First Trip Perspectives… Dan Schumacher

Every once and a while we like to share the thoughts and journal of our members who are making their first visit to the Old Sod.

It’s always interesting to see how first trips take shape.. The trying to balance one’s roots/hereditary paths, points of interest, and good old tourist traps.. No two members seem to have the same plan in mind.

From Dan:

Dan Schumacher

The most astounding aspect of the trip was when I was able to connect with my grandfather’s niece, who’s family inherited the farm in Ennistymon. When we embraced, they greeted each and everyone of us with a hug and a ” Welcome home”.  I was touched… my grandfather and his brother never made it back. My mother never was able to visit either. 

We had a cousin who was able to take us around town to show us the family farm, the school where my grandfather attended and the cemetery.  My grandfather & his 8 siblings helped tend to the farm each morning before school and then carried the milk 1.5 miles down this country road to homes in the town square. They held a contract with the government to supply dairy products to local families in the town that worked hard but couldn’t make ends meet, as well as a contract to maintain the road between the town and the farm. 

I have so much more information now about the family and was able to meet up with another cousin in Dublin (same family) where we shared brunch and of course, several pints while listening to traditional Irish music. We were also celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary and my son’s 30th birthday, so lot’s of reason to celebrate. The economy seemed pretty strong everywhere we traveled, (Galway, Ennistymon, Dublin) however, it was evident they have many homeless like we do in the U.S.  

A day trip from Galway to Doolin, taking the Doolin ferry to Innis Oirr, then seeing the Cliffs of Moher from the sea and the land, then back through Lisdoonvarna and back to Galway was amazing.  Some of the best chowder I’ve ever tasted too. I’ve taken up woodcarving and gifted these claddagh spoons to my cousins, they were pleased. Can’t wait to go back! 


Thanks for sharing Dan!


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