Our 15-day road trip of Scotland and Ireland ended with an overnight in Dublin. We couldn’t resist checking out O’Donoghue’s Bar (15 Merrion Row) after reading Lonely Planet’s review stating it as “This, the most famous traditional music bar in Dublin, is where world-famous folk group ‘The Dubliners’ started off in the 1960s.”
O’Donoghue’s Bar is a great place to have a drink and listen to Irish music. The bar seems to attract locals and visitors alike. I noticed there were those in suits just coming from work and those in jeans/casual clothes. Interestingly, they stayed on different sides of the bar but the great equalizer was the smoking area where the two came together. Sort of ~ in the photo it still seems like suits on the right, jeans on the left.
Since I wasn’t thrilled with my previous visit to Dublin, I decided to scan blogs instead of the guidebooks for something to do prior to our late afternoon flight home to London. I was hoping to gain sage advice from a Dubliner and thankfully, I happened to find Arran Q Henderson’s blog post “Top Dublin Sights and Visits” (click here to read it). As soon as I read University Church as one of his suggestions, I knew I could trust his recommendations. Here’s what we ended up doing:
We walked through St Stephen’s Green to the Canal.
I was intrigued by the statue of Robert Emmet. Two things caught my eye: he died so young and the plaque read “Presented by The Emmet Statue Committee of the United States of America.” I decided to research the life and legacy of Robert Emmet. Born to wealthy Protestant parents, he sympathized with the unfair representation the Irish Catholics had in Parliament. He became an Irish Nationalist who was executed by the British for plotting a rebellion. He was captured when he moved from his hiding place to be with his lady-love thus becoming not only an heroic figure but a romantic one as well in Irish history. Robert Emmet also sympathized with American Revolutionaries and, after his execution, his older brother emigrated to the US. There are towns in several states named after Robert Emmet and there are similar statues of Robert Emmet in Washington DC (Embassy Row) and in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
As we left the canal and headed toward St Patrick’s Cathedral, we walked through a non-tourist neighborhood of Dublin. It was obvious to those around us that we weren’t from the ‘hood. A very nice gentleman chatted me up at the cross walk and he pointed out different interests in the neighborhood including telling me about a church which had been converted to apartments. Would love to see inside:
We finally made it to St Patrick’s Cathedral along with a large group of French teenagers (at least 40 of them). Couldn’t believe how many of them smoked.
After spending more time in Dublin, I started to see more of its charms! I wouldn’t be adverse to another visit to the city.