Darragh Carroll's Dad, David“We got a video sent home, there were six huskies pulling him to work.” 

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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You might remember Darragh Carroll – he spoke to Ryan Tubridy a couple of weeks ago. He was bringing the Flame of Fertility to the Hill of Uisneach in Co Westmeath. That guy. On Tuesday’s Tubridy Show, by way of follow-up, Darragh’s dad, David, gave Ryan some background to the extensive wanderings of his son. But even David seemed to think the job of listing those wanderings might be too much for him when he got to the North Pole: 

He was in Sweden then, he was working freelancing around Sweden, doing private gigs. Ended up getting a gig near the North Pole in – ah Ryan, where do I even start? He ended up on an island in Svalbard beside the North Pole. We got a video sent home, there were six huskies pulling him to work.” 

Darragh, it’s no surprise to hear, always had an interest in travel – among other things – but not just regular tourist-level travel. He was impatient for experience from a very young age: 

“Darragh couldn’t wait to cycle a bike, he couldn’t wait to swim, in fact, he couldn’t wait to grow up.” 

When he went away to Spain after his Leaving Cert, Darragh discovered that the usual post-Leaving holiday abroad wasn’t for him. So, he left after two days and went somewhere else: 

He went off on his own and he went to France, he went to Germany. And, when the lads were arriving home, I said to them, ‘Where’s Darragh? Is he not with you?’ ‘Oh, Darragh left us after two days.’ So, eventually I got in touch with him and he was on a train to Prague.” 

Keeping track of children is practically a full-time job for most parents (or it was, pre-Covid), but Darragh’s escapades brought that job to new heights for David – especially as the younger Carroll’s chosen methods of communication are decidedly late-20th century:  

“Everybody’s very concerned about their children, where they are. I mean, I’m one to keep in touch with them all the time, but Darragh’s not really a phone guy, he’s not a social media guy. So, it’s all internet cafes, ‘I’m here now, I’m in Berlin, everything’s grand.’” 

Darragh’s discovery of a passion for cooking was to be his ticket around the world. But it’s the reception that Darragh’s had from people around Ireland with his horse and wagon that prompted his dad to get in touch with Ryan and express his gratitude: 

“Ryan, the hospitality of the people in Ireland with Darragh, it’s just phenomenal... The Travelling Community all along the trip has been phenomenal. Food, food for the horse. A guy brought down six bags of food when he was in Adare.” 

And, David would like to appeal to people travelling on the roads along the Shannon, that if they see a French wagon, with Darragh driving it and flames out the back – it’s not on fire, that’s the Flame of Fertility sitting in a firepit, so be patient. 

The full chat between Ryan and David Carroll is here. And you can read the Highlights piece on Darragh here. 

Niall Ó Sioradáin 

© The Listener 2020

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