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The 42km-trail can be done in a day, but we stopped off in Mulranny for a night. There, what seems like an ordinary roadside pub, Daly's, opens up to the most magnificent views across Clew Bay from the back.
Leave time to explore Achill Island too - YG. While you're at it: Don't miss Westport town with its lively pubs said to number 52 - there's a nightly music session at Matt Molloy's. It doesn't feel like Christmas until Grafton Street is lit up like… well, a Christmas tree. When dusk draws in, and the shop fronts are glittering with baubles and wreaths, even the Scroogiest of folk can't help but be filled with festive spirit. Even if you're just nipping out for a pair of socks - NB. While you're at it: For a break from the high street, pop into the Powerscourt Centre for unique gifts and fabulous independent shops.
Nothing beats the feeling of sinking into a piping hot bath. And if that bath is filled with seaweed harvested from the shore that morning?
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All the better. A visit to the Voya Seaweed Baths in Strandhill will leave your skin silky soft and your mind struggling to remember exactly what "stress" is.
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My tip? Skip the fancy shampoo and dunk your head back into the mineral-rich water - your hair will dry in perfect, beachy waves - NB. I've been on Clare Island and struggled to stand upright as fierce winds pushed me sideways. I've also gotten sunburnt, before dipping into translucent waters in coves that resemble tropical beaches. Both incidents occurred within days of each other - such is life on this wildly rugged, unpredictable island. Throw yourself into the spirit of the place quite literally with a coasteering session. A combination of wild swimming and cliff jumping, you'll be guided around the shores of the island and leap from its craggy peaks - NB.
While you're at it: Embrace the wilderness with a stay in the Clare Island Lighthouse. Walking into a passage tomb that is more than 5, years old is an incredible experience. Especially when, once a year, its passage becomes illuminated with the morning sun and the chamber lights up as the sun rises. Access to the winter solstice experience is limited to 50 people a year, but the good news is that it's decided by lottery - the bad news is that around 30, people applied last year and there's no guarantee of sunlight.
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I've kayaked on more than a few lakes in Ireland. We've no shortage of drop-dead gorgeous waters to explore, but the one trip buried deep in my heart is a night kayak on Lough Hyne in Cork. We set out at dusk, paddling as the night sky turned an inky black. The clincher? As I moved my oar through the water, the sparkle of bioluminescence left a trail of glitter in its wake.
Paddle in the summer, and this phenomenon is at its peak - NB. Belfast's transition from Troubles to Titanic-inspired hotspot is one of the stories of the century thus far for Irish tourism. For all of its flashy architecture and interactive exhibits, however, Titanic Belfast can't lay a finger on the humble Black Taxi Tour for authenticity. While you're at it: Take a tour of the People's Gallery in Derry with one of the artists who painted the murals.
Limerick's original fortress is the recently revamped King John's Castle, but its modern-day battles are fought up the road at perhaps Ireland's most iconic rugby stadium. Munster's fortunes may wax and wane, but the atmosphere here can still raise the hairs on your neck - with a museum including artefacts once belonging to legends like Tony Ward, Ronan O'Gara and Paul O'Connell including a photo of Padre Pio he once carried in his sock.
While you're at it: Take in a hurling or football match at Croke Park. And don't forget the sambos…. With so many beautiful beaches around our coast, it's an exhilarating experience to gallop along the water's edge and feel the salt spray in your hair. If you're not at that level, fear not - you'll find beach-riding treks for all ages and experiences. It was while we were trotting on the beach at Murrisk Bay at the foot of Croagh Patrick in Co Mayo on a drizzly day, that, as if the backdrop of the mountain on one side and Clew Bay on the other weren't enough, a double rainbow appeared.
While you're at it: Climb Croagh Patrick - allow about two hours to get to the sacred mountain's m summit… and views of Clew Bay's islands - YG. There's something so quintessentially Irish about Glasnevin Cemetery. Weave between the headstones and your guide will know the intertwining secrets of practically each soul who rests there; the friends who became enemies, the lovers and the arch adversaries now buried a hop from one other. It's probably the best history lesson you can get in the city - NB. While you're at it: Get nostalgic with a visit to the Little Museum of Dublin, one of the quirkiest museums around.
It might look like a fantasy castle on the outside, with its magnificent lakeside setting at the foot of a mountain in the middle of Connemara, but Kylemore Abbey is actually a Benedictine monastery and is still home to an order of nuns. You can take a short tour of the house and explore the walled garden, but one of the best parts of the visit is tucking into pots of tea and freshly baked scones with butter and jam afterwards - YG.
While you're at it: Take a boat trip on Ireland's only fjord, Killary fjord and also visit the village of Leenane, where film The Field was set. We're loved for it the world over, so why not appreciate the Uisce beatha properly? Bushmills and Jameson offer the best-known tasting sessions, but the Teeling Whiskey Distillery is new to the scene in Dublin. Take a tour to find out how it's made, culminating in a hearty glug of the good stuff - NB. While you're at it: You can't swing a cat without hitting a craft spirit these days, but keep an eye out for tastings led by Shortcross gin.
