The Blog Awards Ireland is an annual award the recognizes excellence in Irish blogging. I’m happy to announce that ATriptoIreland.com is a finalist!
[Update: It won! Woohoo!]
ATriptoIreland.com qualifies for the “Best Blog of the Diaspora” category in the 2014 Blog Awards Ireland. Last year, I made it to the longlist round of the competition; this year, the blog has made it all the way to the finals. I’m honored to receive this recognition and acknowledgement.
This is a good opportunity to outline what ATriptoIreland has become, and where I intend to take it next.
Broadly speaking, I write about three main areas: travel in Ireland, Irish history, and Irish culture.
Originally, my audience was largely in the US, but has now become quite worldwide, with a large readership from Ireland itself.
My perspective is to try and share the true stories behind Irish traditions and history, not the often-inaccurate urban legends. I dislike the green-haired, leprechaun-embossed, and Guinness-soaked blarney that marketers seem to regard as the only way to talk about Ireland, so I use my perspective as a person born and raised in Ireland until my early 20s, and who still spends a couple of months of the year there, to convey something of the real Ireland to the rest of the world.
Like any emigrant, I can see things with rose-colored glasses occasionally and I’m not above indulging in a spot of blarney, but I hope to paint a more realistic picture of modern Ireland and our complex history than the Paddywackery often seen online.
Besides telling the stories of individual historic sites or places of interest, I have several recurring features:
What’s On In Ireland?
Each month, I highlight the major festivals and national events taking place in Ireland. Some of these are internationally famous, but most are regional celebrations of niche interests, and all are worthy of more attention and support.
These posts highlight historic sites that have been damaged or are in danger from vandalism, development, or other causes. I want to bring attention to the neglect of and occasional hostility towards Ireland’s heritage sites, and raise visitors’ awareness of the precious opportunities they have to see some of these sacred or historic sites before they’re gone.
Irish Book Reviews
Having worked in publishing in the US for almost two decades, I have noticed the Irish authors published in the US and abroad are often not the Irish authors read in Ireland. Some mainstream US and Canadian publishers often prefer a type of stale, cliched fiction obsessed with the Easter Rising and the Troubles, while these are books that readers in Ireland often retain little interest in. The current generation of Irish young writers are eclectic, intellectually curious, globetrotting, and suspicious of dogma. I hope to bring more attention to these exciting, young Irish writers, and their global perspective.
Filming Location Reports
Having travelled widely in Ireland for over 40 years, I recognize many of the locations that appear onscreen on popular films and TV shows made in Ireland. Fans of these shows (such as Game of Thrones and Vikings) are always very curious to know if they can visit the locations of their favorite scenes, and I try to gather accurate information about these locations.
In terms of future plans, I’ve wanted to add regular interviews with interesting Irish folk for quite some time. Hopefully, my other projects will allow that to happen in the coming months.
ATTI is not my only project. I have a long career working in book publicity and marketing, and also do occasional freelance copywriting, write regularly for a local newspaper, and contribute to a few magazines in both Ireland and the US — as well as working as a substitute teacher in our local school system. I’m also a husband and father, so atriptoIreland chugs along late at night and in snatches of free time between work, cooking dinner, picking kids up from activities, chopping up the occasional tree that falls on our house, and other family activities. It’s a labor of love, which makes its progress to the finals of the 2014 Blog Awards Ireland all the more gratifying.
Thank you for your attention and support.