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Remembering Nuala Writers' Weekend Doolin

Nuala O’Faolain


Nuala O’Faolain 1940-2008


The upcoming Doolin Writers’ weekend put me in mind of my dear friend, the writer and journalist Nuala O’Faolain, whose 10th anniversary is coming up in May.


We met back in the late 70’s when Nuala made a television documentary on our restaurant, Bruach na hAille, in Doolin. Soon after she bought a house in Lahinch and we have been friends ever since. Our common love of walking and the Burren, led us to walking every inch of it trying to identify the plants and birds of the area. We had a pact that we would each identify a new plant or a new bird each year, but when we came round to the summer, inevitably; we mixed up our hawks-beard with our knap-weed or our meadow-pipit with our reed-bunting.


On her visits to America we would take care of Molly, her beloved collie. When Molly died a few years before Nuala, we got a labrador, Maybelle, who again we watched when Nuala was in America. We still take care of and enjoy the company of Maybelle our last physical remembrance of Nuala.




Nuala and Molly


She got sick in early 2008 and faced her illness with great courage talking openly about her impending death, especially in the stunning interview she gave to Marian Finnucane about dying. One thing she said to me, which I would dearly like to be able to tell her that she was wrong about, was that most people she knew would have forgotten about her and moved on with their lives by September of the year she died, 2008. It certainly did not happen like that as we still talk about her with her friends and family.  


Nuala left behind five great books: Are You Somebody?, My Dream of You,  Almost There: The Onward Journey of a Dublin Woman, The Story of Chicago May, and Best Love, Rosie. As a journalist, she wrote an opinion column in The Irish Times and The Sunday Tribune.

Doolin Cave Visitor Center Dedicated to Nuala O’Faolain

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Read more: WWOOFing His Way Around West Clare

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Doolin Cave wins Responsible Tourism Award

Doolin Cave has been awarded a gold award for Best in Natural Heritage at this years Responsible Tourism Awards held during the week in the Radission Hotel in Dublin.The awards are a response to demand from the Irish trade for a new type of awards showcasing the best in Irish responsible tourism. The 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards aim to inspire replication, to excite media interest, to encourage competition and celebration from across the tourism industry on the island of Ireland.

The Irish Responsible Tourism Awards are part of a growing family of worldwide responsible tourism awards which are all linked to the World Responsible Tourism Awards, founded by Winners of each of the categories will be longlisted for the World Responsible Tourism Awards - a great opportunity for the Irish trade to raise international awareness.
The shortlist for the awards, which attracted entries from almost every county in Ireland, was announced in early September following assessment by a panel of industry experts chaired by international responsible tourism expert Professor Harold Goodwin.

Read more: Doolin Cave wins Responsible Tourism Award