Travel to Ireland and Exploring My Irish Family

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St. Patrick’s Day and the celebrations  this week remind me how beautiful Ireland is. It’s a land I have spent time in since I traveled there with my Dad as a little girl.  The countryside is green and lush, the food delicious and of course the Guinness and the Jameson are plentiful.  If you’re interested in traveling to Ireland, Aer Lingus and Delta Airlines both offer some great deals on trips.  The Expedia website also offers a good collection of travel packages for Ireland.

A new website called Connolly Cove offers many suggestion for trips to Ireland including the Cliffs of Moher, Dublin City, Trinity College, the Guinness Storehouse, Galway City, and St. Patrick’s Parades and the Giants’ Cosway. The website is designed by Ciaran Connolly to help people plan travel to Ireland and find the best places to visit.  This interactive website is a great way to get insights into the Irish country side, its people and culture.

Mary Hall The Recessionista Dublin

Touring Dublin and exploring my Irish Heritage.

Researching Irish Genealogy at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin

In December, I traveled to Dublin to see old friends, shop and research my Irish roots.   I stayed at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, which was beautifully decorated for the holidays.  The Shelbourne is now a Marriott owned property, and if you’re thrifty and have Marriott points, a stay at The Shelbourne is well worth while.

One very unique feature that the hotel offers is a Genealogy package. For Americans (or anyone with Irish relatives) seeking to research their Irish ancestors this service is a wonderful way to start. Guest can make an appointment with the amazing Helen Kelly, who is the resident Shelbourne Hotel “Genealogy Butler.” Ms. Kelly helps you start your search and tells you where to go online and in person to get the details. Ms. Kelly is truly a wealth of information and I had a wonderful visit with her learning about my Irish family.

I don’t know of any other hotel that offers this service and it’s so convenient, as you meet with Ms. Kelly at the Shelbourne.  I learned so many things about my Irish ancestors from visiting with Ms. Kelly. My father had heard some family lore that was not 100% accurate, but with Ms. Kelly’s help and great research, I was able to uncover the truths about my great grandfather and great grandmother.  They were truly heroes.  They left Ireland with literally nothing to come to America to start a new life. My great grand father Lawrence left Dublin, Ireland as a teenager, came to New York, then went into the US Army and ultimately ended up as Mayor of small town in Massachusetts called Haydenville.  He went from being a “labourer” to being a leader of his community, voting on important issues like taxes and the railroads in New England.  He was very proud to have become an American citizen and own as home. In Ireland his family didn’t have the opportunity to own anything, the rented properties that were
“less than grand ” as my Dad would say.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans with Irish blood, I highly recommend a visit to the Shelbourne and some research on

Travel Deals to Ireland

For more information on Ireland and the global celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day, visit the Irish Tourism Board’s website.  Aer Lingus offers  special deals on travel to Ireland.  There are Dublin packages highlighting attractions like Powers Court shopping, Dublin Castles and the National Museum.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.

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