26 April, Spring Excursion
Spring Excursion to Athlone Castle and the monastic site at Clonmacnoise
The coach will depart from Society House at 9.30 am on Saturday 26 April and go directly to Athlone where we will have an opportunity to visit the recently re-opened Athlone Castle, and visit the new galleries tracing the history of the Castle from its foundation in the thirteenth century. We will then have lunch in Athlone before saying farewell to our coach and taking a boat trip down the Shannon to the monastic site of Clonmacnoise! Arriving by boat will allow us to appreciate the site from a new perspective and we will follow this with a guided tour of the site and details of various excavations in the area. We will leave Clonmacnoise, by coach, which will then return to Merrion Square by approx. 7pm.
Cost of excursion is €45 for members and €50 for guests to include cost of coach, tours and lunch
9.30am: Depart from Society House
7.30pm: Approximate return time
*This Excursion is fully subscribed. Please contact Society House if you wish to be placed on the waiting list.
18-21 June, Summer Excursion
The Isle of Man
Following in the footsteps of our antiquarian forefathers the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland are taking an excursion to the Isle of Man this summer. This excursion, which will take place under the expert guidance of Dr. Stephen Harrison will include visits to prehistoric, medieval, and post-medieval sites, but will of course have a distinctly Viking flavour! Site visits include Castle Rushen, Peel Castle, Rushen Abbey and Tynwald Hill as well as King Orry’s Grave, Kirk Michael, Kirk Andreas and the Laxey Wheel. There will also be a visit to the Manx Museum. We will be staying in the picturesque town of Douglas and a coach will provide transport to all sites outside Douglas.Aer Lingus fly to the Isle of Man on 18th June at 8.55am. As always book early for best offers. Return flight is at 10.05am on 21st June.
The tour will start from our hotel (Best Western, Douglas) on Wednesday 18th June at 1.15pm. We have reserved Bed and breakfast accommodation in this hotel for the nights of the 18th-20th June (inc.). The cost of the bed and breakfast accommodation and coach to include entrance fees to various sites, lunches, gifts, donations and other admin costs will be €470 per person and €520 for guests.
As always the Excursion is dependent on a sufficient level of interest from Members so please book early to ensure that the Excursion can go ahead.
* number of single rooms is limited so please let us know whether you are willing to share a room
4-6 July, Explorer’s Excursion
This year, for the first time, the RSAI is pleased to announce that it is organising a trip for those who have expressed an interest in taking part in an active and outdoor excursion. Our planned expedition to North Mayo will offer members a unique opportunity to experience the unique archaeological and historic landscape of the Mullet peninsula. It will include hill walks, rambles and a full-day boat trip to the Iniskea Islands (weather permitting of course!). This excursion will follow in the footsteps of our Society who last visited the area, from a hired steamship in 1906. It has been developed bearing in mind our long-established commitment to the archaeology of Mayo through the ‘Bevir fund’ and will be co-ordinated by Brian Dornan (Hon. Treasurer) who, amongst others, has been a Bevir Fund recipient for his work in the area.
This excursion is for independently-minded members as the group will meet in Mayo on Day One, so own transport is required throughout.
While it is a work in progress, the current schedule for the three day (two night) excursion is as follows:
Day 1: Meet at the Céide Fields Interpretive Centre at one o’clock. We will then have a tour of the Centre and the Céide fields themselves. The group will then travel to Belderrig prehistoric farm where they will be introduced to the site and have an opportunity to walk the area.
Next, on to the hotel in Belmullet where they will check-in and meet for a welcome and introductory talk.
Day 2: Weather permitting, the group will travel to Blacksod Harbour from where they will board a boat for the one hour voyage to the south island of Inishkea. The day will be spent walking the island and visiting its many sites of archaeological interest (including Bronze Age landscape, Early Christian sites and eighteenth-twentieth century settlement) under the guidance of Brian Dornan (author of Mayo’s Lost Islands: the Inishkeas). A picnic lunch will be provided.
After returning to the mainland, the group will convene for dinner in the hotel.
However, if the weather does not allow us to visit the island an alternative schedule will be provided around the Mullet to include Binghamstown/Saleen Harbour, Fall Mór (church, holy well, graveyard etc.), Ionad Dhearbhaile Interpretative Centre and Nakill (a place of townland clearance in November1847 and re-settlement in 1930’s).
Day 3: The group will meet at Downpatrick Head where they will explore on foot the many sites and monuments of interest in the area including a promontory fort, ring barrows, blow hole, 1798 drownings, World War II watchtower, sea cliffs, etc.
The excursion will officially end at this point but members are welcome to return to Dublin via the many nearby sites of interest in Killala and Ballina (Rosserk Abbey, Moyne Abbey, Rathfran Abbey and Killala Round Tower and perhaps the newly established ‘Jackie Clarke collection in Ballina. Maps and information sheets will be provided for all sites.
The cost of the Excursion is €250 for members (€300 for guests) which covers: 2 night Bed and Breakfast, 1 Dinner, 1 packed lunch, Boat hire, entrances, gifts and other admin. costs.
13 September, Autumn excursion
Ahenny High Crosses and Knockroe Neolithic site