I start off by asking how he came to work at Doolin Cave.
“Well I’m in college at moment studying architecture and I needed a summer job and have always had an interest in geology. I’m a local and saw that caves seemed to be a big thing in the area and as I had studied higher level geography in the leaving certificate I thought I could apply that knowledge to a job, I got the interview and here I am today.”
We both smile at this point, I can see that he clearly enjoys taking about the cave and why visitors find it so easy to develop a rapport with him during the tour. Curious about his name and its links with stone, always thinking of the stone mason profession, I ask him if he thinks there is any link between his name and his current occupation.
“It must be in the stars anyway, my father is a builder so that could be something to do with stone and now I’m working underground where there is a lot of stone, and I’m studying in college to be architect, again I would be using stone as a material. So it’s something that’s really revolving around my life definitely, I’m living up to my name.”
Mason has worked as a tour guide for four years in which time he estimates to have completed over three thousand tours. Im eager to know in all that time what has been his most memorable experience while giving a tour.
“Well there have been so many, but there is certainly one that comes to mind. About two or three years ago I remember, we had this all planned out. A gentleman was going to propose to his now wife. She knew nothing about the proposal, and it was a private tour with just the couple, and a few of their friends were there. I brought them into the main chamber with the lights turned off (as I do on every tour) and as the lights came on to reveal the stalactite, the gentleman was down on one knee with the ring in his hand. I’ll never forget her reaction, her hand went up to her face and she was speechless. Then he popped the question, she said yes, and the champagne came out, yeah I’ll never forget it, it was a good tour.”
Glancing down at my watch I discover that our time is up and his next tour is about to begin but before I finish I ask him if there is anything he would like to add.
“Visit Doolin Cave”, he says and we both laugh, I can see why visitors enjoy the Doolin Cave experience with Mason at the helm.
Doolin Cave is open to the Public 10 years this summer. For bookings or enquiries visit www.doolincave.ie or contact us on (065) 7075761.