On 1 Nov, there was a tour organised for the ACIA members and their family members to, Rock of Cashel and Cahir Castle in Co. Tipperary and Dunmore Cave in Co. Kilkenny.

It was a rainy morning to start with but the weather didn't beat the high spirits of the visitors. The first stop was Cahir Castle.

The ACIA members were joined by some Cork colleagues and visited Rock of Cashel at the first stop. Rock of Cashel is also known as Cashel of the Kings. It was built on a giant rock and has been the seat of the High Kings of Munster in the 5 A.D.. In the 12th and 13th century when the English invaded Ireland, they took over Rock of Cashel and started to build the churches in a Hiberno-Romanisque-Germanic style. Being a significant spot, Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit to Rock of Cashel during her state visit to Ireland in 2011.

The rain got heavier during the day but due to the joining of more ACIA members from Cork, they became even highly spirited. After having lunch together in a local cafe in Cahir, they visited Cahir Castle. It is one of the best reserved castles in Ireland. The castle was granted to the Butler family in 1397. Until 1542 when one branch of the Butler was made Baron of Cahir, they sided with the Roman Catholic Irish. The castle was besieged twice during the Irish Confederate Wars. There is a cannon ball being visible on the wall of the castle during the most famous besiege by the Earl of Essex. The castle became a public estate when the last Butler heir died in 1964.

Then the ACIA members went to one of the famous caves in Co. Kilkenny, Dunmore Cave. It consists of a series of chambers which were formed over millions of years. The Cave has been known for long but it got first mentioned in the 9th century Irish Triads. The most interesting reference however, comes from the Annals about some Viking massacres in the year 928 AD. It is also home to 54 types of bats. The tour guide was so entertaining that he knew the word of bat in many languages. The ACIA members got a go to test his knowledge.

When it was time to say good bye, the Dublin-based and Cork-based members exchanged hugs and greetings. The day was so enjoyable that everybody agreed to meet again at the AGM shortly.