About Hidden Ireland Tours

 

 

Hidden Ireland Tours  is a small, specialist travel company operating a range of professional services in Ireland ranging from the specialist day-trips that were our origins, to multi-day personalised vacations and private group events, various location services for the corporate and incentive world as well as supporting specialist film and photographic shoots.

Common to all areas of operation is a team dedicated to the highest professional standards with a rich understanding of Ireland and a wish to deliver unforgettable experiences.

 

Our Origins

 

Three decades ago when the earliest hidden Ireland experiences began to emerge, the land of Ireland itself informed a young Con Moriarty as he shared experiences that seemed to nourish body and soul of his fellow travellers. It was an intimate sharing of a world rarely seen or felt where friends connected to the land and its people, the natural, cultural and spiritual history in a manner that resonated deeply with all involved.

 

Con Moriarty was born and raised in a wild valley called the Gap of Dunloe located in the rugged mountains of the southwestern County Kerry. A mountaineer and lover of wild places this youngster was imprinted with a deep connection to place and the rich culture of his native land. In these parts, Moriarty (or Ó Muircheartaigh in it’s Gaelic-form) has been a family name from earliest medieval times and since the late 18th century, many of his direct ancestors developed a reputation as notable guides.

 

American Binky Oswalt first met Con in 1986 while walking the hills and great headlands of the Atlantic seaboard of Ireland. It was a walk and meeting that would open into a deep friendship and the deepening of a connection to Ireland for Binky. Inspired by the experience, soon afterwards Binky realised that her vocation was to provide a connection between the hidden Ireland and the limited number of others from her side of the great ocean who might experience what she knew to be unique.

 

Today

 

Since then, Hidden Ireland Tours has developed organically and today operates an expanded range of services in keeping with simple core values, guided by a reverence for the secret spaces we are blessed to share. Con continues to guide some, joined today by other friends and neighbours and family that now includes his son Naoise, continuing to bring his imagination to bear on the creation of some of our personalized trips and events while Binky remains the first port of call for many from North America exploring a customized experiences.

 

In Ireland, a team of dedicated professionals is now led by Irish women Kay Woods and Ann Curran who engage their creative skills and insights as planners and guides on projects ranging from the core personalized vacations to the delivery of memorable days for private parties and wedding guests, to working on conference and incentive programmes directly with corporations or their agents, operating a number special trips and events on behalf of select partners – or providing  film and photographic production services and more.

Some of the key figures principals involved in Hidden Ireland Tours

Con Moriarty
Con Moriarty

Ann Curran
Ann Curran

Binky Oswalt
Binky Oswalt

Binky Oswalt

Personalized vacations co-ordinator in North America

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Binky Oswalt grew up in Mobile, Alabama. A love of Irish heritage, walking, beautiful places and people along with general curiosity first drew this travel professional to Ireland in the late 1980’s.  With Con Moriarty and Ann Curran, Binky established Hidden Ireland Tours in 1986.

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  • Legend Two

  • Legend Three

A highly informed expert on Ireland, Binky works each day in dealing with North American queries, listening to people’s dream of coming to Ireland and then shaping a customized trip of a lifetime for each family or group.

Kay Woods

Special Events and Conference & Incentive Sales and Co-ordination in Ireland

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Growing up alongside the ocean in the rugged valley of Derrynane on the Ring of Kerry imbued in Kay a lifelong love interest in the world-travellers drawn to her place. Kay’s working life has ranged over wide areas of the service and corporate world, from administration to human resources and management.

A respected and dynamic community activist, keen walker and avid golfer, she is the serving Chairperson at the spectacular Dooks links course. Kay joined Hidden Ireland Tours in 2015 where her superb organisation skills and planning creative delivers a number of very special experiences for diverse groups.

Ann Curran

Guide & Special Events Planning and Co-ordinator in Ireland

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Ann Curran grew up in Dingle, the world-famous little town at the western tip of the Dingle Peninsula. A member of a large family deeply involved in the community and business life of the region, Ann is a dynamic leader in a number of local social projects. Successful careers in finance and real-estate and in the guesthouse and restaurant trade preceded Ann’s vocation as leader with Hidden Ireland Tours.

Her humour and infectious love of what she does, innate warmth and attention to detail have earned her a most extraordinary reputation. As a guide and event co-ordinator, Ann brings a rich life experience and a rare gift for sharing Ireland with her guests.

