UK 'Freebirds' enjoy best of Kerry sights

Killorglin's Peter Mangan pictured at Kerry Airport on Friday evening with a host of visitors from London who stayed in Kerry with members of the Freebird Club, a homestay club for the over-50s.
Killorglin's Peter Mangan pictured at Kerry Airport on Friday evening with a host of visitors from London who stayed in Kerry with members of the Freebird Club, a homestay club for the over-50s.

Fergus Dennehy

Visitors from the London Irish Centre, touring Kerry as part of the Killorglin based 'Freebird Club', were left "agog" and "amazed" by their tour around the county. 

The Freebird Club, which is billed as an active social club for the over 50's, invited the 12-strong group from the capital over to Kerry in an attempt to build diaspora and community links.

Some of the group were Irish themselves and had emigrated to England years ago, while for others, this was their first visit to both Ireland and Kerry. Split into two groups, six were whisked off to Kenmare by their host families while the others travelled to stay an sample Killorglin.

"It was certainly an action packed weekend for them," said Freebird Club founder, Peter Mangan.

"They went out to dinner, they ended up in seisiún's and sing songs until the wee hours. Saturday was the main day of the trip and so all 12, along with some of the hosts, met up together; we took them to the Gap of Dunloe, we had lunch in Muckross House where we got a guided tour, we visited Torc and Ross Castle," Peter continued.

"After this, there was time for a bit of shopping, we caught the second half of the match and obviously we were in good form after that," he laughed, "for the Killorglin group, they got to grips with the Biddy festival which they loved as well," he finished. After the success of this trip, which Peter billed as a pilot experiment, he says that he is already planning on setting up more future trips.

For more information on trips and the work of the 'Freebird Club' itself, you can visit the groups website at www.freebirdclub.com

Kerryman

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