thought the trip was great and we would do it again if we could. We are very grateful to Brother Denis, our St. Joey’s Australian Gap student Cameron Duffy and all the Prefects for organising the trip. Thanks as well to the Hotel Westport for looking after us so well.