I am a Blue Badge tour guide and Ring of Gullion ambassador. I grew up in North Belfast during the troubles and now live in the Ring of Gullion, AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) which is situated in Armagh just off the main motorway corridor between Ireland’s two main cities of Dublin and Belfast.
I enjoy showcasing the landscape, sharing the oral stories, legends history and talking about the people of Northern Ireland.
Following a career in Banking I took voluntary early retirement when my father was terminally ill. My father was a great storyteller and he shared many stories of his youth growing up in Crossmaglen in the hungry thirties and his lifelong involvement in the trade union movement in Belfast.
Over the last number of years, I have built a successful career as a tour guide, escorting both large and small groups around Belfast, the Causeway Coast and Glens and of course the Ring of Gullion sharing the unique history of the areas and my own personal experiences.
I have been a guest many times on the BBC Radio Ulster programme “Your Place and Mine” sharing my knowledge of the Ring of Gullion and promoting of my late father Eugene O’ Callaghan’s book “Busmen in the Firing Line” which was published posthumously by the Ulster Historical Foundation.
I enjoy sharing the stories which never made it into my father’s book about his youth the old characters in Crossmaglen, the hiring fairs, the ceilidh houses and later the battles fought through his work within the trade union movement including the part he played keeping the buses on the roads during the darkest days of our troubled past.
What I enjoy the most is retelling the history of the ordinary people and the stories of how they lived and worked. The Big House, the Quakers, the Repartees, the Mill Workers, the poets, the farmers, the priests, the smugglers, the rebels and how they all left their influence on the land and people.
I offer walking tours to groups of 14 and operate as a step on step of tour guide. I am available to cover both the Ring of Gullion and Belfast to tour groups interested in exploring Northern Ireland.
The Ring of Gullion is the last hidden gem for tourists to come and explore in Northern Ireland, I would really love to share it with you and your group. Please feel free to get in touch.