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Chieftain’s Message Dear MacKay Clan-
I am writing this message from Killarney, Ireland. This summer I am again escorting twelve students in architecture from the University at Buffalo on a Study Abroad Program in Ireland. The class is made up of five graduate students and seven students who will be seniors in the fall. They have been an exceptionally easy group with which to travel. They are also a very resourceful group. Several of them negotiated cheap bike rentals and spent last Wednesday riding through the Gap of Dunloe.
I ran a Summer Abroad Program in Dublin in 2005 and a program to this where we traveled around Ireland in 2011. We started with four days in Dublin and so far have been to Cork, Killarney and yesterday arrived in Limerick. After Limerick, we are on to Galway, a few days at a hunting lodge in Donegal designed by the English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. Believe it or not I was able to rent the entire hunting lodge for two nights for no more than the cost of a hostel. There is an upside to the current Irish economy; the cost of everything is significantly lower than the last two trips. So if you have ever thought of making a trip to Ireland, now is the time to finally do it. After our stay in Donegal we will then travel to Northern Ireland to visit Derry and Belfast before returning to Dublin.
There are two students on this trip who also play golf. Given their limited budget, I’ve had to a bit more creative this year at finding courses for us to pay on our days off. Two years ago it was Portmarnack, Royal Dublin and Old Head. This year it’s more like Sutton, a tight course where you are often teeing off diagonally across an adjacent fairway. On the other hand, Sutton is only a mile or so down the coast from Portmarnack, and on a few of the holes if you squinted hard enough it felt like one of the classic courses. Having to be resourceful often leads to unexpected surprises. Last Sunday we played at The Cork Golf. It was designed in 1927 by Dr Alistair McKenzie, the golf course designer which worked with Bobby Jones on Augusta National in the US. It was a course that I will go out of my way to play again the next time I am in Cork. Hopefully, it will prepare me for playing at the MacKay Clan Reunion in Shawnie in early August .
I’ll be back in Buffalo in early July and I look forward to seeing everyone at this year’s reunion.