Listening to our Ancestor's Story - workshop on Achill Island with Peter Devlin and Sheila McHugh

11/09/2018 to 16/09/2018
Achill Island, Co. Mayo
Peter / 00353 863663276

This retreat, which takes place in the magical and historical landscape of Achill Island, seeks to explore our ancestral inheritance. During our days together we will experience and learn as to how the lives of those who have gone before us, shaped the way we live today. It will help us find our place in our ancestral family.

Research indicates that what is not felt, is transmitted to the next generation. While parents and relatives want to pass on health and positive values to children, unbeknown to themselves they can be haunted by the burdens and mistakes of their ancestors. Events and behaviour patterns can be traced back through several generations and a ‘family trait’ can emerge in us today such as physical illness, inability to forgive others, difficulty in sustaining intimate relationships, chronic anxiety and depression.

Unwrapping the gifts passed on to us from past generations is exciting and empowering. As we explore our unique story, perhaps our greatest gift to the next generation and this troubled world will be our willingness to heal our past and heal ourselves

Deep in our very bones lie the stories from migrations, tragedies, loves, and losses. This five day retreat will facilitate us in becoming aware of how our particular ancestral line affects our living today. We will explore the way in which our ancestors inform our emotions and how we view ourselves. We can ask ourselves during these days: ‘Is that what I am carrying belonging to me?’

It is not essential that participants have an extensive knowledge of their genealogy, though it will help. The focus will be on a different way of knowing. We will engage with our ancestral images in story, movement and ritual and allow our deeper imagination to lead us into what our bodies already know. Interwoven with these outdoor encounters, we will avail of the warmth of a turf fire in the comfort of a modern cottage and immerse ourselves in deep listening as we will recount the highlights of our day’s wander. Poetry, story-telling, music, ritual, and dream work and art will further enhance our growing awareness.

‘I found this experience liberating. A wonderful opportunity to remember our ancestors and explore their significance in my own life or future generation.’ (Ann, Dublin)


Peter Devlin (Psychotherapist/Outdoor Guide)
Sheila McHugh (Spiritual Director and Life Coach)


This includes guide fee, material and five night’s accommodation and home cooked food.
€200 non-refundable deposit secures a place.
Numbers are limited to 10.