My backpacking trip to Ballycastle, Ireland, via The Ireland Way ended less than half way through at a small village called Creggs. My body just couldn’t carry my pack any further. My friend Mary and I continued exploring the Emerald Isle via bus and train. All the while I continued reading posts on The Ireland Way Facebook page. One person, Dermot Breen, who completed The Ireland Way in two phases in 2018, wrote a book about his journey. He posted that he was holding a book release reception in Ballycastle. I was fortunate enough to attend and meet the author.
Afterward I read his book: Exiles: A Journey Through Ireland From Beara to Ballycastle. It was more than just a diary about his experiences along The Ireland Way. It was modern day love stories entwined with history lessons set in 17th century Ireland. I laughed, I cried and I was moved by how Dermot blended history and present day as he recounted his journey. The story included Dermot’s grief over losing his wife to cancer, the challenges of walking through fields with bullocks, the joys of meeting generous and compassionate people, and frequent conversations with a 400-year old ghost.
I felt as though I was right there with him, his writing is so descriptive. After reading Exiles I was inspired to plan to return to Ireland and finish what I started. I hope you can enjoy the Ireland countryside vicariously through Dermot’s book, Exiles is definitely worth a read.