Guided Tours of Irish Sites and Monuments.
The Benbulben country in County Sligo is one of those rare places in Ireland where fairies are thought to be visible, and our first witness from there claims to be able to see the fairies or 'gentry' and to talk with them. This mortal so favoured lives in the same townland where his fathers have lived during four hundred years, directly beneath the shadows of Benbulben, on whose sides Dermot is said to have been killed while hunting the wild-boar. And this famous old mountain, honeycombed with curious grottoes ages ago when the sea beat against its perpendicular flanks, is the very place where the 'gentry' have their chief abode.
W. Y Evans Wentz, The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries, 1911.
Welcome to the Father Michael O'Flanagan History and Heritage Guided Tours page. I have worked for many years as a step-on guide, bringing groups and individuals on tours around the beautiful County Sligo region. I am a Fáilte Ireland approved guide with 25 years experience of leading tours. I am also a traditional musician and love to include musical interludes on my tours. Having taken up the fiddle twenty years ago, I now play fiddle, banjo and uillann pipes.
Both myself and my wife Meg, who is an accomplished traditional musician and harper in the Gaelic Medieval style, and a Fáilte Ireland approved guide, give house concerts and recitals where we play and explain the history and folklore of Irish traditional music. Click to visit Meg's Tours page and her Youtube channel.
I currently work as a seasonal O.P.W. guide at Sligo Abbey, the oldest remaining building in the historic Town of Sligo. A recent visitor left this kind comment with my managers:
To whom it may concern,
I've never done this before, but I've got to leave a review for whoever manages the O.P.W. heritage teams of Ireland. Martin, the guide on staff during the afternoon of June 10th 2023, was absolutely excellent. He is quick, intelligent, able to answer all kinds of questions and simply a student of history. Give this man a raise! A true highlight for my grandfather's only trip (at almost 90) to Ireland. Thank you!
I often give public and private lectures on Irish archaeology, mythology, astronomy, house concerts and musical recitals. Having started out as a guide at Carrowkeel in South Sligo, I now reside in the north of the county where there are many remains from the neolithic such as Creevykeel court cairn scattered throughout the beautiful landscape. Click to see a slideshow of visitors over the years enjoying tours!
Living in Cliffoney village has been an education in local history. Many of the buildings here were erected by the twice British prime minister and Landlord, Lord Palmerston, between 1830 and 1860; Classiebawn Castle was completed some ten years after his death. Other famous individuals associated with the area are Countess Markievicz, Lord Mountbatten, the poet William Butler Yeats, and the rebel Sinn Féin priest, Fr. Michael O'Flanagan.
There is such an abundance of ancient remains of all kinds close to Sligo, that there is generally no need for a set itinerary. Tours usually last from 9.30 to 5.30 and cost €200 euro per day, or €120 per half day.
This note is long overdue. We toured Sligo last year with you, and it was amazing and wonderful. The depth of your knowledge, and your personal engagement with it made it an exceptional tour which helped us to feel the sacred quality n the land. Thank you. Do you have any suggestions for the next pilgrimage we make in Ireland?
Thank you Martin, for sharing your art, knowledge and stories with us here in San Francisco! I found the workshops with you and Padraig to be fun and creative, your Sunday afternoon presentation was chalked full of information and I enjoyed hearing you play the banjo and recall personal experiences as well as mythological connections with the ancient places.
Perhaps our group will go again to Ireland and if we're lucky you'll lead us to some of the magical spots you have told us about.
I hope the rest of your trip goes well,
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.carrowkeel.com
- Website: http://www.carrowmore.com
- Website: http://www.creevykeel.com
- Website: http://www.frmichaeloflanagan.com