The Dunraven Arms Hotel in Adare is the base for a hunting holiday offering visitors an adrenalin rush as they cross bank and ditch on horseback.
The quiet fields surrounding Adare in County Limerick are the setting for a week long hunting extravaganza, if you can afford it. Wealthy American tourists take part in drag hunts and fox hunts through fields and over banks, ditches, and stone walls. To the tourist who hunts, this landscape is as good as it gets.
Riding out with the Limericks, the Scarteens, the Blazers, and the Clares among others, these specialist holidays are enjoyed, or endured, as the case may be. The success of the venture depends on the cooperation of the farming, hunting and tourist interests in the area.
Organised specifically during the off-peak season, hotelier Bryan Murphy explains the economic benefits,
There’s a massive spin-off for everybody I think. The first ones to benefit are Aer Lingus, then you have got the car rental company then you have got the hotels.
Proof of the hunting holiday’s success is that people return again and again, says Murphy. The risk of injury doesn’t deter these hardy folk,
...the stories when they travel back to the States, a lot of them are true. We have an orthopaedic hospital very close to the hotel, and surgeons down there are very helpful...
At the end of the day the riders, who have been out on a drag hunt with the Clares, return to Mike Donnelly’s pub in Newmarket-On-Fergus, to review the day’s activities and swap stories. One gentleman explains to reporter Eamon Ó Muirí why this is his kind of holiday,
We don’t have any ditches and banks in America, and very few stone walls as high as they are here. And in America where I hunt, there are not as that many foxes. And the people are nicer here than most anywhere else in the world...I think if I can get through this week without successfully breaking my neck, I’ll be very proud of myself.
This report for ‘Evening Extra’ was broadcast on 16 February 1988. The reporter is Eamon Ó Muirí.
'Evening Extra' was a nightly magazine programme which ran from Monday to Friday at 7 pm dealing with current issues and people in the news. The first episode was aired on Monday 13 October 1986 and it ran for 278 shows over 2 years until the final show on 29 April 1988. The programme had numerous presenters and reporters including Siobhan Cleary, Richard Crowley, Bibi Baskin, Aonghus McAnally and Shay Healy.