Michael Cowell is the proud, trusted founder of MCT Irish Tours Limited and here he shares his fascinating life story that led him to discover his love for tour guiding.
In Ireland, it takes time to get things done and MCT Irish Tours is a result of my sixteen years of training.
I was born in March 1958 and was the youngest of three children. To say an academic life was not for me would be an understatement. National School and Technical College did their best to prepare me for life in the construction industry.
I left the school system with a thing called a Group Certificate, enough to get started in work. After a year or so in different types of jobs, I found bar work and things improved. I attended college for stock control, customer service, cash handling, and cocktail making. Meeting people was second nature to me and it was a very happy experience.
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I was around 30 years old when Premier Cruise Lines were recruiting in Dublin, and I secured a position as a waiter on a year-by-year contract. Working on the SS Atlantic, back and forward from Cape Canaveral to Nassau.
I worked on this for just under two years, and moved to a ship in the Mediterranean, this lasted only six months and the ship was sold. The new owners sent it to Brazil and Argentina, so I stayed with it, this work lasting two years.
I then received a chance to work on the one and only QE2, (Queen Elizabeth the 2nd), for the next four years this was home from home, working my round the world. Some sights I will never get to see again. Time spent at sea is hard and I eventually returned home to Ireland.
My next adventure began. I started to upgrade my license class by class and soon I was driving what we call a large Rigid Truck, some 32 tons total weight on the road.
After a hard night of driving in a storm and delivering to several companies in the West of Ireland, I was sitting in the cab having a breakfast sandwich and coffee, soaked to the skin after the nights work in the rain, when a tour coach passed me and there and then I said to myself why am I not driving one of them?
Three years ago, I received an invitation to obtain a National Tour Guide Qualification, so I jumped at it. I have that Qualification and it was the last step to take before setting out on the biggest test of my life starting my own business.
I was ready to go and then Covid-19 hit. It has been two years now and I am still waiting to get going. In that time I have worked on my website, tours, networking, and backup people to support me.
When I started on my working life, I never could have imagined the twists and turns, so what is next I don’t know. For all that I just love getting on the road and showcasing Ireland, as we say and if I may I will borrow a line from the Wizard of Oz, “there is no place like home”.
So come to my home, I will be very happy to show you around.
You can also contact Michael Cowell by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at +353 874181457.