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    Brendan O’Connor

    Brendan O’Connor

    Patient | Resilient | Empathetic

    Mini Bio

    As an outdoor enthusiast, I had a spoilt upbringing as I grew up in Killarney where the 22,000-hectare Killarney National Park was literally my very own backyard.

    I spent my youth out hiking, cycling, and boating in the park. Some years later, I went into ‘exile’ to Cork city for work. I was happy enough in Cork but something was always missing and it was photography that re-awakened my love of the great outdoors – and then it dawned on me what all these poets were on about.

    Favourite Place to Play

    Anywhere outdoors either on the hills or some of those wonderful beaches we have on the west coast of Ireland. My favourite places are Dingle, Connemara, and of course Killarney (in particular the outback of Killarney).

    A stroll on Dinis Island or Inch beach is always good for the soul. As long as I can feel the fresh Atlantic air on my face, I’m a happy guy.

    Not a lot of People Know This

    I absolutely love a good storm.

    Qualifications Read More

    Over a period of years, I completed the Mountaineering leader Training award with Mountaineering Ireland in the Wicklow mountains. Later, I complemented this with further mountain training in France and Scotland.

    I am a qualified National Tour Guide and a member of the Association of Tour Guides of Ireland. I hold a Graduate of Dr Shanes Lehane Ucc – Csn Heritage and Culture diploma.

    Experience Read More

    I hiked in many parts of Ireland mostly in the southwest. I have also hiked in:

    Snowdonia in Wales
    The English Lake District
    The Scottish Highlands
    Provence
    The Haute route
    Most recently, the Tour de Ecrin in France

    Biggest Adventure Read More

    That would be summiting on 6 Alpine peaks in 12 days, many many years ago. Also, Cyclo-camping through France, Spain and Italy.

    What Fellow Travellers Say About Brendan

    I would say he was very very good! He had to navigate around some planned things that became unplanned - like the bus not working on the island and a ferry that wasn't running so we had to take the long way around. Plus, he had to navigate 7 people with different hiking abilities which he did great! One afternoon, we saw a picture of this ancient stone circle (sorry can't remember the name) and he did his best to find it for us to see. Very nice and greatly appreciated it!

    Elizabeth Danyluk
    Hiking - The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal
    Reviewed on 22/04/2024

    Mr. O'Conner was an amazing companion and trustworthy side-kick on our adventure together. My father and I had the time of our lives. The week far exceeded my expectations and we have much to look forward to. At 72, Dad performed like an absolute unit, we felt comfortable in Wilderness Ireland's hands. Hikes are accurate to description in difficulty and we felt there was always a way to bail, back to the vehicle if need be. We were there for one reason and one reason only and that was to take it to the limit! We accomplished this goal. Thank you Mr. O'Conner for the poem durining dinner, super-cool lasting impression. I work in hospitality and am never impressed when I go anywhere, to Mr. O'Conner well done!

    Jesse Gay
    Hiking - The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal
    Reviewed on 13/10/2023

    Brendan made heroic efforts to overcome obstacles created by the inclement weather during our tour, getting us out in the hills as much as possible and finding lovely alternate activities when necessary.

    Robin Corthell
    Hiking - Connemara's Atlantic Edge
    Reviewed on 04/10/2023

    Our guide was good. He had to step in at last minute for someone.

    Susan Dorrett
    Hiking - The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal
    Reviewed on 02/10/2023

    Brendan did an excellent job, especially since he stepped in at last minute to do the trip

    Gordon Dorrett
    Hiking - The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal
    Reviewed on 25/09/2023

    Brendan took over the trip unexpectedly. He is knowledgeable and clearly a very experienced guide. He is very patient and ensured that we were all able to enjoy the trips, despite the varying fitness levels and the almost constant rain. I always felt confident that he was checking we were all ok. His has a great sense of humour and his passion about Irish history was a learning experience.

    Denise Bonnette-Anderson
    Hiking - The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal
    Reviewed on 25/09/2023

    Brendan O'Conner was Wonderful. He was organized, a great driver, funny, full of historical information, and watchful over our group on the hikes.

    William Gay
    Hiking - The Causeway Coastal Route & Donegal
    Reviewed on 25/09/2023

    Brendan seemed to know the area pretty well, was calm and had a good sense of humor

    Patricia Pollitzer
    Hiking - Connemara's Atlantic Edge
    Reviewed on 05/09/2023

    Brendan was great. Learned a lot of Irish history from him and had a great sense of humor.

    Karen Greaves
    Hiking - Connemara's Atlantic Edge
    Reviewed on 04/09/2023

    Our guide was knowledgeable, energetic, and flexible to the needs of our group.

    JoEllen Caines
    Hiking & Island Hopping - Ireland's West Coast
    Reviewed on 14/08/2023

    I can't express enough how great our guide Brendan was. His knowledge about Ireland, and his hiking experience along with his great personality and sense of humor made the trip so memorable and fun. Additionally, my wife and I were a little nervous about the steps at Skellig Michael, due to a small fear of heights, but Brendan's calm nature and support got us past being nervous about it and we got to really enjoy the full experience.

