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Dublin, Ireland

November 1-9, 2006


We were firm in our decision to only add trips to this chronicle in which both of us participated. However Dís father F recently turned 75, so D and his brother B organized a guys-only trip to Dublin with ambitious plans of conducting the ultimate pub crawl Ė 75 pubs in a week. So while J went on a trip of her own to the Caribbean, she gave D a special dispensation to provide this write-up.

The park was once encircled by walls and limited to use by the surrounding residents.
St. Stephen's Green.

The Liffey flows from the Wicklow mountains to the Irish Sea.
The River Liffey.

So called because the toll to cross the bridge was half a penny.
Ha'penny Bridge.

Nelson's Column was blown up by the IRA in 1966 and replaced by the 400ft Spire of Dublin at a cost of a mere 4 million euros.
A view down O'Connell Street.

Georgian dwellings were built in Dublin to house the aristocracy.
Georgian doors.

Sight of the 1916 Easter Rising.
Dublin's General Post Office.

Dublin

The city of Dublin was principally founded by Vikings in the 9th century when they established a settlement where the Liffey and Poddle rivers met to create a black pool or dubh lynn. The fact that the largest city of this Celtic nation was founded by foreigners can be seen as a barometer for Irelandís turbulent history. The Irish populace has been subjected to foreign rule (Norse, Normans, and English) for the better part of their existence. Dublin was the scene of a key attempt at self-rule when, gunmen took over the General Post Office in April 1916 and read a proclamation declaring a sovereign and independent Irish Republic. The Easter Rising was abruptly quashed by a British gunboat that battered the surrounding area, but the seeds of revolution had been sown. The signing of the Anglo-Irish treaty, effectively giving the industrial northern counties to the British in exchange for self-rule over the remainder of the island, caused a rift among the Irish people that ultimately erupted into civil war. The Republic of Ireland was officially recognized in 1949 and severed all ties with Great Britain. The wounds still run deep, however, and the Irish Republican Army has terrorized British soldiers in an attempt to reunify the Emerald Isle. Thankfully, the conflict has been in a state of détente over the past few years.

References to Joyce's Ulysses are ubiquitous in Dublin.  An award for pubs is even named after the author.
Take a load off at the James Joyce statue on North Earl St.

Founded in 1592, the college boast alumni the likes of  John Donne, Oscar Wilde, and Jonathan Swift.  It's library houses the Book of Kells and the Brian Boru Harp.
Trinity College.

The Dublin-born Wilde wrote The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray among other works.
Oscar Wilde leers at some passers-by.

Dublin Castle served as the seat of British rule for 750 years.
Dublin Castle.

Larkin was famous as an organizer of trade unions and founded the Irish Labour Party in 1912.
Jim Larkin greets the sun on O'Connell Street.

Records show that the Vikings erected a steine or long stone to commemorate the point at which they landed. Owing to land reclamation, the point at which the stone stood is now several blocks inland, and the stone itself has disappeared.  A replica was placed here in 1986.
The Viking Steine.

The older of the to cathedrals in Dublin, Christ Church was built by the Vikings in 1030.
Christ Church Cathedral.

Parnell was a key figure in Irish government, Parnell's movement for Irish home rule was derailed by his illicit affair with the married Kitty O'Shea.
Charles Stewart Parnell.


Site of the battle between James II and Cromwell.
The Boyne River.

The passage burial mound predates the Great Pyramids by 500 years.
Newgrange.

Built in the early 19th century on the remains of a 13th century church
St. Patrick's Church.

The facade was reconstructed under direction of Prof. O'Kelly of University College in Cork, the prinicipal archeologist who excavated the mound.
Entrance to the passage at Newgrange.

 

The former Roman slave is heralded as having converted the pagan Irish to Christianity.  And he drove out the snakes too.
St. Patrick.

Boyne Valley

North of Dublin, along the Boyne River valley, is a string of Neolithic monuments built by the first people to inhabit this island. We felt that it would sit better with our womenfolk, if we infused at least some culture into our extended pub crawl, so we booked a bus tour with the entertaining Mary Gibbons. Our first stop was the grassy Hill of Tara, the former heart of Irish power and mysticism. At one time, it served as a coronation site for 142 kings of Ireland and even accommodated colleges of military, history, and law studies. Today, it is no more than a collection of hilltop furrows and mounds from which one can allegedly see 23 of Irelandís 32 counties. We moved on to the town of Slane, nestled along the Boyne River, where in the distance we could see the 18th century Slane castle, now a venue for concerts, and the Hill of Slane on which St. Patrick himself celebrated Easter by lighting a Paschal fire large enough for the pagan kings to see from Tara.

We continued along the Boyne picturing the scene in 1690 when the Catholic James Stuart, pretender to the English, Scottish, and Irish thrones, had his showdown with the Protestant William of Orange. The Protestant victory signaled a renewed persecution of Catholics in Ireland that would last for centuries. Soon we arrived at the Neolithic burial site of Newgrange. To preserve the tomb, entrance is limited to a fixed number of tourists each year, but we were fortunate enough to be on one of the tours that is taken inside the mound. We were second-guessing just how lucky we actually were as we stood cramped in the center of the mound with 22 other fortunate souls after squeezing through the 60 ft entrance passage. As with seemingly all other Stone Age chambers, Newgrange is also specifically aligned with the sun at the winter solstice, but the white quartz face stones that glow orange in the setting sun make it unique.

Anywhere from 250-500 cremated bodies are buried in this tomb that was built between 2500-3000BC
Mound of the Hostages.

Legend has it that St. Patrick himself created the circular portion of the cross to represent the sun and thus facilitating conversion of the pagans.
A celtic cross.

