Donnacha Clifford

Posted by Sue Leonard on Tuesday 15th August 2017

Donnacha has always had two passions in life; cycling and reading.

“As a child I’d read everything,” he says. “I’d get lost in the adventures of Enid Blyton.  I’ve always journaled too – and scribbled things down.”

When he left college, Donnacha developed a career in software development.

“Ten years later, I’m still there.”

For the past 25 years Donnacha has cycled the roads of County Kerry, and in 2009 he created a website,, in order to share routes with other enthusiasts. And in 2015, he and fellow cyclist David Elton, decided to write a book detailing their favourite routes.

“We wrote it together, and it was a challenge standardising the voice,” he says. “But working together gave a broader range and the perspective of both of us improved the book.” 


Who is Donnacha Clifford.

Date of birth: 1983 Co Cork, but raised between Killarney and Tralee.

Education:  Castleisland, County Kerry. Tralee Institute of Technology, Business. NUI Galway, Masters in Electronic Commerce.

Home: Tralee, Co Kerry.

Family: Engaged to Ciara.

The Day Job: Software Engineer with 8 West Consulting in Cork City. “I work in Cork for two days a week, and from home for three days.”

In Another Life: “I’d be an explorer, and would seek adventure.”

Favourite Writers: Dervla Murphy; Diarmuid Ferriter; Tim Pat Coogan. “I read everything; novels, history and travel.”

Second Book: “I have a novel in my mind, and have written ideas on scraps of paper.”

Top Tip: “Don’t write as a reader. Get the words out in a stream of consciousness first, and wait until the following day to edit. Editing as you go makes you self-critical.”

Website: Twitter: @kerrycyclist

The Debut: Cycling Kerry. Great Road Routes by Donnacha Clifford and David Elton. The Collins Press:  €14.99. Kindle: €11.03. 

With Ireland’s most dramatic coastline, County Kerry is a stunning county to explore by bicycle. This comprehensive guide gives 31 routes, including a three-day programme for the Wild Atlantic Way. Taking in popular sights, as well as hidden gems, each route includes photos, maps and details of gradients and climbs. The routes are graded to make some of them suitable for a casual cyclist.

The Verdict: An impressive, easy to use guide which is also useful for a general tourist.

 Published in The Irish Examiner on 5th August 

© Sue Leonard. 2017


Leave a Reply