Ireland In A Flash


If you had an opportunity to attend a conference in your favourite overseas country, would you go?  We recently had that opportunity and although the number of nights matched that of a lucky four leaf clover, we took our limited free time as a welcomed challenge and planned an amazing Ireland in a flash adventure. 

May the lilt of Irish laughter lighten every load. May the mist of Irish magic shorten every road… an Irish Blessing.

This past winter we were presented with an amazing international opportunity – a 2-day conference in Ireland. After analyzing and rearranging our schedules, we were booked and out came my go to Irish map for our 4th (although this one a short one) visit. 

Funny Tidbit: For those who have read any of my past Ireland blogs, I have an obsession with my Ireland map and it’s highlighted itineraries. 


We flew with Air Canada. We quickly found out that we were unable to score a direct flight to the Emerald Isle, but that did not deter us. We booked our connecting flight with hopes of smooth travels. After a few delays and a plane change, we arrived in Dublin on a bright and sunny Thursday morning. 

Side note: Special shoutout to Syl on our return flight who made the journey back delightful. Her attentiveness to each passenger, her charm and humour a breath of fresh air, and her ease at providing her expertise to those in need was outstanding. She definitely deserves recognition.


Upon our arrival, we headed straight for Avis car hire to retrieve our compact rental car. We were once again greeted by Jerry – who remembered us from previous rental pickups. This recognition and warm welcome ‘home’ from Jerry gifted us an upgrade in car class (from a Nissan Micra to an Audi Q2), we were so touched by this gesture. Avis car hire has provided outstanding customer service each visit we have had the pleasure of having. 

Tip: Book directly online and prepay for more deals. Purchase the windshield protection as well as Super CDW insurance to protect you from any possible mishaps that may occur.  Also, reserve an automatic. You will be driving on the opposite side of the road so to make driving a tad bit easier, an automatic will allow you one less task you’ll have to think about. To reserve and book your car at the outstanding Avis car hire, click HERE.

Ireland Destination – Tullamore ireland


International Conference (with a 2-day planned free time exploration Irish adventure) at the Tullamore Court Hotel.


As with our past Irish stays, we love to book our nights in small inns or bed and breakfasts. Upon research, we found the Sea Dew House bed and breakfast – a five minute walk from our conference venue.  A perfect location for our 3 night stay in Tullamore. 

Pulling up to this quaint bed and breakfast, we were impressed by the lavish greenery and beautiful wisteria vines trimming the grand architecture. Stepping inside to an entrance of comfort and style, we were greeted by Frank- our host. After a brief, but informative check in, we were taken to our bright king-size room. Our room consisted of a fresh and cheery decor – a king bed (as well as a twin), en-suite, as well as amenities such as freshly bottled spring water, tea/ coffee, and complimentary wifi. This lovely bed and breakfast consisted of 12+ rooms of varying guest requirements (twin beds to king) and a lovely lanai style dining area for breakfast. 

Breakfast was exquisite. Fresh fruit, granola, pastries and freshly squeezed juices were on hand for your eating pleasure. For hot options, many choices were available:

  • Traditional Irish breakfast
  • Poached eggs
  • Scrambled eggs on toast
  • Boiled eggs
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • And gluten free options available upon request. 

While I gravitated each morning to their scrambled eggs and toast, my husband (and other guests) sampled many of the other options. Each choice, from simple to traditional, were delectable. Our palates were quenched and satisfied each morning to start our day before we ventured into our adventure or conference plans. 


Our conference was situated in beautiful Tullamore – County Offlay approximately 1.5 hours from Dublin. This lovely town is described as Irelands ‘friendliest’ town and it did live up to that headline. Our Bed and Breakfast was a stones throw away from the Tullamore Court Hotel (where we were scheduled for a 2 day conference), and within walking distance of many traditional Irish pubs, fine bakeries, and shops. This quaint village provided a welcomed home away from home for our fast working vacation, as well as, a great central location for seeing some of Ireland’s top sites. 

We had 2 days to explore before our conference began, so we had planned many historical and top sites to visit near Tullamore:

  • Charleville Castle – Believed to be haunted by a child named ‘Harriet’ who fell from the stairs and died in 1861. Upon arrival to this castle, we found out there was a Netflix series was being filmed so we were unable to view all of the castle rooms.
  • Church of Assumption – a magnificant church in Tullamore.
  • Birr Castle with the worlds once biggest telescope and gorgeous grounds. It was like you were stepping onto the set of Bridgerton.
  • Clonony Castle – Has ties to King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. A great ‘off the beaten path’ find.
  • Clonacmanoise – A 6th Century monastery which will amaze you with its history.
  • Athlone (with the oldest bar in Ireland – Sean’s Bar) – an upbeat and friendly pub which is also in the Guiness Book of World Records.

