Meet Our Guides

Meet Our Guides

Wondering what your guide will be like? We’ve compiled some of our guide bios for you to have a read of.

Maurice Walsh

Maurice Walsh has over the past 25 years built up a wide ranging experience in guiding groups of all sizes mostly on the mountains of Kerry and west Cork. He qualified as a guide 5 years ago under the stewardship of Mountaineering Ireland. This training included Day and Night navigation, Group management and learning more about Fauna and Flora.

Over the last 20 years he has trekked in the Hemileas, including Everest Base Camp, Kalipatar, and Island Peak. He has climbed Kilimanjaro on two occasions as well as Mount Blanc and other areas in the European Alps. His love of the Mountains has brought him to the highest peaks in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Island. 

Over the years he has made over 300 trips to the top of Carrauntoohil by various routes!

 

 

Margo Barry

Margo Barry is a home-grown Kerry woman who has spent the last 30 years exploring the hills of Kerry and the west of Ireland. Her love of mountains and outdoor adventure has taken her climbing in Scotland and Wales, to the European Alps many times including Mount Blanc, Monta Rosa and The Matterhorn. She has been to North Africa to Jebal Toubkal, and Turkey to Mount Ararat. Margo also enjoys rock climbing. She regularly enjoys sun rock in Spain and has climbed in the blue mountains of Australia and trekked in New Zealand’s South Island. But nowhere stills her heart like Kerry!

More recently Margo took up Trail running and likes to do the odd half marathon across the hills. She graduated in 2017 with a degree in sports science and teaches fitness and yoga when she’s not guiding or climbing.

Maurice Whelan

Maurice’s passion for the outdoors and adventure stems from the 4 years he spent living in New Zealand. During this time he spent his free time hiking, mountain biking, trail running and snowboarding in the winter months. A constant feeling he had while enjoying whatever adventure on a given day was that Ireland has a similar landscape and why are we not the world’s leading adventure travel destination. His career at the time was in hotel management and spending everyday discussing the great activities and wonderful local landscape only added to his desire to enable people to do all these wonderful outdoor activities in Ireland. Shortly after returning home to Ireland he left his role as part of the management team of a local hotel in Kerry and went in search of new options. 

After meeting Linda Woods through a mutual friend, 6 years later Maurice became Managing Director of Ireland Walk Hike Bike and has found the perfect role to match his passion for adventure with his love of hospitality and ensuring every guest feels supported and has a memorable experience in Ireland. When Maurice is not in the office or out guiding you will most likely find him surfing or hiking with his wife Janet and two dogs Jade and Layla.

Linda Woods

I love Ireland, and most of all, I love showing people Ireland and all her hidden secrets, explaining some of our amazing history & pieces of folklore. Ireland is a fascinating and fun place to live – I used to be a “Dubliner”, and then I was lucky enough to move to “The Kingdom” and now live in the beautiful Kerry in the south west of Ireland. This gives me a great outlook on life in Ireland, from the busy and intense life in a capital city & all the challenges that brings, to the real issues that extreme weather brings to farmers, their crops and their animals. I feel privileged to have been brought up by a father who adored Ireland and immersed us (his kids) into this country and now that I am so lucky to have the opportunity to see Ireland in all her glory, through all the seasons and in all types of weather. I never get tired of going out on the hills and seeing things in different ways, with different people at different times of the year and I love every minute of it. Looking forward to showing you the real Ireland so that you have an amazing experience and not just a holiday.

Joe O’Donnell

Originally from Sligo, Joe has been living in Galway for almost 30 years. His lifelong interest in mountains and walking has taking him to various parts of the world. Trekking in the Canadian Rockies and Kashmir in India as well as climbing Kilimanjaro and Mount Blanc have been among his favorite experiences. However it is the mountains on the west coast of Ireland that he enjoys the most and that he is most familiar with. After 35 years of teaching Geography he has recently retired and is delighted to have such a  unique insight into the landscape that makes up Ireland, providing us with mountains, forests, bogs, beaches, lakes and rivers as well as enormous evidence of human habitation going back to our earliest inhabitants. He has a great appreciation of the Burren region and the Aran islands which provide Ireland with probably the most distinctive landscape in Europe. 

While hill walking is his favorite pastime, Joe has a keen interest in current affairs, politics and sport, Joe is really looking forward to guiding you on the many walks that show off our island.

Toni O’Brien

 Toni has worked with us as a guide since 2007. A seasoned traveller she has trekked worldwide, including the Grand Canyon, the Inca trail, all the great walks of New Zealand as well as a lot of back-country hiking, to name but a few. She is also a very keen cyclist and reckons that Ireland is the best country in the world for cycle trips! Toni has a very keen interest in Irish history and archaeology, as well as our myths and music. She has participated in many fascinating volunteer projects in NZ and has worked as a teacher, a fitness instructor, a professional driver and more. An enviable lifestyle between Ireland and New Zealand keeps Toni out on the hills all year! One thing is for sure, you will never be short of chat with Toni.

 

Sean Crean

Born in Ballina, Co.Mayo on the west coast of Ireland I spent every available moment of my youth rambling the rugged fields and mountains that surrounded me. My early interests were fishing (I lived within earshot of the weirs that tumble into the world famous Ridge Pool on the River Moy), foraging and hunting. Later I played music and enjoyed success as a song writer.

I have been living in Dublin for 40 years now and somehow still manage to bring a smile to my wife Marian’s face.  We have 2 boys who by now are nearly as old as the two of us!!

Lucky moment was when I met Linda 6 years ago in the mountains around Dingle in Co. Kerry. I had just retired and we have worked together since. I love my work. It gives me a chance to pursue my pastime and gather more stories. I still pursue my ‘old interests’ but Irish history and folklore seem to blend in well with my life experience to date.

 

Niamh Quinlan

I read an article about Irelandwalkhikebike in Outsider Magazine and thought guiding walking  groups is what I would love to be doing when I retire.  Being an avid hill walker for many years around Cork and Kerry,  working in travel and having escorted groups worldwide I thought this is what I have always wanted to do.  I emailed Linda and the rest is history.  I have now being guiding for 3 years and am entering my 4th season.  I have hiked in Iceland, Austria, The Pyreneese,  Amalfi Coast, Bavaria, Canary Islands  and most spectacular hike was at South Georgia Island on the infamous Shackelton and Tom Crean walk. 

However my favourite place to walk  is Ireland with a particular passion for Kerry, and the Dingle & Beara Peninsula.  My favourite mountain in Ireland to hike is Carrantouhil and favourite Island hike is Dursey Island with Great Blasket a close second.  

I live in North Cork and spends my summers (when not guiding) at her mobile home at Glenbeigh on the Ring of Kerry.  I have one son married in Germany and 2 Grandchildren whom I hope will follow my passion for walking and my love of Kerry.

 

 

Tomas O’hAinreachain

I have been working with IWHB for 7 years now and really enjoy showing the true Ireland that our hikes take you to. I am a Failte Ireland approved Marine and Countryside Guide and I have been a member of the Galway walking club for the last 20 years. I live in Connemara, a wild and beautiful area west of Galway city, where our native Irish language is spoken and many of the great Irish traditions still survive. I love the outdoors and have hiked extensively along the west coast of Ireland – especially the hills & flatter walks there – including Connemara, the Burren and most of the Islands off our West Coast. Other areas where I have hiked include Camino De Santiago and Mulhacen in Spain, the West Highland Way and Cairngorms in Scotland, Denali and McCarthy in Alaska.