March 19, 1975

Dear Gwenn and Austin,

Your lovely letter made my day. I too think of all of you so often. I am in good health, and try to be active doing a few things. I belong to a Senior Citizen group and enjoy the activities of trips and holiday celebrations.

St. Patrick’s Day holds many beautiful memories for me, as well as sad reality. It was my thirty-second wedding anniversary.

I see my nephews and nieces or hear from them often. Colleen’s daughter is graduating from Elementary school in May. They are still in Texas.

Well darlings, I have a bit of pleasant news. It is this----at long, long last, I’m leaving for Ireland on May 29th. I am going alone, but will join a fully escorted, all expense tour and be gone about 15 days, and already I have a feeling that I’ll go again.

I am an Irish History buff. I have read history dating back to the years before Christ, when the Roman Legions overran Gaul, now France, and what was then known as Britian. My trip will cover the following; Limerick, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Blarney, Cork, Waterford, Wexford, Dublin (3 days) Tara, Sligo, Mayo, Knock, Castlebar, Westport, Connemara, Galway, Aran Islands.

I chose this TWA tour because it came closest to Ballyhaunis – that town is Castlebar, where we will be overnight. We arrive there in the early afternoon and while some of them will go to Knock, I will forego that and hire a car and driver to take me into Ballyhaunis – about 17 miles.

I will visit the school and Friary; walk over the ground my little feet pattered on 61 years ago. Also, I’ll drive out to see what the countryside is like after all these years, and then I’ll visit Knock and return to Castlebar.

I wanted to take Jo with me and wait until August, but her vacation date could not be worked into the departure dates.

Many older people have gone back to Ireland to live. The Republic of Ireland has made great economic strides in the last ten years, which is good for its people. Even the farmers have profited in the Common Market.

Give my best regards to Tom and his wife and family.

God love you for writing.

Love and Prayers, Mary