One man, his dog and goat come long way from Tipperary
Nathan Kingerlee, from Kenmare,Co
Kerry, with his goat Lucy and dog Cara, who walked from Tipperary to the Dail. Tom Burke
TDs arriving for Enda Kenny's first Leaders' Questions yesterday had to pass two unusual visitors to the Dail: a dog and a goat.
Tired and weary, Cara and Lucy had just completed a 360km trek that started in Co Tipperary two weeks ago.
The animal's owner, Nathan Kingerlee (28), rewarded his companions with a well-deserved drink when they arrived in St Stephen's Green.
"I was going to take them to the Shelbourne for a bucket of water but it looked a bit posh so we went to the park instead," said Nathan, who set out on the journey to find out whether Ireland deserved its reputation as the 'island of the welcomes'.
"We used to set out early every morning and then take a break at lunch time to give them a rest."
The journey began near Cahir, passed through Clonmel, Carrick-on-Suir and Co Kilkenny, following the Barrow River into Co Wicklow, and along the Wicklow Way, having their last overnight in a B&B in Enniskerry on Monday night.
They boarded the Luas at Loughlinstown yesterday morning to complete the final leg, and later arrived at the Dail.
"The nearer we got to Dublin, the harder it was to find a B&B with a big garden and space for a dog and a goat but we managed.
"Twitter was great for finding great places to stay."
The motley crew enjoyed plenty of adventures and were sometimes enticed off their route by an area's attractions.
"One of the best days was in Inistioge, Co Kilkenny. After a long hike, we stopped for a drink.
"Local farmers were buying me pints and I decided to stay for the day."
Nathan, who owns adventure holiday company, Outdoors Ireland, in Kerry, wanted to "put himself into the boots of a tourist".
His conclusion was that the hospitality we're famous for still exists. "It was brilliant. . . we got a great welcome everywhere," he said.