After a three-year, pandemic-related break, the Alumni Travel Program hit the road again in September with 41 alums and family members spending eight days exploring Ireland’s rich history, cultural heritage and breathtaking scenery.

“Starting in Dublin, the tour went south towards Cork city and then traveled up the rugged Atlantic coast to Roscommon, which is roughly in the center of the country, then back to Dublin. In a relatively short time, we saw a lot of the country and learned even more,” said Dorothy (Riley) Stahley ’59, a member of the inaugural Alumni Travel Tour in 2007.

Along the way, travelers—who spanned class years from 1959-2000—visited the medieval Rock of Cashel, sought eloquence at the Blarney Stone, spent time in Gaeltacht or Irish speaking areas such as Dingle, met with storytellers, attended a banquet at a 15th century tower house, Bunratty Castle, stood in awe at the Cliffs of Moher, cruised the River Shannon and spent a late afternoon at Knock Shrine.

They also had a wonderful night of Irish music, dance and song at Ireland’s oldest thatched pub, Taylors, at the foot of Dublin’s Three Rock Mountain. 

A carriage ride in Killarney.

John Lynch '77 performing on stage at Taylors Three Rock pub in Dublin.

In addition, thanks to Claire (McLaughlin) Cronin ’82, who is the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, the group had a unique private tour of her official home in Ireland, Deerfield Residence in Dublin’s majestic Phoenix Park. 

Built in the same year as American independence, 1776, Deerfield spans over 200 years of Irish history and has many art-filled rooms, a ballroom, a library, 62 beautiful acres, cottages, orchards, gardens and a gatehouse.

“Although official business prevented Ambassador Cronin from greeting us in person, the visit to her residence and the warm welcome extended to us by our guide, Brian Fitzmaurice, made our time at her home and its grounds really special and enjoyable,” said Jennifer (Moura) Silva ’93, senior associate director with the Office of Alumni Engagement who traveled with the group.

“We are so happy to have this popular program, which began in 2007 with a visit to Ireland and has traveled to a dozen other countries, up and running again,” added Silva. “We are already thinking about our destination for next year.”

The group had a private tour of the official home of U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Claire (McLaughlin) Cronin ’82. Deerfield Residence is in Dublin’s majestic Phoenix Park. 

Susan Lavin '77 and Michele (Leonard) Lynch '77 at Deerfield.

Previous Alumni Travel Trips

• Ireland (three times)
• Italy (twice)
• London/Paris
• Greece (cruise)
• Central Europe
• Spain
• Iceland
• Holland (cruise)
• Portugal
• Scotland
• France

Pictured, the Alumni Travel Program in Ireland in 2007.