For craft beer, head to Against the Grain in Dublin, where you can try any number of varieties. Ordinary folk may have to sacrifice the kids' college fund to stay here, but a visit to Ballyfin is a re-immersaion in the golden age of Irish country house hospitality. From the moment staff greet you on the steps of the Regency-era pile to the lavish stuccowork, sumptuous library and butlers who will unpack your luggage, you'll feel to the manner born.
While you're at it: Co Cork's Ballyvolane is another masterful Blue Book bolthole… this one complete with glamping and its own artisan gin.http://webdisk.lauren.reclaim.hosting/17033.php
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Admiring sea cliffs is one thing. Experiencing the adrenalin rush of towering over a sheer drop on a cliff edge is quite another - and you'll get that at the aptly named One Man's Pass at Slieve League, which is just two-feet wide in parts. The cliffs, rising nearly 2, feet from the Atlantic, are some of the highest in Europe. For some people, even driving up from the lower car park to the viewing point at the upper car park is enough of a thrill - there's a drop hundreds of feet on one side. On the box. Journey The Irish striker whose 'little demons' couldn't get the better of him.
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Contact Us Advertise With Us. Follow Us Twitter Facebook. Corrections Report Content. Please log in to comment. Please log in with facebook to become a fan. Report an error, omission or problem: Message:. Your Email optional. If a young person leaves school or college to start working, you will no longer get benefits or tax credits for them as your dependant. They will need individual advice about whether they will get any Universal Credit to top up their earnings. Many young disabled people in education or training have the option of claiming benefits in their own right.
A very small number of disabled youngsters may be exempt from Universal Credit and can instead claim income related Employment and Support allowance. However this will only apply if your son or daughter has already been getting another means tested benefit in their own right that includes a payment known as the 'severe disability premium'. Phone our free Helpline for further advice if you think this applies to you.
If they claim either Universal Credit or income related Employment and Support Allowance you will lose any benefits you get for them as part of your family.
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This is the case even if they remain in full-time non-advanced education or approved training. Given this you will need to think carefully about whether you help them claim in their own right or continue claiming benefits for them as part of your family. Universal Credit is a means tested benefit but if your son or daughter claims it, the DWP will only look at their income and capital and not yours.
This will depend on your family circumstances. You need to compare how much they will get if they claim in their own right with what you will lose from your benefits and tax credits. If your family income is high and you don't qualify for much in tax credits or Universal Credit - there is a good chance your household will be better off if your child claims benefits in their own right. Families with a lower income - who therefore get higher tax credit or Universal Credit payments - run the risk that they will be worse off if a young person claims benefits in their own right.
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The higher your own means tested payments, the less chance you will gain if your son or daughter claims in their own right. In some circumstances, you will also see a reduction in help you get with rent and Council Tax. If your son or daughter wants to claim Universal Credit UC they are will need to get a medical certificate from their GP - known as a statement of fitness for work or a 'fit note'. Having a fit note will allow them to start claiming UC straightaway so long as they are not treated as in education.
If your child is treated as receiving education, the situation is more complicated.
A young person in full-time education can only claim Universal Credit if they get either DLA or PIP and they are also assessed as having a limited capability for work. This means that they need to submit medical certificates known as fit-notes and then wait to be put through an assessment known as the 'work capability assessment' by the Department for Work and Pensions DWP.
The problem is that it can take several months for this assessment to be completed and for the DWP to accept that someone has a limited capability for work. This means that there is likely to be a lengthy delay before Universal Credit payments start for a young person who is in education. For more information and advice, see our factsheet, Claiming Universal Credit for a young disabled person.
If your son or daughter is aged 18 or over and getting residential or community care services through the local authority's adult team, getting Universal Credit could lead to them being asked to pay some charges towards those services. Contact our free helpline for further information.
Young people who stay on at school or college may be able to apply for other types of financial help. The Education Maintenance Allowance EMA is a weekly payment for young people in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales who stay on in full-time, non-advanced education after the age of Whether a young person qualifies depends on parental income.
The rules vary are different in Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland. In England EMA was replaced by the bursary fund. Payment of EMA or a bursary doesn't affect any of the benefits or tax credits that you receive. Neither will it affect any payments your child gets if they are claiming benefits in their own right. However, if your son or daughter claims Universal Credit or ESA in order to access the vulnerable student's bursary, the fact that they start to receive Universal Credit means that you will no longer be able to receive benefits such as tax credits and Child Benefit for them as a dependent child.
For more information about EMA, the bursary and training allowances, please call our freephone helpline. If you claim Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit or Universal Credit amounts for your child as a dependant, these are always paid to either you or your partner. Also, if they claim Universal Credit or any other benefits in their own right as a young adult, this will usually be paid to them rather than to you. The only exception to this is if they lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs.
If this is the case, you may be able to receive and manage benefits for them, acting as their appointee.