Atop the Royal Seat is the Stone of Destiny at which the High Kings of Ireland were crowned.  If the king-to-be completed a given set of tasks the stone would scream at his touch to announce his worthiness to be king.
The Royal Seat at Tara.


Pub Crawl

When you imagine Dublin, you canít help but think of pubs. A contraction for "public house", these establishments have long been gathering points for writers, thespians, politicians, revolutionaries, and just your average guy looking for refreshment. Perhaps nowhere else is the pub woven into the fabric of life as it is in Dublin. There are pubs throughout this fair city from the overpriced touristic strip along Temple Bar to the working manís refuge of Noel Leonardís near the Guinness brewery. There are pubs of literary fame such as the Oval and Davy Byrnes from Joyceís Ulysses, McDaids where Brendan Behan often over-imbibed, and James Toner where William Butler Yeats reputedly had his first and only pint in a pub. Near the famed Abbey Theatre, the Flowing Tide has long been a meeting place for actors and playwrights as was Nearyís near the Gaiety Theatre. There are also key historical pubs such as the Brazen Head, a place of drink since the Norman occupation, Patrick Conway, the Old Stand, and the Bailey, all of which have connections to Irish politics.

The foundation of any successful pub crawl is preparation, and ours could certainly have benefited from just that. The only semblance of research we could muster was a comprehensive list of pubs in the greater Dublin area Ė 974 of them to be exact. Having supplemented our list with a good city map, we were on our way. To hit our quota of 10 pubs per day, we often found ourselves arriving at an establishment just as it was opening, and we had to resist the temptation to linger and have a second pint. Pacing ourselves was critical to success. One last key element is maintaining an open mind. Not all Dublin pubs are going to resemble the archetypal Irish country pub. They range from traditional (Doheny & Nesbitt) to Georgian (Maguires) to Victorian (the Bank) to hip (Panama). While recent years have seen the emergence of mega-pubs like Fitzsimons, the Porter House, and Messrs. Maguire, there are still some gems like the Pale, Stagís Head, Dame Tavern, and Broganís Bar full of the craic for which Ireland has always been known. In the end, we were up to the challenge, having toasted our undertaking in no fewer than 80 pubs.

In perhaps one of the shrewdest business deals since the sale of Manhattan, Arthur Guinness established a 9,000 year lease for the St. James Gate brewery at a rate of £45 per year.
Ireland's black gold.

 

There's always room for one more.
Always room for one more.

 

Guiness beef and potato pies.
Pub grub.

The Airport Bar - Site of our first Guinness of the trip.  We wasted no time getting started.
The Airport Bar

The Auld Dubliner
The Auld Dubliner

Bachelor Inn
Bachelor Inn

The Bank
The Bank

The Bankers
The Bankers

The Boar's Head
The Boar's Head

The Brazen Head
The Brazen Head

Brogan's
Brogan's

Bruxelles
Bruxelles

Chaplin's
Chaplin's

Dame Tavern
Dame Tavern

Davy Byrnes
Davy Byrnes

Delaney's
Delaney's

Doheny & Nesbitt
Doheny & Nesbitt

Doyle's
Doyle's

The Duke
The Duke

Eamonn Rea's
Eamonn Rea's

Fitzsimons
Fitzsimons

Bowe's
Bowe's

The Bull & Castle
The Bull & Castle

Fitzgeralds
Fitzgeralds

The Hairy Lemon
Hairy Lemon

Farrington's
Farrington's

Foggy Dew
Foggy Dew

Foley's
Foley's

The Flowing Tide
The Flowing Tide

The Forum
The Forum

Gin Palace
Gin Palace

The Globe
The Globe

The Oliver St. John Gogarty
The Oliver St. John Gogarty

J. Grogan
J. Grogan

Ha'penny Bridge Inn
Ha'penny Bridge Inn

Harry B's
Harry B's

The International Bar
The International Bar.

J. J.'s
J. J.'s.

John Kehoe
John Kehoe

Knightsbridge
Knightsbridge

The Legal Eagle
The Legal Eagle

Liam Walsh
Liam Walsh

The Long Stone
The Long Stone

The Lord Edward
The Lord Edward

Madigan's
Madigan's

McDaids
McDaids

Messrs. Maguire
Messrs. Maguire

The Lotts
The Lotts

MacTurcaill's, Askel McThurkel's, and  Hoggen Green
MacTurcaill's

Madigan's
Madigan's

Madigan's
Madigan's.

Maguires
Maguires

The Mercantile
The Mercantile

No. 1  Merrion Street
No.1 Merrion Street

The Millenium
The Millenium

John Mulligan's
John Mulligan's

Nancy Hands
Nancy Hands

Jack Nealon
Jack Nealon

Neary's
Neary's

The Oak
The Oak

O'Donoghue's
O'Donoghue's

O'Brien's
O'Brien's

O'Donoghue's
O'Donoghue's

O'Neill's
O'Neill's

The Old Stand
The Old Stand

The Palace
The Palace

The Pale
The Pale

The Porter House
The Porter House

The Temple Bar
The Temple Bar

O'Reilly Brothers
O'Reilly Brothers

O'Shea's Merchant
O'Shea's Merchant

The Oval
The Oval

Panama
Panama

Parnell Mooney
Parnell Mooney

Patrick Conway
Patrick Conway

The Quays
The Quays

Peter's Pub
Peter's Pub

The Quill
The Quill

Sin É
Sin É

The Stag's Head
The Stag's Head

Thomas Read
Thomas Read

James Toner
James Toner

The Turk's Head
The Turk's Head

The Vat House
The Vat House

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