Con Moriarty

Guide and Event Planner Co-ordinator

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Con Moriarty was born and raised in the heart of one of Ireland’s wildest landscapes. From boyhood, Con was imbued with a deep connection to the natural, cultural and spiritual history of his place that continues to deepen with each day! This connection allied to his passion for sharing with discerning guests led to Con following his path as a guide and the subsequent emergence of Hidden Ireland Tours back in 1986.

A global traveller and accomplished mountaineer with world-wide experience, environmental and community activist, for this passionate scholar, wandering and sharing through the hills and riches of Ireland remains one of life’s richest blessings.

Michael Gibbons

Cultural Guide & Lecturer

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Archaeologist, historian and guide, Michael Gibbons was born and raised in Clifden, in the region known as Connemara in west County Galway where growing up amidst one of the world’s most extraordinary natural and cultural landscapes he developed a lifelong exploration of Ireland’s 10,000 year time-scale of human history.  Gibbons and his family still live in Connemara where he has been locating pre-historic 5000 year old tombs ancient landscapes beneath the bogs, lake dwellings under water, hill-top citadels and sacred sites since he was 17 years of age.

A professional archaeologist who has worked throughout Ireland’s heritage services and around the world beginning at the  Department of Antiquities in Jerusalem. He powerful and engaging lecturer and a regular contributor to national and international radio and television as well as a renowned guide.

 

(See Michael’s lecture on the ancient spirituality of Ireland pilgrimage mountains and islands of Ireland; “Even on their Knees” at the Harvard Divinity School; http://www.hds.harvard.edu/multimedia/video/even-on-their-knees.)

Naoise Ó Muircheartaigh

Cultural & Activity Guide

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Naoise Ó Muircheartaigh (the Gaelic spelling of Moriarty) spent the first years of his life in the Irish-speaking Gaeltacht region of the Dingle Peninsula of County Kerry before then moving back to the area round Gap of Dunloe near Killarney. The son of co-founder Con Moriarty, this business graduate has been steeped in Irish culture from birth.

A keen traveller and accomplished outdoor enthusiast over numerous pursuits that include mountaineering, paragliding, surfing and kayaking, Naoise works as a trip leader in Ireland and at locations throughout Europe, among them the Alps, Iceland and Norway has already earned him a reputation beyond his years as a calm, caring and knowledgeable guide.

Frank Walsh

Hiking & Cultural Guide

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A retired former high-school teacher, Frank grew up at the edge of the Killarney National Park where the lakes, woods and mountains provided a rich playground. An accomplished, caring guide of over 30 years with a reputation for the rich insights his easy nature allows, Frank today lives with his family on the shores of Dingle Bay.

A rich knowledge of Ireland’s natural history and a deep cultural connection to his place along with his genial nature makes Frank an outstanding guide and a rich pleasure to share company with wandering the Emerald Isle.

Patrick “Padraig” Sears

Cycling & Cultural Guide

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A retired policeman with lifelong interests in a range of outdoor pursuits, this particularly keen cyclist enjoys mountain or road biking with individuals and small groups on Ireland’s byways and hills.

A native of the Dingle Peninsula but now living with his family in the Killarney Valley, Padraig “insider’s” take on Ireland and his genial guiding style earns him many friends.

Éanna O’Malley

Cultural, Walking & Cycling Guide

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A history and law graduate, Éanna combines work as a lawyer and guide. A dedicated athlete who’s life-sports have included playing Gaelic football and hurling, hiking, mountain-biking and skiing, a life-long fascination with and study of the natural and cultural world around him makes this soft-spoken man a wonderful travel companion.

Éanna lives in County Kerry with his family in the region known as Beaufort, close to Killarney and the iconic landscapes of the Gap of Dunloe and the McGillycuddy Reeks. It is a tightly-knit rural community in which he is active.

Andrew Heath

Slow-Food Enthusiast & Host

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Andrew Heath was born in England where his Irish mother emigrated to after the Second World War. As a young man, Andrew reversed that journey and today lives on the shores of Bantry Bay in the region known as West Cork, married into a family synonymous with Irish food. Andrew and his wife Laura run Manning’s Food Emporium in the heart of a region of outstanding beauty, rich heritage

– and the heart of the extraordinary food revolution that has taken place in Ireland over the past three decades or so. A passionate and entertaining global foodie, Andrew works with Hidden Ireland Tours as a special host of a range of artisan-food focused day-trips and longer tours, providing intimate connections to an eclectic community and its incredible food.

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