Stepping away from the capital city and exploring the other areas Ireland has to offer was a nice change of pace. However, the impact of tourism is ever-present. The sheep farm we visited, a functioning farm, has a realness to it ,but the part we experienced did not. Having a small percentage of a breed of sheep able to have lambs year-round takes away from the authenticity. Understandably it drives people to their farm to old the newborns, people paying for the experience. Viewing the Wicklow mountains offers a different experience for those visiting. While there definitely was a large number of general tourists, many people were camping and hiking throughout.
Within the smaller cities we visited, Galway and Killkenny, and the nature-focused excursions, the level, and style of communication stayed the same. One part definitely comes from a baseline ability to distinguish foreigners from locals, and the tourism level in the areas traveled. Even within the less populated areas, tourism is strong. It may be different for truly off-the-path sites, but those are not places visited on a two-week trip.
Passing through the countryside, Ireland’s agricultural sector was on full display. Almost every piece of land is farmland or used for grazing. A seemingly infinite amount of sheep are spawned in every pasture and hill – a much different makeup than service-based areas in the urban cities. The creativeness of those with much less traffic in rural Ireland to increase business is evident in the sheep farmer. An increased number of tourists has an effect on the other businesses that may see increased traffic.