Secret Ireland Tours are delighted to have the pleasure of Courtney McInvale as our Ambassador on this very special and exclusive tour. If you are a history buff or into the paranormal then Courtney and Ireland is just right for you.
You will spend 12 days in Ireland going from North to South, East to West discovering its history, myths, folklore, battles, rebellions and its hauntings.
While we are in Ireland you will also experience some breath-taking scenery too, like the famous Ring of Kerry.
You will learn the customs and traditions of the Irish people and we hope that you will make many friends while roaming on this ancient land.
Courtney McInvale is the founder of Seaside Shadows based out of Mystic, Connecticut and offering walking tours and boat tours throughout the southern New England region. She is a licensed tour guide, published author and actual descendant of accused witches. Courtney is a Connecticut native and spent 5 years in DC after completing her studies at Catholic University of America and the University College Dublin where she studied abroad, majoring in International Relations. After earning her degree, she worked for the FBI as an analyst -- having been influenced by her time interning at NCIS for the Cold Case Homicide Unit. Following her internship Courtney spent 2 years in Vermont working for Dept of Homeland Security and honing her investigative skills.
Courtney also spent many months in Ireland in study and visiting, a place rich with histories and hauntings alike! She avidly studies histories of early American in wartime -- specially the American Civil War and American Revolution as well, Celtic cultures in Ireland and Scotland, specializing in rebellions. She also has a special interest in Celtic cultures during times of rebellion.
Courtney has frequently had fascination with the unexplained and supernatural legends. In Courtney's childhood home in central Connecticut, in a town called East Hampton numerous paranormal occurrences happened. The events were so notable that the Warren family came to investigate the house during her teenage years there. Intrigued by her childhood home and raised by a teacher and a history major, she has always taken an interest in the unknown and has now put her sensitivities, investigative skills, love of history, and writing aspirations to work.
Courtney is also a realist amongst all things. That means you will get an excited, thought-provoking and spooky tour while at the same time being inundated with historical facts to corroborate all the haunting occurrences surrounding all tour regions and within all books
Courtney has written two books for Arcadia Publishing and the History Press including Haunted Mystic (2014) and Revolutionary War Ghosts of Connecticut (2016) and three books for Haunted Road Media including Civil War Ghosts of Connecticut (2021). Civil War Ghosts of Georgia Volume 1 (2023) and Civil War Ghosts of Georgia Volume 2 (Jan 2024) in the Bury my Bones series.
Courtney has been featured as a historian on Travel Channel’s Portals to Hell and on Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures. She hosts paranormal investigations and historical site fundraisers annually.
In her free time Courtney loves spending time with her husband, Marty, her loving pets, her sisters and wee niece & nephews. She is a sucker for a good period drama or true crime documentary and in free time can be found attending Whiskey Myers and other concerts or nerding out over Outlander and Vikings.
This tour is based on 20 people taking part.
We have done our very best to give you a tour that you can afford. We stay in mostly 4 star hotels around the country and your last night in Ireland you stay in a Castle. Below you will see what you costs cover and do not cover.
We have interest free installment plans for you to consider. We can design any length installment plan you wish.
Secret Ireland Tours are committed to doing everything possible to keep our clients safe while on tour with us in Ireland. We are keeping in close contact with the health Department in Ireland. All of the venue's and hotels we use have completed a Safety Charter course which allowed them to open to the public. We will not visit any site or stay in any hotel that has not completed this course. It was created by the tourist board in Ireland. We will do everything in our power to keep everybody safe.
We believe that this tour that was rescheduled will go ahead but we will keep a close eye on the conditions and if we need to reschedule again, we will do so in consultation with you our clients.
We ask you please do NOT book flights until we give you the go-ahead to do so. It is always advised to book three or four months out for the best prices. We ask you to book your flights to come in before 9am on the morning of the first day of the tour. You will be taking an overnight flight. Please book your return flight to leave Dublin sometime after 12 noon the last day of the trip. Dublin airport is a very busy place and because you are all (or most of you) going back to America you will have to go through American customs also, so for that reason it is required that you arrive at least three hours before your departure time.
If anyone wants to book their flights to arrive the day before please contact us at 513 400 7304 because we can get good accommodation at a discounted price near the airport. This is limited though so let me know as soon as possible.
The meeting place is Terminal two at Dublin airport arrivals hall 9am on the morning of the first day of the tour. That is where we start our tour.
We understand that sometimes there are flight delays, we will wait at the airport as long as we can but if you are delayed a long time then we suggest you take a taxi to the hotel that we will be staying at and you will have been given that information by email before we leave the States.. You can call me then and we can decide on a meeting place if you wish to catch up with us.
I will give addresses of hotels to everyone in an email a few weeks before the tour starts so you will have all the information you need.
Battle of the Boyne.
(July 1, 1690), in Irish history, a major conflict fought along the Boyne River in Ireland. between King William 111 (William of Orange) and the exiled king James 11. Having been deposed and exiled after William’s landing at Brixham and subsequent English desertions, James II sought to retake his throne through an alliance with Ireland and France. A string of Irish Jacobite victories in the northern country were followed by a swift but indecisive loss on the Boyne River. Although James’s escape dragged the First Jacobite Rising into 1691, the Battle of the Boyne reassured William’s allies of his commitment to defeating all French-aligned forces.
Welcome to the Carlingford Leprechaun & Fairy Cavern, all visitors will be greeted by McCoillte (Kevin Woods), the Leprechaun Whisperer who will introduce you to the story of "The Last Leprechauns of Ireland". The visit includes 15 minutes of storytelling and an introduction to how the last remaining leprechauns of Ireland became a protected species by the E.U. Following the storytelling we then visit below the ground where leprechauns and fairies converge in the morning as the sun rises, There are tunnels, one links with the fairy glen in Rostrevor, Co. Down and the other with Foy mountain and the home of Ireland's last remaining leprechauns. McCoillte, the Leprechaun Whisperer will continue with his storytelling and entertainment.
St Michan's Crypts
At a time when “dark” tourism has added a new dimension to travelling, the crypts of St Michan’s have found themselves added to a long list of global tourist destinations. On the other hand, it reminds us of the fickle nature of life and death, as well as our own mortality. If the Capuchin Crypt’s memento mori is not enough to ensure that visitor’s leave with a renewed appreciation of life and indeed death, then the placard that stands in the final room acts as a clarion call: “What you are now we used to be; what we are now you will be ...”. The carefully constructed and curated displays fashioned from human remains in the Sedlec Ossuary and Capuchin Crypts find no comparison in the crypts of St Michan’s, which are a somewhat accidental attraction and certainly not the gothic brainchild of a pre-cursor Tim Burton. The dark, dilapidated, and surprisingly dry surroundings that greet visitors who descend into the vaults of St Michan’s are so effective due to the very fact that there is little curatorial intervention.
The Brazenhead Pub
Established in 1754, The Brazen Head is Dublin’s oldest pub. With a lively bar that is full of character and a decent pub food offering, this is a popular venue for live music and storytelling. But the Brazen Head has a few stories of its own, and at least one of the characters that frequented the pub in life, appears to have kept coming back, long after “last orders” had been called.
Irish revolutionary, Robert Emmet, was a regular visitor to the pub, and elements of rebel activity were planned within its walls. On the 20th of September 1803, Emmet was hanged until dead and then beheaded. The exact whereabouts of his bodily remains are unknown, but his spirit returned to his favourite watering hole. Many have spotted his ghost in the bar, keeping a lookout for his enemies and the man who cut off his head – another regular patron.
Itinerary in subject to slight change depending on weather and conditions out of our control.