Hello my name is Kevin Mc Gowan based in Ballycastle Co Antrim often described as the gateway to the Glens of Antrim. Ever since I left school, a passion of mine has been the history and the culture of the island of Ireland. After spending many years in Dublin and England working in the construction trade, I finally decided to come home to the Glens. Whilst away I visited and stayed in many beautiful places throughout the isles no more so than the western isles of Scotland. One of my main passions is walking particularly mountain hiking and in my opinion there is no better way to get to know an area. After moving home again suddenly my days were shorter and I had a lot more time on my hands to concentrate on the things I love. I joined a couple of local societies that would be based in history and culture. This was where I really found my niche and grew strongly into my position and started to thrive. After time, I was awarded the Chairperson in these positions, a position that I continue to hold. It is hard work and very time consuming but it is something that I feel very strongly and proud off. Over the last two years we have held events throughout the Glens that have secured a nationwide audience and put this part of the world on the map. I currently also am partly responsibility for a small local museum and write columns for a local tabloid.
In my personal life, I am currently engaged and live just outside Ballycastle with an array of exotic pets and two little terrier dogs. Most weekends I would be out on the hills, roaming learning, teaching blogging and the terriers are not far behind. One of my other passions would be travelling and community development. I have travelled extensively and love to learn about new cultures and beliefs, two of my favourite companies to date would have to be Cuba and Thailand. I also have a strong love and connection with the island of Corsica. What time I have free is often spent in Donegal.
In Late 2015 I was approached by a council group asking would I be interested in training as a tour guide to tell the local events around the centennial year of 1916. 1916 was a major year in Irish History with two major events, the Easter rising, and the battle of the Somme taking place. These events affected the social, economic, and even the geographical lay out of Ireland. I accepted the position with enthusiasm. It was a hard learning lesson but I loved every minute of it, so much that I then took up a course to become a qualified Tour guide. After qualifying as a tour guide, I quickly fell from just a political based tour into mainstream tourism. Over the past year, I have delivered tours to local schools, museum groups, community development groups and much more.
I decided in November 2016 to set up Nine Glens Walking Tours. Whilst we currently are a walking based guiding company, we will certainly organise and plan your excursion to here in the nine glens. We are in constant contact with other local guides who guide and offers tours from everything from fishing to farming. The Glens of Antrim is our home, it is a unique place, a pace apart and every Glen is filled with Mystery, mystique, mythology and so much more. It could be said that the very stone on which we stand is ingrained with history.
We here at this company want you to experience as much of it as you can, meet our people, eat our local produce, take our trips and as the old saying goes “become more Irish than the Irish themselves”.
We hope to hear from you all soon.
Slan Go Foil
Caoimhin Mac Gabhann