These sites were fantastic. We were in awe with each location and historical tidbit we learned. Each location topped the next and we would highly recommend any or all of the above listed sites. 

Worth noting: Our conference was located at the Tullamore court hotel. We did not have the opportunity to explore this hotel, but from what we saw, it too was phenomenal. In-hotel restaurant, coffee shop, parking, spa and ball room facilities were all at hand for its guests and visitors. 

Overall, Sea Dew House bed and breakfast (and moreso Tullamore the village) hit high on our summary checklist:


  • Exquisite decor
  • Delectable breakfast
  • Serene surroundings
  • Quiet and peaceful evenings making sleep tranquil
  • Local maps and site suggestions at hand in the lobby
  • Bright, cheery and clean. 
  • Friendly locals
  • Upbeat traditional Irish pubs and restaurants 
  • Outstanding nearby historical sites 
  • Central to Dublin, Galway, and Kilkenny. All within 1.5 hours away. 


  • No in-room information book provided with helpful tips, suggested restaurants, wifi login, or must see sites in and around Sea Dew House. We did have to ask for the wifi password.
  • Our host, although matter of fact and informative to any question he was presented, was missing a bit of the Irish ‘failte’ we so wished to see. That being said, his establishment was a 8. Had there been a bit more ‘friendliness’ in hi demeanour – a 9 or 10 star rating would have occurred.
  • My husband had unexpectedly forgot a few items when we checked out. We realized this once we checked into our last night stay. We quickly contacted our host, but were shocked to hear his items were put in the ‘bin’. We had thought perhaps we would have been emailed or contacted to be informed of this mishap prior to this decision but unfortunately, we were not. That being said, our host said he would retrieve them from the bin and with a provided credit card, ship them home to us. After discussion, we decided the items would be too costly to ship, so we opted not to. A musfortunate oversight that could have been lightened by a simple in the know email however, water under the bridge. 

Last Day:

Upon checking out of the Sea Dew House bed and breakfast, we made our way to Swords – with making the most of our day exploring many more historical sites along the way. 

Sites we explored between Tullamore and Swords:

  • St Patrick’s well – see a past Ireland blog to learn about another one of St Patrick’s wells we discovered.
  • Donadea Castle – set within a gorgeous park with beautiful walking trails.
  • Maynooth Castle – A magnificant weathered castle right next to St Patrick’s University.
  • St Patrick’s University in Maynooth – An ivy covered collegiate artitecture with outstanding beauty which captured the same prestigious feel as Harvard.
  • Skryne Tower – perched atop a rugged hill, the land/area orignally consisted of a monastary on the hill dating back to 875. This current church/tower is dated back to 15th century.

Each of these sites – as well as the sites seen around Tullamore – poured history and culture into our souls. From learning how the legend of St Patrick’s horse hoof broke ground to find the well, to how King Henry VIII purchased a castle to gain titleship for his future bride.  We were yet again emersed into the Irish culture. 

Arrival in Swords:

Our stay in Swords landed us once again at Rose Cottage. A fabulous bed and breakfast 15 minutes from the Dublin airport. Once again, Dominica did not disappoint.  From her warm welcome – to an elegantly placed welcome back box of chocolates – our last night in Ireland was luxurious. 

Rose Cottage provides you with a comfortable elegant accomodation allowing you to rest in luxury before your flight home.

Eatery suggestions and sites to see, as well as instructions and tips for your departure day are at hand for your convenience in a well itemized book. To satisfy your appetite (in-house), there were an abundance of delectable continental items beautfully displayed within each room:

  • Oatmeal
  • Granola
  • Pastries
  • Jams
  • Fruit
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Freshly squeezed juice
  • Water
  • Yogurt
  • Hard boiled eggs and cold cuts

If you are looking for one last outstanding stay at a traditional Irish cottage, Rose Cottage will not disappoint. You’ll think you are in a quaint central Irish village, not 15 minutes from the airport.  This is a definite must for your close to the airport stay. Click HERE to book your stay. 

In Summary:

Our Ireland in a flash adventure/work conference was iontach (the celtic word for amazing). While we have normally taken 8-10 days to explore the Emerald Isle, our 4 night experience was as blessed as a lucky four leaf clover.  Not only did we emerse ourselves into the history and culture that God created before our time, but we had the opportunity to learn from some outstanding colleagues.  We explored, we learned, and we laughed each day of our short stay until we were required to pack up our luggage to return home. Thank you Ireland once again for filling our hearts with your pot of gold. 

To see a snippit of our quick Ireland in a flash adventure and some of the glorious historical sites we found – click the video to the right.

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