An Ireland Thanksgiving

Spending the holidays away from family for the first time can always be a little rough. Thanksgiving break back at home is always filled with sleeping late, catching up with friends, and spending time with family. In Ireland, our Thanksgiving celebrations were slightly different. Trade in sleeping late for our last week of classes at NUIGalway, spending as much time as possible with the friends we’ve made here, and skyping in on Thanksgiving dinner with the family. Although it’s been different, we definitely made the best of it.

While everyone back in America was devouring a delicious turkey dinner on Thanksgiving, my friends and I attempted to create our own holiday dinner abroad. Great idea right? Well, six college aged students trying to cook a meal as elaborate as Thanksgiving dinner can be a little interesting. But I have to say, after it was all said and done, I think we made our parents proud.


            It all started with the idea that we would find a cooked turkey from a local food store so we would just be left with the responsibility of side dishes. So to start my search for a turkey, I called my program director Finn to get some suggestions. Imagine my surprise when her response was “Now Kelsey, would you like that turkey plucked or unplucked?” That’s when I knew Thanksgiving dinner was going to be quite unconventional this year.


Just as I thought Thanksgiving dinner might have to result to our usual pasta and chicken dinners, my friend Jack came to the rescue. Jack had recently spent a night at his family’s farm in Limerick, and as a parting gift they gave him a chicken. Fortunately, this one was plucked and Jack actually knew how to cook it. So there we were, six Americans in Galway Ireland, celebrating the holidays. Even though it was bittersweet to be apart from our families, we all were thankful for the friendships and memories we’ve made during our time abroad.


Kelsey Donohue

Class of 2013

One thought on “An Ireland Thanksgiving

  1. I spent Thanksgiving in Ireland in 1989 as a Marist exchange student in Maynooth. I remember making a big feast for everyone. The butcher, who sold me the turkey, looked at me and said: “You know Christmas isn’t until next month, right?” And he left the feet on it (ew). When I served the dinner to the table of more than a dozen friends, they all asked if we ate like this every Friday back in America. It was a great night – and as all great nights – ended at the local pub- the Leinster Arms.

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