The real life of an Irish tour guide

Michael Cowell is the proud and trusted founder of MCT Irish Tours Limited and here shares his fascinating life story that led him to discover his love for tour guides.

In Ireland it takes time to get things done and MCT Irish Tours is the result of my sixteen years of training.

I was born in March 1958 and I was the youngest of three children. To say college life wasn’t for me would be an understatement. The National School and the Technical College did their best to prepare me for life in the construction industry.

Join MCT Irish Tours for the 2022 season and choose from a wide range of packages covering all corners of Ireland.

I left the school system with a thing called a group certificate, enough to start working. After about a year in different types of jobs, I found work in a bar and things got better. I went to college for inventory control, customer service, cash management and cocktail making. Meeting people was second nature to me and it was a very happy experience.

I was around 30 when Premier Cruise Lines was recruiting in Dublin, and got a job as a waiter on a year-round contract. Working on the SS Atlantic, round trip from Cape Canaveral to Nassau.

I worked on it for just under two years and moved to a ship in the Mediterranean, it only lasted six months and the ship was sold. The new owners sent it to Brazil and Argentina, so I stayed with it, this work lasted two years.

I then had the chance to work on the one and only QE2, (Queen Elizabeth II), for the next four years, it was like home, working my world tour. Some sites I will never see again. Time at sea is tough and I finally made it home to Ireland.

My next adventure has begun. I started improving my license class by class and soon I was driving what we call a big rigid truck, with a total weight of about 32 tons on the road.

After a hard night of driving in a storm and delivering to several businesses in the west of Ireland, I was sitting in the taxi having a breakfast sandwich and coffee, soaked to the bone after the working nights in the rain, when a tourist coach passed me and there and there I said to myself why I don’t drive one?

Three years ago I got an invitation to get a national tourist guide qualification, so I jumped on it. I have this qualification and it was the last step to take before I embarked on the biggest test of my life by starting my own business.

I was ready to go, then Covid-19 hit. It’s been two years now and I’m still waiting to get started. During that time I worked on my website, tours, networking, and rescue people to support me.

When I started my professional life, I could never have imagined the twists and turns, so what’s next, I don’t know. However, I love to hit the road and present Ireland, as they say and if I can borrow a phrase from the Wizard of Oz, “there is no place like home”.

So come to my house, I will be happy to show you around.

MCT Irish Tours – Your Ireland, Your Tour, Your Way. Check their website for more information. From 5, 7 and 12 day tours, there is something for everyone!

You can also contact Michael Cowell by email at [email protected] or by phone at +353 874181457.