***at2i is currently on hiatus and is not being updated regularly***

atriptoIreland.com was named the “Best Blog of the Diaspora” in the 2014 Blog Awards Ireland! (Thank you for your support.) So, this is a good opportunity to try and define what exactly the site is all about.Blog Awards Ireland 2014 Winner

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 aim 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 many 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 (ideally), 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.

View past “What’s On In Ireland” updates…

Endangered Ireland

Endangered IrelandThese posts highlight historic sites that have been damaged or are in danger from vandalism, development, or other forces. 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.

View “Endangered Ireland” posts…

Irish Book Reviews

Having worked in publishing in the US for almost two decades, I have noticed that some of the Irish authors published in the US and abroad are often not the Irish authors read in Ireland itself. Some mainstream US and Canadian publishers often prefer a type of stale, clichéd fiction obsessed with the Easter Rising and the Troubles, while these are books that readers in Ireland often display much less interest in. The current generation of emerging Irish writers are eclectic, intellectually curious, globetrotting, and suspicious of dogma. I hope to bring more attention to these exciting, young writers, and their global perspective.

Browse Irish Book Review archive…

vikings filmed in irelandFilming 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 and show people how to get there.

View posts tagged “Irish Film & Television”…

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.

  1. Jennifer Rennicks’s avatar

    I believe you are modest in your book count, my friend. I think our collection at the last move was closer to 140 boxes of books which does not, of course, count the ~5 boxes worth you’ve smuggled into the house over the last few years….. It’s ok to say it with pride: books are our decorating statement and our sometimes furniture in addition to being entertainment!


  2. Lynne Olson’s avatar


    Just saw your Twitter comment about my book and wanted to tell you how delighted I am that you liked it and how much I appreciate your mentioning it.



  3. Liz Ellis’s avatar

    Hi Rich,
    Came across your article in WNC magazine and was immediately taken by it. Found many similarities to our own story. My husband is Irish and we also moved here after living many places, such as England and Spain. Truly felt at home when we first discovered this area about 18 years ago. My husband is a singer/songwriter, and wrote a beautiful song about us moving to Asheville from Florida many years ago. I would love to send it to you since he expresses the exact sentiments you were talking about. He has also just signed a book deal, and is in the process of writing his memoir. He was one of those unfortunate lads brought up in a brutal Irish orphanage. We live in Fairview and perhaps could meet up at some point.
    All the best,
    Liz Ellis


    1. Rich’s avatar

      Hello Liz,
      You’ve seen my article before I have. Glad it struck a chord. I look forward to seeing the finished magazine. Good luck to your hubby with his memoir. I’ll look forward to reading it someday. I’d love to hear that song. Is it online somewhere?


    2. bloggingfromthebog’s avatar

      Dia dhuit a Rich! What a wonderful blog, I’m really looking forward to looking around some more. It will be so nice to get your take on some of the places I’ve been to in Ireland and to get ideas for my list of places I still have to visit – not to mention check out your book recommendations.

      By the way, the mountains of NC look beautiful, what a great place to be when you’re not in Ireland! Thanks again for stopping by my blog!


    3. meticulousmick’s avatar

      Have to agree on the Murphys v Guinness thing, though not Barry’s v Lyons – it’s a Cork thing, like. Just read your interesting article on postcodes and it is all so true. Good stuff and thanks for coming over and liking my own site, or specifically the post ‘Church Lines’. Have a good week Rich, MM


      1. Rich’s avatar

        To be truthful, I get can get Barry’s far easier in the US than Lyons, so I have a sneaking suspicion that when I’m home for Christmas I’ll actually have to smuggle some Barry’s into the mother’s kitchen…

        Enjoying your photos. Cheers.


      2. Billie’s avatar

        I am so hooked on your blog already, and I haven’t even started reading it fully. Anything Ireland is what I love! 😀 (and thanks for the nice words you wrote on my blog!)


      3. cffullerton’s avatar

        I am thrilled to have found A Trip to Ireland. I could tell you’re as Irish as the soil when you mentioned your “drink” in your bio! Made me smile!


      4. Thom Hickey’s avatar

        Thanks Rich. A real treasure trove here! Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox (many Irish artists/themes!)


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