    Brian Greene
    Hiking & Island Hopping - Cork & Kerry
    Reviewed on 31/07/2023

    We couldn’t have asked for a better guide than Brendan. He was extremely knowledgeable, shared interesting facts and stories about the areas, the people, culture, history, etc. It was evident Brendan loves leading these tours. He has such a great personality and we knew instantly we would have an excellent holiday with him as our guide. We learned so much about Ireland from Brendan and we were simply captivated by his stories and the knowledge he imparted. We can’t thank Brendan enough for giving us the best holiday we could have asked for. He truly exceeded our expectations.

    Laura Lyon
    Hiking & Island Hopping - Cork & Kerry
    Reviewed on 26/07/2023

    Brendan did very well! Especially for not guiding this trip very often, he always made sure we made it to our destination in a timely manner!

    Brittany Erickson
    Hiking - The Dingle Way
    Reviewed on 07/06/2023

    The guides were uniformly excellent and highly tolerant of the our group's eccentricities.

    Richard Raymond
    23WITM Tailor Made Trip
    Reviewed on 07/06/2023

    I feel we were extremely fortunate to have been assigned to Brendan's guidance. He truly has a wealth of knowledge of Irish history, culture and customs. He did his best to impart his knowledge to us. You are blessed in Ireland with having remained so close to your and western Europe's history. With this blessing comes an obligation to educate and enlighten those of us who have through neglect or ignorance forgotten our past.
    My wife and I have participated in active travel with several companies over the last 9 years. I believe having a native guide who has a passion for the culture, geology, flora and fauna of the land is essential to a fulfilling experience. Brendan reflects well upon your company. He was able to adjust our itinerary to match the weather.

    Harry Canter
    Hiking - The Dingle Way
    Reviewed on 16/05/2023

    Brendan is amazing and needs a raise! Haha

    Skye Thompson
    Hiking - The Dingle Way
    Reviewed on 15/05/2023

    Brendan was terrific! He was lovely, patient, kind, full of good stories, remote and recent Irish history and politics--and generously spent a lot of time telling us all about it. And he helped us set up a few great stops that were not on the itinerary when we were subbing in options for a very rainy day (Connemara National Park visitor center, Bog museum and tour at Aughnanure castle with Giles who was fantastic). We really enjoyed our time with Brendan and I think it definitely takes a certain patience and tolerance to just deal with a whole family for a week (with a chatty 13 year old who has lots of questions and a nervous 17 year old musician with her own way of being in the world). We had an amazing time and would do the whole trip over in a heart beat!

    Sara Mostad
    Private Hiking and Island Hopping - Ireland's West Coast
    Reviewed on 17/04/2023

    Brendan O'Connor has the perfect disposition for a guide - well trained, knowledgeable, cordial - a true gentleman. We all loved having him.

    Sean Oatmeyer
    Hiking & Island Hopping - Ireland's West Coast
    Reviewed on 03/08/2022

    Brendan was outstanding. He was knowledgeable and took the time to consider the groups needs as plans were made.

    Chris Gamel
    Hiking & Island Hopping - Ireland's West Coast
    Reviewed on 21/07/2022

    Brenden O'Connor was outstanding in knowledge, temperament and professionalism

    Christopher Quinn
    Hiking & Island Hopping - Ireland's West Coast
    Reviewed on 21/07/2022

    Brendan was perfect.

    Linda Ashendorf
    Hiking & Island Hopping - Ireland's West Coast
    Reviewed on 18/07/2022

    Brendan was extremely adept at reading the group - and the group varied greatly in personalities and hiking abilities so that was critical. He was able to adapt the original plan for weather, abilities, injuries, interests and a whole host of other factors. I'm certain he is part mountain goat (he essentially towed one lady up a steep slope)! Twice we were completely socked in at the top of some mountain, but he displayed the necessary confidence and skill to navigate us back down. Great leadership to let the fast ones go ahead at times (when safe to do so) so he could watch the rest of the flock - he was very, very good at leading from the middle. And he did it all with a warm sense of humor!

    Joe Tucker
    Hiking - Connemara's Atlantic Edge
    Reviewed on 06/07/2022

    Tried to keep everybody motivated. Very encouraging. Tried to make the trip a good experience for everybody.

    Justus Daechsel
    Hiking - Connemara's Atlantic Edge
    Reviewed on 04/07/2022

    Guide B was thoughtful, encouraging, tactful, humorous and safe. And he was a fountain of knowledge of Ireland history, geology, ecology, and nature. He made it an immersion experience. Much appreciated!

    Kathryn Brown
    Hiking - Connemara's Atlantic Edge
    Reviewed on 04/07/2022

    Our guide, Brendan O'Connor was great! He was extremely knowledgable and provided all of the information we needed to prep for and enjoy our hikes. He was flexible and accommodating to make the most of our daily excursions based on the weather and our desires. He also shared a lot of historical background about Ireland and the areas we were hiking in Connemara and County Mayo which made our trip an amazing experience!

    Michael Treppa
    Hiking - Connemara's Atlantic Edge
    Reviewed on 02/05/2022

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