IrishCentral contest winner Susan Shanahan Condon with her father, John Shanahan

Meet IrishCentral’s latest winner of a free trip to Ireland: Susan Shanahan Condon.

Condon, who is a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard, will travel to the Emerald Isle over the Thanksgiving holiday to visit her father, John Shanahan, who lives in Drogheda, County Louth.

Shanahan visits his daughter at her Alexandria, Virginia home at least once a year, but Condon is excited to spend time with him in his new home country, which he moved to several years ago.

“I haven’t been there since he moved there, so I’m looking forward to going over there and meeting his girlfriend, seeing her bed and breakfast in Drogheda and staying with them,” Condon told

Condon, whose Irish roots can be traced to County Limerick and the southwest of Ireland, is eager to return to the Auld Sod. She’s been to Ireland several times, but her last visit was over 10 years ago.

“I am interested in seeing what’s changed about Ireland since I’ve been there,” Condon said. “I was there before the construction boom and the economy change, and I’d like to see things differently than what I saw last time and spend some more time in Dublin. I really enjoyed Dublin when I was there last and I’d really like to see more of it.”

Condon sees the trip as a “good belated 40th birthday gift,” and to celebrate, she’s bringing along her friend Sandra, who’s never been to Ireland, but has always wanted to go.

The two ladies haven’t set up a travel itinerary just yet, but are certain they’ll have a great time.

“We don’t have specific plans, mostly just to see my dad. [Sandra] and I are just going hit the pubs and hope to listen to good Irish music,” Condon said.

The Lt. Commander, who’s been with the Coast Guard for 22 years, says she’s also interest in traveling to other parts of Ireland, if she has the chance.

“If my dad is willing to drive us around, we’ll go as far as we can!” she said.

Condon used to be an avid traveler, but hasn’t taken too many trips since the birth of her daughter, Kaitlyn, who’s now 2 ½.

“This is great for me because I used to travel at least once a year,” she said. “My goal is now that I have my daughter, when she gets older… I would like eventually to go back to traveling once a year.”

Condon says one thing’s for sure: Kaitlyn will most certainly be joining her mom on a trip to Ireland during her future travels!