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A down but not out nightclub boss has beaten the 5km Covid travel blues by joining rugby legend Keith Wood Sumo wrestling in Tokyo and jet-skiing in Thailand with double All-Ireland winning captain, Anthony Daly.

By Gordon Deegan

Ennis native and Tipperary publican Fergal O’Keeffe has launched his new podcast, ‘Travel Tales with Fergal’ where he hears from special guests each week about their overseas travels and adventures.

As well as tales of Wood’s and Daly’s experiences of their trips to Japan and Thailand, Fergal will also hear stories from Ibiza hotelier, Dawn Hindle, about legendary parties on the Spanish island, including Freddie Mercury’s birthday bashes at her hotel, Pikes. The inspiration for the podcast came while he walked the Suir Blueway in Clonmel during the country’s first lockdown earlier this year.

“I couldn’t go further than 5km, but this made me appreciate the most beautiful walk, right beside my home along the River Suir, surrounded by the Comeragh and Slievenamon mountains,” said Fergal, 50, whose Clonmel nightclub O’Keeffe’s, has been shut since March. “I started to listen to travel podcasts to remind me of happier trips in the past and bring some positivity to my walk. I decided then to do my own travel podcast, but with an Irish flavour.

“I hope this series will give people some relief during the restrictions and help them daydream of future travels.” In the weeks before Ireland entered its second lockdown, the Co Clare native was busy laying the groundwork for the podcast, whose guests include double IFTA winner, Mark O’Halloran, rugby star and adventurer Damian Browne, singer/songwriter Jerry Fish, comedians Karl Spain and Patrick Monahan, Spanish based journalist Richard Fitzpatrick and Sean O’Neill of Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

The brand new weekly interview series is out every Tuesday and guests will talk about travel, culture, people, food, politics, history, the tourism industry and life abroad.

Father-of-four Fergal has a lifelong love of travel and has visited over 30 countries. He brings his natural curiosity and passion for travel when interviewing a wide range of guests from the arts, sport, journalism, travel and business.

The first guest is adventurer Damian Browne, the former Leinster and Connacht rugby player from Galway. His passion for travel and challenge has led him to the world’s most extreme environments to test his physical and mental capabilities, including a 63-day solo row across the Atlantic.

“My guests are people from all walks of life with one thing in common. They all have great travel stories,” said Fergal. “I really hope these chats inspire people to dream of travel adventures like they have inspired me. As we go further into lockdown, people need escapism more than ever and I hope this podcast will enable people to armchair travel in their imagination.”

The Travel Tales with Fergal Podcast drops every Tuesday on all podcast platforms and people can follow all his updates on @traveltaleswithfergal on Instagram and Facebook and @FergalTravel on Twitter.

The Travel Tales with Fergal Podcast line up featuring
Keith Wood – Rugby International
Anthony Daly – Clare Hurling Legend
Mark O’Halloran – Screenwriter and Actor and winner of two IFTA’s last week
Damian Browne – Adventurer and ex-Leinster rugby player
Jerry Fish – Singer/songwriter
Con Murphy – Sports Broadcaster
Patrick Monahan – Irish/Iranian comedian in the UK
Karl Spain – Irish Comedian
Dawn Hindle – Ibiza – Iconic Pikes Hotel, Ibiza Rocks and Manumission
John Carey Duty – ex CEO ADNOC and now in UK
Richard Fitzpatrick – Irish sports journalist in Barcelona
Annie Kennedy – Irish and worked for Shell, F1, Eurosport in Switzerland
Sean O’Neill – Irish American living in Ireland

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