Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. It is in the province of Leinster on Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey. Founded as a Viking settlement, the Kingdom of Dublin became Ireland's principal city following the Norman invasion. The city expanded rapidly from the 17th century and was briefly the second largest city in the British Empire before the Act of Union in 1800. Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, Dublin became the capital of the  Irish Free State, later renamed Ireland. The city is listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) as a global city, with a ranking of "Alpha-", placing it among the top thirty cities in the world. It is a historical and contemporary centre for education, the arts, administration, economy and industry.

The city did not play a major role in the Industrial Revolution, but remained the centre of administration and a transport hub for most of the island. Ireland had no significant sources of coal, the fuel of the time, and Dublin was not a centre of ship manufacturing, the other main driver of industrial development in Britain and Ireland. The Easter Rising of 1916, the Irish War of Independence, and the subsequent Irish Civil War resulted in a significant amount of physical destruction in central Dublin. The Government of the Irish Free State rebuilt the city centre and located the new parliament in Leinster House. Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, it became the capital of the Irish Free State (1922–1937) and now is the capital of Ireland. Since 1997, the landscape of Dublin has changed immensely, with enormous private sector and state development of housing, transport and business.

Our visit to Dublin consisted of a bus tour with the odd stop along the way.


The view from the ship of the harbour - overlooking someone's 'toy'.

A view of Dublin from the harbour.

The building you see in the background is the state-of-the-art 50,000 seat Aviva Stadium, which opened in May 2010, and is home to both the Irish Rugby Union Team and the Republic of Ireland national football team.
The view of the docks on the River Liffey.

The Samuel Beckett Bridge.

The bridge is a cable-stayed bridge that joins Sir John Rogerson's Quay on the south side of the river to Guild Street and North Wall Quay in the Docklands area. The shape of the spar and its cables is said to evoke an image of a harp lying on its edge, the harp being the national symbol for Ireland from as early as the thirteenth century.
The bridge was named after Dubliner Samuel Beckett, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1969 -‘for his writing which - in new forms for the novel and drama - in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation’.

'The Ferryman Townhouse' Hotel and Pub.

Comprised of 2 restored listed Georgian buildings, The Ferryman Townhouse overlooks the River Liffey. Built in the 1780's by Lord Cardiff, it has a  traditional style Dublin pub that has a wonderful atmosphere and has retained its old world charm. It is ranked No.47 on TripAdvisor among 281 attractions in Dublin.

I wonder how many visitors to the pub take the advice of Irish singer Chris de Burgh's advice and 'don't pay the Ferryman'.

The Jeanie Johnston

Jeanie Johnston is a replica of a three master barque that was originally built in Quebec, Canada, in 1847 by the Scottish born shipbuilder John Munn. The original ship was known for carrying emigrants escaping the famine in Ireland to North America. On average, the length of the transatlantic journey was 47 days. The most passengers she ever carried was 254, from Tralee to Quebec on 17 April 1852. To put this number in perspective, the replica ship is only licensed to carry 40 people including crew. Despite the number of passengers, and the long voyage, no crew or passenger lives were ever lost on board the Jeanie Johnston. This is generally attributed to the captain, James Attridge, not overloading the ship, and the presence of a qualified doctor on board for the passengers.

'The Departure' (aka 'Famine')

A sculpture by Rowan Fergus Meredith Gillespie
(born 1953), an Irish bronze casting sculptor of international renown. Located on the Custom House Quay, the sculpture depicts life sized human figures, emaciated and haunting, as they make their way to the docks to escape the Irish Great famine. What is particularly interesting for me is there is its companion piece called 'The Arrival' on the quayside in Toronto's Ireland Park, which commemorates the arrival of Irish refugees.

Heading to downtown.

A bustling place.

Clerys - the Harrods of Dublin

Clerys was a  long established department store on O'Connell Street, a focal point of the street. The business dates from 1853, however the current building dates from 1922, having been completely destroyed in the 1916 Easter Rising. Clerys was placed into receivership on 17 September 2012. Receivers said the store’s future could be secured. Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson were appointed joint provisional liquidators to OSC Operations Limited (the "Company") trading as Clerys, on 12 June 2015. The company ceased to trade with immediate effect. Staff were given 30 minutes notice to pack up and leave - some had worked there for over 40 years. Clerys Sold for €1.00

The Clerys' Clock

The clock with two faces hangs above Clerys' central doors on O'Connell Street. "Under Clerys' clock" is a well known rendez-vous, both for Dubliners, and visitors from the countryside, and is famous in the city's culture as a place where many romances begin. In 1990, on the fiftieth anniversary of Denis Guiney taking over the store, a new clock was installed.

Statue of Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness in front of Saint Patrick's Cathedral

Sir Benjamin Guinness was 1st Baronet and Member of Parliament for the City of Dublin in the 19th Century, as well as 
an Irish brewer and philanthropist. From 1860 to 1865, inspired by the fear that the cathedral was in imminent danger of collapse, he paid for a major reconstruction, hence the statue.

Celtic cross discovered near the church in the 19th century.

Saint Patrick is said to have baptized converts to Christianity at a well that once existed in the park alongside the Cathedral. This rock, discovered during the 19th century restoration is believed to have been the cover for that well.

The burial site of Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift was Dean of the cathedral from 1713 to 1745, and is buried along side his companion Stella (Esther Johnson) in the South Aisle of the Cathedral. Many of his famous sermons and "Irish tracts" (such as the Drapier's Letters) were given during his stay as Dean. Swift took a great interest in the building, its services and music and in what would now be called social welfare, funding an almshouse for poor women and Saint Patrick's Hospital.

Saint Patrick's Cathedral

Because of the association with Saint Patrick, a church has stood here since the 5th century. The Normans built a church in stone on this site in 1194, which was rebuilt in the early 13th century and is the building seen today. Archbishop Minot rebuilt the west tower in 1370 after a fire and the spire was added in 1749.
It is said that Saint Patricks embodies the history and heritage of the Irish people of all backgrounds, from the earliest times to the present day, more than any other building in Ireland.

There are over 500 people buried on the site, many under the Cathedral's floor and more outside in the graveyard. In addition to Jonathan Swift, some notable individuals include:
several Archbishops of Dublin; Sir John Blennerhassett, an English-born judge and politician who became Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer and Irish House of Commons member for Belfast; . . .

. . .
Thomas Jones, Lord Chancellor of Ireland; Adam Loftus, the first Provost of Trinity College, Dublin; Frederick Schomberg, 1st Duke of Schomberg;  and Sir Jerome Alexander, a notoriously severe judge.

Our driver, waiting for everyone to return to the bus.

Irish architecture.


The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

And we leave Dublin with this image - team mascots (rugby I believe) outside the stadium

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