As we ended our month-long tour of Ireland, we headed across country from Donegal to Dublin to catch our flight home. It seemed silly to waste a day of sightseeing so we checked the map for interesting things on the way and discovered Tullynally Castle just outside Castlepollard in County Meath. It turned out to be a great stop and would be an easy day trip from Dublin.
Our original idea was to tour the castle but we quickly discovered only groups of 30 or more can tour the castle by prearrangement. If you can find 29 friends, contact Valerie Pakenham at tel: +353 044 966-1159 to make your reservations. Otherwise be satisfied visiting the beautiful gardens and that can take most of a day.
We arrived near noon so had lunch in their tea room. It is set in a former stable and is very tea-room cute. The ladies who work there are very friendly and helpful and also sell tickets to visit the gardens. We had a perfectly adequate lunch and set out to explore.
They have all sorts of gardens and acres of grass, forest and ponds. There were three llamas, one a teenager and a really cute loving kitty who followed us for a while but when we left her part of the garden, she stayed home. We found the ducks but not the swans and covered all the trails even though a storm threatened. Tel: at the tea room +353+ (0)8 779-3549; other info below
I spotted this plaque while wandering down Liffey Street. Apart from seeing that Hector had traded on this spot for 50 years, I didn't know much more......
Well Hector Grey was born in Scotland as Alexander Scott . Moving to Ireland he used the name Hector Grey when dealing as a turf advisor at the city race tracks. Hector Grey was the name of an Australian Jockey, which Alex 'borrowed'.
He was to set up business in Dublin, trading bric a brac, purchased in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Apparently he had 'the gift of the gab' which showed in his sales spiels. He could probably have "sold snow to the eskimoes"!
Even before Sunday trading was legalised, he would work on 'The Lords Day' . Standing outside his shop at No6, Upper Liffey Street, enticing passers by into his Emporium..
This shop is no longer here. However, there are still plenty of places to buy 'tat' in Dublin.
Some articles have stated that Hector was the Grandfather of Ali Hewson (nee Stewart) who married her childhood sweetheart Paul Hewson, who is better known as Bono - lead singer of Dublins' U2.) but others dispute this.
This piece of Public Art is in the eastern corner of St Stephens Green. It is a memorial to the Great Famine of 1845-1850 by Edward Delaney.
This is one of many memorials to this tragic time in Irelands history to be seen through Ireland (and around the world)
Three haggard looking figures and a dog are surrounded by a semi circle of rough stone blocks.
I'm afraid that I don't know much more about this piece.
There is a larger Famine sculpture on Custom House Quay, by the River Liffey, which I'll add a tip to soon.
I'd read that this piece of public art was originally sited on O'Connel Street, but was moved to make way for the Milennium Spire. I didn't know where it had been located, until I spotted this from the upper deck of the 'Dublin Bus tour'. Apperently she had only returned to public viewing a couple of months before my visit.
Anna Livia, as the statue is correctly known is now to be found in Croppy Acre Memorial Park, which is near Heustan Station - so quite off the beaten track compared to her former home.
The name is from one of James Joyces characters (Anna Livia Plurabelle) in Finnigans Wake, and the work was intended to represent the 'Spirit of the River Liffey' The River Liffey is known as Abhainn na Life in Irish. The sculpture was laid on a slope, with water flowing by.
This bronze figure was designed by sculptor Éamonn O'Doherty, as a commission by Michael Smurfit, in memory of his father. It was created for Dublin's 1,000 year anniversary in 1988.
Apparently this was a popular meeting place, and a magnet for student pranks including adding washing liquid to the water to produce a 'bubble bath'
Anna was removed from O'Connel Street in 2001, and uncerimoniously left in a wooden crate for eleven years.
In February 2011, she re-emerged, travelling through the city and down the River Liffey to a jetty near the Guinness Brewery, where she was hoisted ashore and taken to her new home.
Looking at photos from when 'Anna' resided in the city centre, it looks like there was a stone surrounding, creating a 'rush of water' - unlike the pond, where she appears to have just been plonked and looks quite uncomfortable!
I guess this piece has a new nick name, in tradition with most of Dublins other statues.
As well as the "Floozie in the Jacuzzi", it was known as the " Whore (Hoo'er) in the Sewer"
I'd heard about this project after my last visit to Dublin and was intrigued, especially as I try to spot paintings of The Last Supper when visiting churches in Italy and Spain. Some of these have had humerous pieces hidden amongst the work.
