Green Eyes from Tipperary – Doolin, Ireland

Green Eyes from Tipperary

Doolin, Ireland

The Rock of Cashel- The Seat of Ireland's Ancient Kings
The Rock of Cashel- The Seat of Ireland’s Ancient Kings
Smoke billowed from chimney stacks. Fruit merchants sold bananas and kiwis on every street corner. Men sat in their usual spots on pub stools lining O’Connell street. It was 11 a.m. We had arrived in Dublin city. The day was spent looking at girls, visiting St. James Gate Brewery and staring into the sky at the Dublin Spire.

Upon our return to the Rainbow Hostel, drinking games awaited us. A raucous evening spent with hostel girls ensued. Drinks were drunk, karaoke was sung, and late night pizza was craved but not purchased…

“Depend on the rabbit’s foot if you will, but remember it didn’t work for the rabbit.”

Any logical person would understand that the misfortunes I have experienced thus far on my journey are the result of my own lack of skill, ability, and knowledge. I am not a logical person. I believe it is bad luck. I have been cursed. Though my understanding of the mystical realm is a little shaky, one of my students told me that the only way to reverse a curse of bad luck, is to catch and eat a leprechaun.

My trip to Ireland was about three things. Finding love, changing my streak of bad luck, and finding the missing pieces of my soul; it was not about eating a human subspecies. And so, I decided to compromise and go on a mission to fall in love with a female leprechaun; thus completing at least two of my missions.

Burial mounds in the countryside outside Dublin, a great place to catch female leprechauns
Burial mounds in the countryside outside Dublin, a great place to catch female leprechauns
We boarded the bus shockingly early. 29 hungover faces glared at us as we took seats near the front. The cool kids at the back looked especially hungover. First stop – 10 a.m. Abbeyleix Pub. The first pint of the day is always the hardest. After a visit to the Rock of Cashel, we passed through Cork on route to Blarney Castle, where I kissed a big rock and got herpes. An amazing night in Killarney followed with Irish story telling, a 67-year-old drummer performing a half an hour drum solo without his shirt on, and grinding to bad pop anthems into the wee hours. No sign of little red haired ladies, only middle aged British women on hen parties.

Finally to the west coast. My favourite place on earth. The day was filled with outdoor adventures; Gail force winds, swimming in the Atlantic Ocean at Coumenole Beach, riding a dolphin in Dingle, and peeing on my face at the edge of the universe (this was a wind related accident; no personal pleasure was gained). That night to Doolin, where Guinness was drank, traditional music was played, and seduction went awry. After being pursued by middle aged women from the USA, I saw her. Her black hair shone like a new pint of Guinness, her emerald eyes stared deep into the tattered remains of my soul. Audrey from Tipperary; screw the mission, I was in love. After a half hour of failed attempts to be dark and handsome, she left my life as quickly as she entered it. Irish women are sirens.

Mitch, my travelling companion, at the Cliffs of Mohr
Mitch, my travelling companion, at the Cliffs of Mohr
On my final day of the bus tour, I was determined as ever to find a lady leprechaun. The Burren would bring me success. The Burren is a massive plateau of limestone jutting out of the earth near Galway Bay. The Burren is also home to some of the last young and nubile lady leprechauns on the planet. As my tour group stared at the magnificent Polna Brone Dolmen burial tomb, my eyes scanned the shadows in search of magical eyes. At first I wasn’t sure it was a lady, but her red beard was silky soft, and freshly manicured. A word about female leprechauns; unattractive. I stuck my hand down the hole, and felt her long soft facial hair. Then she bit me. The curse continues.

After a stop at a whisky distillery, we returned to fair Dublin city, slept through a Halloween party at our hostel, and returned to Leeds in the morning.

I think the Irish have it right:

“Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold beer – and another one!”