When people think of Ireland, they might think of Guinness, music or even Leprechauns, but did you know that Ireland has a King?
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Hot Footing Around the Emerald Isle.

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Ian was more than a little apprehensive when his turn came to kiss the Blarney Stone. Not only had they just met, but it seemed this stone wasn't at all fussy as to who it allowed to kiss it. Kissing the Blarney Stone is Ireland's third most popular tourist attraction, so as well as the moral implications there were the hygienic implications too. Yet kissing the Blarney Stone is reputed to bestow upon you the Irish gift of the gab, a talent Ian would need if he was to seduce the Sisters of Murphy's; assuming he ever finds them.

This was just the first obstacle Ian had to cross during his two-month journey around the Emerald Isle. With just a backpack as a home, a guidebook in one hand, a bizarre travelogue in the other and very little money in his bank account, he leaves his home and sets off to this little country that has always been his neighbour, yet overlooked by him for many years as he pursued dreams to travel to far and exotic countries.

But to Ian's surprise he was to find that he didn't need to travel thousands of miles across the world to discover something new and exciting. As he busses, hitches and walks his way from Cork to Donegal via the West Coast Ian discovers the wonderful spirit and friendliness of the Irish people. During this time he conceives a plan to be a real backpacker for a day by hiking from one town to another with the full weight of his backpack, but finds things aren't as straightforward as they might have seemed. Although travelling alone, he is rarely on his own as he meets up with various interesting and amusing characters along the way, until finally reaching the quiet and unspoilt shores of northern Donegal. Here he must cross a tumultuous ocean on a small boat in order to meet the King of Ireland, on the barren and windswept Tory Island.

Special ebook edition now available with almost 100 full colour photographs and 18 new articles inspired from my return journeys to Ireland.
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Reviews:

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author of "This is the Place" and "Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered" 13th March 2003. Read the whole review

"This book is funny. And perspicacious. And it will do the world some good-literally. Ian has an uncanny knack for spotting the way the universe provides coincidences and for characterization. Emerald Isle introduces us to more interesting characters than the average novel."

Sligo Weekender, Sept 10, 2002.

"This love of Eire comes through in Ian's new book. He describes with a longing the scenery of Southern Ireland, but reserves some of his best, and funniest writing for the characters he meets along the way"

Review in the Wexford People, June 19, 2002

"Ian has a great and irreverent turn of phrase and a witty irony, as well as an artist's eye for detail when it comes to penning his observations, be they humorous, or heartfelt, or both."

Wexford Echo Review, 26th June 2002, By Cheryl Rickard

"Ian's sharp and slightly sarcastic sense of humour makes this book a treasure of hilarious anecdotes and unusual characters."

A reader's review

Leeanne, UK, 24th Feb 2003

"Your books are both exciting and fulfilling whilst also having a very educational side without the reader feeling preached to. I know so much more about both South America and also Ireland than I did before and am grateful to you for opening my eyes and helping me to see these place in an unbiased way."

"Good luck with both the travelling and the writing!!"

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