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For our return trip to Rosslare to catch the ferry back to Wales, we travelled across land and stopped off in Tipperary and Waterford on the way. After learning that my family name is actually originally from Tipperary, I was even more excited to see some of the county. I was glad that I’d been given a heads up, because when we stopped in the town of Tipperary my surname was everywhere. It was on estate agents’ signs and shop fronts all over the place. I know there is only a slim chance I may be distantly related to one of them, but it felt comforting to find another connection with my family history.
Our other stop on our last full day in Ireland was at Waterford, our main reason for visiting that we have a friend who is from there. She said we couldn’t visit Ireland without stopping by her hometown. Waterford is probably most famous for its tradition of glass manufacturing, which centres around the House of Waterford Crystal, although some designers have broken away and started their own collections. Aside from the glass manufacturing, which was at its heyday in the 18th century, there is a lot more history to be explored in Waterford if you have the time. I found the town to be a great mix of old and new and, although the locals exhibit the same exceptionally high level of welcoming customer service as elsewhere in Ireland, it still very much has the feel of a port town where people just stop off on their way to somewhere else.