My Holidays


Musician Moya Brennan speaks to GENEVIEVE CARBERY

What’s your earliest holiday memory?

Our big thing living in Donegal was going to Bundoran for the day – that was the holiday. There was a good clather of us who used to pile into the car, including my granny. We always had to concede to sitting outside a church in a car somewhere near Bundoran as my father played at a wedding. We’d save for the slot machines and eat sandwiches or a bag of chips on the beach.

What was your worst holiday?

My family used to go on camping holidays. The kids loved it and it was a freer way than staying in hotels. We travelled all over France, Cornwall, Ireland and Italy. But on one holiday in France it would not stop raining. Every night we would go back to the tent to find it was flooded and would have to clear up the water before going to bed. But it still did not put us off camping.

What was your best holiday?

I have worked with the Christian Blind Mission (CBM) in Africa quite a bit. I always wanted to bring the kids out, but Rwanda is not the safest place. So instead we went to Tanzania and got to know so many people who wanted to bring us on safaris and to Zanzibar. On the last morning of the safari we saw a pride of lions. We also saw some of the mission’s support work in hospitals. Zanzibar was amazing and we spent the last four days being fed and watered on the Indian Ocean.

If budget or work were not a restriction, what would be your dream holiday?

We went to India on honeymoon. Tim was born there. We did a good bit of travelling to the Mullayanagiri mountains and Madras. We didn’t get to travel around the north, and the Taj Mahal would be amazing to see. My dream holiday would be for the four of us to go back to this amazing country.

If you had your pick, who would you bring on holiday with you?

Definitely my husband Tim and children Paul and Aisling. Tim and I do well on holidays together and I couldn’t think of anyone better.

What’s your favourite place in Ireland?

I just love Donegal and everything about it. It has so much to offer and I go up there as often as I can. Gweedore, Glenveagh and Poisoned Glen are spectacular. The first time I brought Tim, who is a photographer, he couldn’t believe the light.

Your recommended holiday reading?

Holidays are my time to read. Books I really want to get into I’ll put aside for holidays. I love good books such as Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong, Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (I love all his books). I love good stories that draw you in, such as The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

Where will you go to next?

I have a list of places that I would like to go next. I’ve friends working for CBM in Brazil who always wanted us to go out around Christmas time. I’d love to bring the family there.

* Moya Brennan will perform with Clannad as part of Temple Bar Tradfest which runs from January 26th to 30th,