Michael Cowell is the proud and trusted founder of MCT Irish Tours Limited and here he shares his fascinating life story that led him to discover his love for tour guides.
In Ireland it takes time to get things done and Irish MCT Tours is the result of my sixteen years of training.
I was born in March 1958 and was the youngest of three children. To say college life wasn’t for me would be an understatement. The National School and the Technical College did their best to prepare me for life in the construction industry.
I left the school system with what is called a group certificate, enough to start working. After about a year in different types of jobs I found the job in a bar and things got better. I attended college for inventory control, customer service, cash handling, and cocktail making. Meeting people was second nature to me and it was a very happy experience.
I was around 30 when Premier Cruise Lines recruited in Dublin, and got a waiter job with a year-to-year contract. Work on the SS Atlantic, round trip from Cape Canaveral to Nassau.
I worked on this for just under two years and moved to a ship in the Mediterranean, it only lasted six months and the ship was sold. The new owners sent it to Brazil and Argentina, so I stayed with it, this job took two years.
I then had the chance to work on the one and only QE2 (Queen Elizabeth II), for the next four years it was at home, working my round the world trip. Some sites that I will never see again. The time spent at sea is tough and I finally returned home to Ireland.
My next adventure has started. I started to upgrade my license class by class and soon I was driving what we call a big rigid truck, around 32 tons total weight on the road.
After a hard night of driving through a storm and delivering to several businesses in the west of Ireland, I was sitting in the taxi having a breakfast sandwich and coffee, drenched to the ground. skin after nights of work in the rain, when a touring coach passed me and there and then I thought to myself why I not drive one?
Three years ago I got an invitation to get a national tour guide qualification, so I jumped at the chance. I have this qualification and it was the last step to take before embarking on the biggest test of my life by starting my own business.
I was ready to go and then Covid-19 hit. It’s been two years now and I’m still waiting to start. During this time, I have been working on my website, tours, networks and relief people to support me.
When I first started my professional life, I could never have imagined the twists and turns, so what’s next, I don’t know. For all that I love to hit the road and present Ireland, as they say and if I can borrow a line from The Wizard of Oz, “there is no place like home”.
So come to my place, I will be very happy to show you around.
You can also contact Michael Cowell by email at [email protected] or by phone at +353 874181457.