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Dublin: 5°C Thursday 26 November 2020
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My Favourite Drive: Barry Dunne on an unexpected wedding journey through Connemara

Rolling hills, a late summer evening… and a few reckless sheep.

Image: Shutterstock/Greg Fellmann

Journeys, even everyday ones, can mean a lot. Barry Dunne is Sales Manager at Windsor Long Mile Nissan in Dublin. As someone with a passion for motoring, he told TheJournal.ie about the drive that means the most to him.

First up – describe the drive.

My favourite drive is a one-off. It’s a journey I made two years ago, going to my sister’s wedding in Connemara. My partner and I left Dublin in the early evening and drove across the breadth of the country toward Letterfrack in Co. Galway, to the Rosleague Manor House Hotel.

Normally, going out that direction on a Friday evening you’d hit traffic in Clifden, but I got a tip-off from a friend of mine to take the quieter route, turning right through the Connemara National Park. As a result we were treated to some incredible views for the last 45 minutes of the journey, driving through the mountains, seeing parts of the Burren and catching the sunset. It was a perfect mid-summer evening for a drive like that.

Is there a view or moment that sums it up?

When I think back to the drive, one particular stretch I always recall is driving down through a rolling valley between two mountains. The roads were quiet, it was almost dusk, and you could see the sun setting on the hills.

Of course, it wasn’t all peace and romance, as we did have to keep a sharp eye out for the kamikaze sheep who had no qualms about running into the road.

shutterstock_483374671 Driving through the mountains of Connemara. Source: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

What made it so special?

First was the sense of occasion, as it was a family wedding. Then of course was the time of year – with bright evenings like we have right now, doing a long drive after work is a pleasure, not a chore.

Another big reason that drive is so memorable is that I had taken my classic Merc, a 1983 500 SEC coupe out for the weekend. I’d had the Merc around a year and a half at that stage and it was the first long-haul drive I’d done. Being in the motor trade all my life, I’m used to driving new models, so it’s always still sort of a novelty for me to sit behind the wheel of an older car!

More: My Favourite Drive: Fergus Brennan on navigating hairpin bends in northern Spain>

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