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    Fionnuala Kennedy

    Fionnuala Kennedy

    Curious | Considerate | Calm

    Mini Bio

    For me, days spent in the hills and wilds of Ireland are about being immersed in that place. I love being up high and being able to read the landscape. If you know what to look for it can reveal so many stories; of human lives past, of glaciers and oceans long gone, and of wildlife very much alive. I love to try and interpret these stories.

    Several years working in outdoor education and as an archaeological guide has led to a fascination with our history, heritage and folklore, something which only deepens with time. And then there’s history and botany and geology and astronomy… sometimes there’s just too much that’s interesting.

    Along the way, I’ve had an assortment of other jobs, from growing trees to growing vegetables, and from teaching music in schools to playing tunes in McLynns pub in Sligo on Friday nights.

    Favourite Place to Play

    The ancient stone monuments built by our ancestors which are scattered across this island. Many of these are far off the beaten path and can take some exploring and persistence to find!

    Not a lot of People Know This

    When not out guiding, I’m also the kitchen gardener in a Victorian walled garden, set in the grounds of 700-year-old Glin Castle in Co. Limerick.

    Qualifications Read More

    I have a degree in Geology and, being a fan of lifelong learning, hold assorted qualifications in Outdoor Pursuits and Leadership, Sustainable Woodland Management, Tourism and Heritage Studies and Organic Horticulture.

    Biggest Adventure Read More

    My dad had worked for years as a guide and expedition leader based in Nepal. So as soon as I finished school in the 90’s he brought me out to the Himalayas for my “real” education.

    We trekked through the Zanskar and Ladakh regions of Northern India –culturally the people there are Tibetan. Apart from the sheer scale and beauty of the mountains and glaciers, it was the people, their grace, and their ancient way of living that had the most profound effect on a young and searching mind.

    While at university I hitchhiked from England to Morocco with a pal, we had decided we wanted to trek in the Atlas Mountains. That done, we thought we might as well go to the Sahara for a look round. It’s very big.

    More recent extended trips have been music research trips, including Senegal and Gambia in West Africa, and the Appalachian mountains in North America – I play Appalachian music on banjo.

    One of my most cherished places is the Isle of Rum, a tiny island off the west coast of Scotland. I fell in love with the compact diversity of the place while on a geology research trip – steep volcanic peaks, swathes of heather and peaty pools, gloriously white sandy beaches, all on an island 6 x 6 miles! I returned to live and work there for two more full summers, falling in love with the locals, the fun, hitchhiking on the harbour to get to Ceilis on neighbouring islands…

    I’ve travelled around much of Europe with my band – we’re quite a hit in Spain!


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