McDarby Institute Reflection: The True Colors of Ireland

Judi Halterlein, Office of Financial Aid -

View of the Blasket Islands from Dingle Peninsula in Ireland

Today we found ourselves traveling to Dingle and the Museum of the Blasket Islands. This day we truly weaved our way through the tapestry of Ireland. 

We started our journey driving through Tralee. Tra means beach or strand. The meaning of lee is river. So we traveled through a town on the River Lee known as Tralee! A memorial dedicated to James Ashe is in the town square. The National Folk Theatre of Ireland, which is a Theatre in the Round, is also located in Tralee.

Participants in the McDarby Institute pilgrimage visit the Dingle Peninsula.

As we passed through Tralee, the view was breathtaking! To say Ireland is green doesn't even come close. The hillsides are just beautiful with the small farms, cattle and sheep. As we approached Dingle, which is a traditional fishing village, the view of the Blasket Islands was truly astounding. 

Dingle is one of the few fully Irish Gaelic speaking towns remaining in Ireland. Dingle village has a very strong sense of national pride and school children are sent from other areas of Ireland to learn the Irish language so that it does not die out and remains part of the Irish culture. The Blasket Islands is the only officially recognized region as the center of folk lore, traditional music, literature and art.

Beehive huts on the Dingle Peninsula

A visit to the “Beehives” was truly amazing. These structures built by monks by corbeling, or layering, stones into the shape of a beehive was strong protection against the high winds. Entire families would group three mounds together, living and traveling through linked tunnels.

This is Ireland: beautiful, strong, sturdy and ever proud.

Sister Mary Joy, Dingle Peninsula


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