Our Story - Terra Firma

Meet Our Guides

Our guides are a quirky bunch! Each has a special interest to add a little sparkle to your visit – from Mountain Leaders and Dark Sky Rangers to Magicians and Storytellers. We have a diverse group of experienced, sociable guides with a shared passion for natural heritage and exploring the cultural landscape.

Let us introduce you…

The Wilderness Sherpa

Ged Dowling

Meet Ged Dowling. Ged loves the outdoors and his enthusiasm for it is infectious! With a degree in Outdoor Education and countless awards for outdoor shenanigans, Ged is never happier than when he’s out on the hills, chatting to a group about nature, geology, history, culture, explorers, adventurers….(did we mention Ged likes to chat?)

Originally from Liverpool, Ged has travelled far and wide but the wild and rugged west of Ireland has been his home for many years now. In his opinion, there certainly is no place like home!

Dark Sky Ranger

Georgia MacMillan

Having thrown off the shackles of a “proper job” in the city, Georgia escaped to west Mayo and discovered her wild side wasn’t just her mad frizzy hair! Here she re-trained as a mountain leader, and is now happily distracted by anything to do with Mountains, Magic or Dark skies.

For her Degree in Outdoor Education, Georgia researched Light Pollution and created the Mayo Dark Skies project for Ireland’s first International Dark-sky Park (in Mayo of course). She launched the Mayo Dark Sky Ambassador course for local tourism providers and continues to work on dark sky development and astro-tourism projects in Ireland.

When not designing tours for clients, Georgia now enjoys the perfect combination of her passions – a starry night safari or a moonlit hike.

The Seanchaí

Dan O’Donoghue

Meet “Magic Dan” O’Donoghue. With a long career as professional close-up magician (including 6 years in Las Vegas), Dan can’t help but spin a yarn or two too! Whilst living in Dublin back in 1995 he created the Ghost Bust Tour of Dublin (the world’s first Ghost Bus and still running today).

When not practicing his prestidigitation, Dan can be found with local characters collecting folklore and stories. His talent for story and magic will have you spellbound.

The Soul Navigator

Michelle Hughes

Michelle has a passion for Ireland and all its wonder; the music, the stories, the ancient Celtic beliefs, the ‘craic’ and even the weather! Michelle loves adventure and the outdoors has been an integral part of her working life; she has hiked, climbed, kayaked and sailed the length and breadth of Ireland and far beyond.

Her ultimate adventure has been raising a family with husband Geo. After the birth of her second daughter, Michelle studied and qualified as a holistic therapist and has introduced this into guiding, having designed unique Sacred Site and Spiritual tours throughout Ireland.

Michelle is a qualified International Mountain Leader and approved to teach Mountaineering Ireland navigation courses. Oh and she is also known to play a tune on the fiddle when the occasion demands!


Our guides are not only passionate about the outdoors, they are suitably qualified and experienced to take you to the highest mountains in Ireland as well as being professional drivers. Holding BA Honours Degrees in Outdoor Education and many other qualifications such as Mountain Leader and Remote Emergency Care (Wilderness First Aid), you will always be in safe hands.

Whether it’s a lowland trail walk for the culturally curious or a hike in Ireland’s most remote mountains, our guides can tailor walks for everyone.

Training and Qualifications*

  • BA (Hons) Outdoor Education
  • Mountain Leader
  • Remote Emergency Care Level 3 & First Aid
  • Mountaineering Ireland – Approved Trainer
  • Dark Sky Ambassadors
  • Advanced Leave No Trace Trainer
  • CERT (Failte Approved) City Tour Guide
  • Transport Manager
  • Transport Operator
  • Climate Ambassador
  • ISA Windsurfing and Safety Boat
  • VHF Licence
  • SPSV Driver Licence (Mayo)
  • IWS Beach Life Guard & IWS Pool Life Guard
  • Child Protection Cert & Garda Vetted
  • Energy Psychology Practitioner
  • Reflexologist, Reiki Master
  • International Mountain Leader

*Not all guides hold all the above, but each is more than adequately qualified in their specialised field.