Well, I eventually found it (after asking a group of children playing in a nearby street, who looked at me as if I'd asked them how to fly to the moon - it was only a few streets away)
This is the work of John Byrne, a Belfast born artist, who moved to Dublin in 1996. Educated at the Slade School of Art in London, he became established as a performance artist, creating many thought provoking projects through his paintings, and the media of theatre and videography.
Dublin's Last Supper was unveiled in July 2004. It was commissioned by M & J Wallace Ltd to be a feature of a new 'Italian Quarter' Quartiere Bloom, a pleasant courtyard with shops and restaurants.
The piece was based on Leonardo Di Vincis 'Last Supper' but with 'an Irish twist'
This was created from images of 13 locals, screen-printed onto vitreous enamel and measures 9.3 x 2.2 metres.
Byrne envisaged his Last Supper as 'being reflective of our changing society and the growing cultural mix in Dublin'
He trawled Dublins streets, approaching likely looking characters that would illustrate this point, and ask if they "would Like to participate in 'The Last Supper"
Those that agreed included people of different ages, nationalities, professions etc.
Backgrounds were photographed in St Michael's and St John's Church (Temple Bar), St Luke's (the Coomb) and the dome of the Four Courts was taken from the roof of the Temple Bar Gallery and Studios. (Check the web site below for the names and occupations etc of the 'Dublin Apostles'
Spot twists like the teapot on the table and the Juventus football shirt!
I was pleased that I eventually found this 'Last Supper' on Blooms Lane, Lower Ormond Quay
Perhaps the easiest way to direct you here is.........
From the O'Connell Bridge (on the O'Connell Street side) with your back to O'Connell Street, turn Right and walk along the riverside, past Ha'penny Bridge to the Millennium Bridge, and turn into the 'Italian Quarter' and the court yard,
On Upper Stephen's Street is this building that is quite attractive - it was completed in 2005 as part of a retail development.
So, that's not too earth shattering?
Well the building that was demolished to make way for this development had quite an historical importance.
A vet, John Boyd Dunlop, was watching his young son attempting to ride his tricycle, which had solid rubber tyres. The tyres weren't too effective and made cycling quite uncomfortable.
So, wrapping the tyres in rubber sheets, glueing them together and inflating the space with a football pump resulted in the 'proto-type' for the first pneumatic tyre.
Dunlop worked on this idea, and when his inflated tyres enabled a little known cyclist to easily win a race he realised that he was onto a winning idea and patented his design on the 7th December 1888.
In 1890, his company, the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co. Ltd opened the first ever tyre factory in the workl, in Dublin.
Apparently JB Dunlop never received the wealth that he should have for this invention that changed the world of cycling, motoring, sport and more besides.
A plaque on the wall of this building denotes that this was where the first tyre factory was.
Brittas Bay is a little further away from Dublin then all my other "off the beaten path" tips so far, but I thought it's such a lovely place it's definately worth mentioning! So, Brittas Bay is a little coastal village in County Wicklow, known mostly for it's wonderfull coastline. It's a holiday spot for most Dubliners and if you come there once you will surely undertsand why! Long (nearly 5 km) strands of clean beaches and dunes surround the area making it a perfect spot to camp out, swim or just relaxing in the sun.
The beach can be accessed from the R750 regional road, if you haven't got a car you can get there by bus which stops outside Jack White's pub on daily basis, however it's a fairly long but worthwhile walk to the beach (about 20 min).
For history buffs (just like me), you need to know that Brittas was home to a 17th century pirate Capitain Jack White, who stole goods from the British merchants. Jack operated in Brittas Bay's secluded coves, that you can still explore today. For his doings he was sentanced to death and executed, you can find an authentic copy of his arrest warrant on the wall of the pub that took his name after the pirate - Jack White's. A good pub grub will just be a bonus!
Nice place, if you have a day to spare and the weather is nice go there and experience the raw beauty of Ireland.
Located on Grafton Street, in the centre of Dublin - this restaurant was the first to serve American style burgers in Dublin, when it opened in 1971.
It now has 3 more branches around Ireland
Each of the restaurants has a 'museum of memorabilia' from visiting musicians and film stars. This branch also has some original Jim Fitzpatrick murals
If you look outside, to the right of the doorway is a 'Rock and Stroll trail' disc. Chris De Burgh (of 'Lady in Red' fame) played guitar and sang here 'For a glass of wine and £5' after graduating from Trinity College, with an MA in English, French and History.
