Travel

Exploring Ireland’s Connemara, where mayor-elect’s roots run deep

Connemara pony in the wild near the ruins of Bunowen Castle (circa 1500s) in Ballyconneely.
Connemara pony in the wild near the ruins of Bunowen Castle (circa 1500s) in Ballyconneely.Credit: Thomas Breathnach/for the boston globe (above), wendy maeda/globe staff (BELOW)

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CARNA, Ireland — “So what part of the motherland are you in right now, Tom?” Boston’s Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh asked me in a recent phone call as misted peaks loomed beyond my window. I had just arrived at the Carna Bay, a family-run hotel nestled here in the village where Walsh’s father lived until he emigrated in 1956. “Ah, I know it well,” he said. “You’re getting the five-star treatment then?”

As an Irishman in search of Connemara’s travel gems, I should have held home advantage in procuring the local lowdown. But Walsh didn’t take long establishing the fact that I was on his home turf.

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