Glendalough and Kilkenny Cathedral

Today, the Woodcock Global Honors Fellowship visited the foothills and town of Glendalough, and the town of Kilkenny. Within Glendalough, we visited a sheep farm run by a man and his two sons, and witnessed a demonstration of how the sheep are herded. What impressed me was the organization of the farm, and the connections they had throughout the area. The farm spanned generations, and had stayed within the same area of hills within Glendalough. Additionally, the speed of the sheepdogs was amazing, and the bond between owner and animal was enjoyable to see. On the business side of the farm, the wool industry used to be their main source of income, but demand changed and the farm had to adjust as well, and now tourism is a steady source of income, by putting on demonstrations like the one we saw today and running a petting zoo. The farm’s main source of income is raising and selling the sheep either for food or to other farmers. It was fascinating to see how the wave of tourism within the cities of Ireland also influenced the businesses lying on the outskirts of the cities. Afterwards, we hiked to a beautiful lake view within the foothills of Glendalough, and then departed to Kilkenny.

Within Kilkenny, we were given time to explore the small town and experience the history held within it. I visited the tower outside of St. Canice’s Cathedral, which is the oldest standing structure in Kilkenny. The view atop the 100-foot structure was impeccable, where one could see the entire city from one focal point.

Compared to the Cliffs of Moher and Howth Head, tourism did not have as strong of an influence on the business culture in Glendalough and Kilkenny. I felt the sense of passion for the culture and history of both areas much more compared to the liffs and Howth Head. That is not to say that the cliffs and Howth are ruined by the new target market, but to say that Glendalough and Kilkenny have not experienced this new trend to the same extent yet.