44, Grafton Street, Dublin 2.
Korkys is a Dublin based shoe/footwear shop, which attracts customers of all ages and tastes - nothing unusual about that in a city centre shopping street, but look above the outside shop window, and you'll see one of the 'Rock and Stroll trail' discs.
One of their young shop assistants, began work here on Saturdays, aged 15 - he used his wages to buy his fashionable clothes - good looking, friendly and charming, he was popular with his customers. He could sometimes be heard singing to himself in the stock-room.
Well, one day in 1993, an advertisement appeared in the local press for good looking young men who could sing, to audition for 'Irelands answer to Take That' - Pursuaded by Korkys manager, the youth went to audition for Louis Walsh, did well and was invited to join the band - The next day, the band appeared on TV - a clip that is still shown on 'Top 50 embarrassing TV appearances' - but, the band had such an impact that Korkys was regularly mobbed by fans (and press) hoping to catch a glimpse of the lead singer. For a year or so he continued working here on an ad hoc basis, until the band hit gold in 1995 - Boyzone recorded a cover of The Osmond Brothers 'Love Me for A Reason', which shot to Number One in Ireland and UK.
Ronan Keating could now 'Give Up The Day Job' and become a singer/songwriter and celebratory. He's also known for his charity work, including founding the Marie Keating Foundation (in recognition of his mother who died from Breast Cancer.
4, GPO Buildings Henry Street, Dublin 1 , Dublin, Dublin .
If you happen to be hotelled (is that even a word ?) then take a short walk through 'Herbert park'. It's a rather pleasant municipal park theses days but was once the location for a 'great exhibition'. The 1907 event saw over 3 million punters come through the doors. The British empire provided most of the differing displays and entertainments. Unlike modern jamborees on this scale they knew a thing or two about making money. Probably the most famous feature of the park was the 'Canadian water chute' which made around 4 million pounds profit. The pond in the present day park was the 'landing area' and the pavillion at the entrance was created out of the 'waiting area' for the attraction. The exhibition also features a full-scale somalian village which turned a healthy profit on authentic handicrafts.
Organisers of world fairs, olympics and other such diversions take note.
If you are in Dublin for more than two days, you might want to take an all day tour into the countryside. There are many such tours offered, and we shopped and did research and chose one of the cheaper ones, Coach Tours of Ireland, which turned out better than expected. It was called the Wicklow Tour, and we stopped several places on the way, one being an old abbey. See photos.
The bus picks up in several places in Dublin, so if you are staying in a neighborhood far from the center, this might work for you. When you call, you actually get a person, and are not put on hold, which is nice.
You can book online, which makes it easier.
The Tourist Information in Dublin also arranges tours like this.
The Pub at the lunch stop is the best choice for great food. The driver, guide and manager choose to go there over other places. You will see why.
This overlooked church is on the North side of the river pretty close to the Jameson Distillery. It's a fairly small church, but the real treasure of this church is in it's vaults. The temperature, air and atmosphere of the crypts has caused some of the inhabitants to mummify. A few mummies and coffins are on display.
If you notice on your map, many streets have different names depending on which part of the street you are on. Harrington is Adelaide on one side of Camden Street and South Circular Road as it nears Clanbrassil. Leonards Corner is at the intersection of Clanbrassil and South Circular.
This is really not an adequate map of my route. It does not show Wellington Place where I turned to get to Clyde Road nor does it give any detail of my walk to Merrion Square.
As I looked down the street once I arrived at Merrion Road, there seemed to be a little village after the Royal Dublin Showgrounds. If you have the energy you might want to do more exploring of Ballsbridge in this area.
"Bad Bob's country and western club, where we learn that the Irish love country music in general and Garth Brooks in particular.
Club Lapello, now a lap-dancing joint, which used to be called the Underground when the Cranberries, under the name They Do It With Mirrors, played their first show to 12 people.
Windmill Lane Studios. Kate Bush, the Chieftains, AC/DC, the Rolling Stones, Def Leppard, and the Pogues have all worked here, but the two solid city blocks of colorful graffiti comprise a shrine to Dublin's prodigal sons in U2, who recorded their first three albums - ``Boy,'' ``October,'' and ``War'' - in this quiet warehouse district. "
-By Joan Anderman, Globe Staff, 03/09/03