Your Guides

We have designed the Eire Retour with you in mind – blending a love for all things Irish with our wealth of experience in guiding individual clients and groups; we create a time out of time with you at the center. As a team, a sense of ease and joy of being with one another supports us – inspiring the same for you. Our foundation is built upon a genuine love of people, taking joy, finding the extraordinary in the ordinary and living life boldly – with intention, grace and humor.

Learn more about us and our friends you will meet along the way.

Barbara Robitaille

During my first trip to Ireland in 1999, I felt the deep connection of being called home. I’ve gone back regularly ever since coordinating tours and retreats as well as exploring new places to add to the “must see’s”.

In my current practice as a transition coach, I support people in accepting responsibility for their choices and taking back creative control of their life ~ seeing change as a gift and opportunity to create a life of meaning and purpose. I draw from a deep reservoir of understanding, intuition, and experience. Barbara Robitaille

I bring to the Retour a combination of my love of the Irish landscape, people and history with my experience in leading people on their inner journey ~ while being held in Ireland’s embrace.

Craig Stewart

My incurable curiosity and love for people and this world have led me on travels throughout the United States, Sudan, Kenya, Europe, Guatemala, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom, learning countless life lessons along the way. In my adventures, I discovered my deep love for Ireland.

Having worked with Barbara on multiple trips to the Emerald Isle, I take great pleasure in sharing with others the magnificent landscapes, wealth of culture and breadth of history. On the Retour, I handle logistics, ensuring you are comfortable and relaxed. I also bring you the beauty of Irish culture through music. From beginning each day with song to guiding folks to traditional music sessions in Killala, I help you experience the Irish music that moves heart and soul.

Music has always been a powerful part of my life along with teaching. I was an elementary school educator for more than twenty years. I currently work as a personal trainer, leading people to have fun, find solace and thrive within their physicality.  Break Free Training.


Paula Austin

Travel Chef

Paula has been cooking for as long as she can remember. As a young girl, she was the designated family baker and soon began to see cooking as more than simply preparing food. She trained in Classical French Cuisine under the tutelage of the late Robert Reynolds and later co-founded The Irreverent Spoon, a pop-up dinner club in Portland, Oregon. A bit of a traveling chef, she was the Pastry Chef/Baker at a gluten-free garden-to-table restaurant in the Olympic Peninsula; did a short cooking stint at a wilderness lodge in the Wallowa Mountains of Eastern Oregon and is the Eire Retour’s chef where she gets to prepare wholesome meals using Ireland’s bounty. Inspired by the words her cooking mentor used to say, “food taste better when it tastes like what it is,” Paula’s cooking style is straightforward and aims to create community around the table and bring quality ingredients forward and heighten them to create stimulating experiences for all the senses.


The Irreverent Spoon



Liz Keane

Owner Old Deanery Holiday Cottages

Liz Keane will be our queen of hearth and home while we nest in her beloved cottages for ten days.  Owner of The Old Deanery Holiday Cottages, Liz’s warm smile, and generous spirit immediately make you feel as though you’ve known her forever. We can’t imagine anyone finer to support us in making you comfortable and her vibrant energy and zest for living life full out are infectious. With Liz, laughter flows, hearts open and ideas flourish.

Along with her passion for operating the cottages, Liz founded The Joe Keane Creative Centre, named in memory of her father. The Center is set in a restored Victorian stable situated on the hillside above the cottages. The center offers many interesting and enjoyable classes, courses and workshops bringing people in the community together to learn and have fun.

Old Deanery Holiday Cottages





Kathleen Duffy

Author & Dream Therapist

Known in Ireland for her popular workshops in dream wisdom, Kathleen Duffy works as a psychotherapist in private practice. She has also worked with the Tivoli Institute in Dublin. Kathleen has a “unique charisma on the detective work of dreamscapes” according to the late John O’ Donohue, “above anyone else being able smell out what the story really is…and to have the subtlety, technique and skill to elucidate the intention structure and wisdomscape of the dream.” She has a particular interest in exploring the psyche through dreams as well as relationship issues and the transpersonal. Kathleen Duffy lives in Castlebar, County Mayo Ireland.

Awaken To Your Dreams

Denis Quinn

Naturalist & Guide

Stephen Dunford


A native of county Mayo, Stephen Dunford is an author, historian, and award-winning radio and TV broadcaster/producer. He is also an historical-reenactor and main organiser of the ‘In Humbert’s Footsteps’ (National Winner of the Gathering Events, 2013) re-enactments events.

Stephen shares with unbridled enthusiasm his deep love and knowledge of Irish history and folklore. A few of the sacred, ancient sites he will guide us to include: Moyne Abbey, Great Stone of the Monks, St. Patrick’s Stones and the Killala Cathedral and Round Tower.

John Quinn

Failte Ireland Certified Marine & Countryside Guide


“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in” …… John Muir

John is a Failte Ireland certified Marine and Countryside Guide with specialisations in both hillwalking and local heritage. He has a wealth of experience of outdoor activities being a qualified scuba diving instructor and a swimming teacher.

He has lived in county Mayo for over 30 years and has an intimate knowledge of its tracks and trails, hills, mountains, lakes, coastline and wild places.

John has explored and developed a special insight by land and sea from the depths of Killary Harbour (Ireland’s only fjord ) and the peaks of Mweelrea (the highest mountain in Connaught) to the western Atlantic shores of Achill Island and the rocky outcrop of Eagle Island and including a lot of the places in between.

He is a lead guide for Castlebar Walking Festival over many years and has taken international groups on hillwalking outings in Ireland, France and Germany.

Four Day International Walking Festival

John is an all year round sea swimmer, a grow your own food enthusiast and a lover of home cooking.

“I have two doctors, my left leg and my right.” ……… G.M. Trevelyan.




At the still point, there the dance is.

— T. S. Eliot