06 Dublin Sites, Dublin Coddle and Grace & Dublin Bonus Episode
Episode Guide – Podcast #06a Dublin Sites, Dublin Coddle and Grace
Dublin is loaded with attractions that unfortunately most visitors miss. In this episode we visit a few of our favorite lesser-known sites and offer some tips for traveling to Dublin. CLICK THE PLAY BUTTON below to listen.
Episode Guide – Podcast #06b Dublin Bonus Episode
We’ve added a few more tips to help you enjoy Dublin. CLICK THE PLAY BUTTON below to listen.
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Lesser-Visited Sites In Dublin
- Kilamainham Gaol
- St. Michan’s Church
- St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral
- Merrion Square
- Suggested Link for the Irish Tourist Board: http://www.ireland.ie/ or call 1-800-223-6470 to have information sent to your home.
The Irish Fireside Cookbook: Dublin Coddle
Irish Fireside Song: Grace
Episode #6B: Bonus Episode
- Arbour Hill Cemetery
- Glasnevin Cemetery
- iWalk Dublin tours
- Tips for Free Guinness and Irish Whiskey
- High Tea in Dublin’s Grand Hotels
Irish Fireside Song: Finnegan’s Wake
Episode #9: Dublin Interview
- E-Newsletter Sign Up
- E-Newsletter Subscriber Prizes
- Jenny Finegan from Dublin Tourism
- Irish polka played by Tony Keegan
For an interesting look at Ireland’s battle for independence, a trip to Kilmainham Gaol provides a rich lesson in history. Housing inmates from at least six notable Irish rebellions between 1798 and 1916, the prison earned a reputation for keeping political prisoners.
Today, visitors tour the prison and hear the stories of its famous inmates. The tour embraces its rebellion history and guests are invited to explore the cells, the chapel and even follow the final steps of the leaders of the 1916 Uprising. England’s severe response to the rebels’ week-long holdout at the General Post Office and the swift execution of the uprising’s leaders at Kilmainham did more to ignite Irish Independence movement, than the Uprising itself.
While you wait for the guided tour of Kilmainham, be sure to explore the museum. It reveals the varied and often grim history of the criminal justice system and includes a variety of artifacts.
Admission to Kilmainham is about 5 euro for adults and free for Heritage Card holders. Your visit will take at least one and half hours and there is a tea room on the premises.
St. Michan’s Church
Dublin is filled with underground crypts and burial vaults, but one crypt stands out among them all, St. Michan’s Church. Above ground, the church features an organ Handel supposedly favored and rehearsed his Messiah. The church’s features are interesting, but for the most part unremarkable.
Underground is another story. In the church crypts, you will be introduced to the death mask of early Irish rebel Wolff Tone and the coffins of the Sheare brothers who were executed during the 1798 rebellion. The Sheare brothers’ sentences, fully documented in court records, became an example of cruel and unusual punishment throughout the world.
To add yet another morbid layer to the experience, the conditions under the church just happen to be perfect for natural mummification, and the visit is highlighted with a viewing of four mummies. With preserved fragments of flesh, hair and even fingernails still intact, the bodies are as much a curiosity as they are a piece of history.
St. Michan’s is located between the Jameson Distillery and the Four Courts building and costs about 3.50 euro for adults. Although there are only a few steps required to reach the crypt, the low headroom may be challenging for those who have difficulty with stairs and folks who are very tall. Once inside, maneuvering in the crypt is relatively easy.
St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral
In a backstreet just off O’Connell Street, St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral offers a unique blend of architectural styles, interesting side chapels and a reminder of Ireland’s political struggles.
The façade is modeled after the Temple of Theseus in Athens and the interior offers a glimpse of the Renaissance style. The Pro-Cathedral provides a welcome contrast to the many Gothic Revival churches in the city, and the series of chapels and shrines on the interior perimeter of the church are well worth viewing.
Dedicated in 1825 before Catholic emancipation, the cathedral was originally to be built on O’Connell Street, but the side street location was the best the Anglo-Irish ruling class would allow. The term Pro-Cathedral was adopted because the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, now known as Christ Church Cathedral, is still recognized by the Vatican as Dublin’s Cathedral…even though it has been in the hands of the Anglican church for over 400 years. Dublin’s other Cathedral, St. Patrick’s, is also an Anglican church. Rather than asking Pope to revoke the title from Christ Church, the bishops of Dublin have chosen to keep the title Pro-Cathedral for their mother church.
Admission is free, and the reknowned Palestrina Choir sings the Latin Mass every Sunday at 11am.
St. Stephan’s Green, at the end of fashionable Grafton Street, is definitely one of Dublin’s most popular and accessible parks, but I prefer the lesser-visited Merrion Square a few blocks away. This quiet Georgian square, which is actually a rectangle, is full of surprising niches that are surrounded by trees and filled with beautiful flower beds.
A visit to Merrion Square is made even more enjoyable by a dozen or so monuments placed throughout the park. This sculpture walk feels a bit like a treasure hunt because the statues are of such varied styles and are often very subtle. I should note, the statue of Oscar Wilde on the northwest side of the park is a popular photo op, so you might want to check it out.
Merrion Square is surrounded by Dublin’s famous Georgian homes. Many of the buildings, known for their colorful doors and fan-shaped transom windows were at one time occupied by the country’s leading poets, writers, politicians and academics. Now most of the buildings serve as offices, but plaques are in place to honor their former occupants.
The square is open from dawn to dusk, and in the evening, the caretaker will ring an old-fashioned, handheld bell to alert visitors that the park is closing for the night.
Food from the Fireside
Dublin Travel Tips
(tips are discussed in greater detail in the podcast)
- A car is not usually necessary
- Hop On/Hop Off bus is a great way to get a taste of Dublin
- If you drive, have a good map and decent directions, ask your accommodations if they have parking, what kind of parking, how much it costs and how far away it is
- Ask locals where they recommend for meals and try to break away from the typical tourist spots
- The airport shuttles and cabs are the best ways to get between city centre and the airport.
- Most stores in Dublin are open from 9am to 5:30pm with many being open until 8pm on Thursdays; some stores will be closed on Sundays.
- Trinity College offers on-campus accommodations in the summer http://www.tcd.ie/accommodation/Visitors/
Irish Fireside Song: Grace
The song “Grace” which takes place at Kilmainham Gaol. It is based on the story of Joseph Plunkett and Grace Gifford. The two were set to be married, but because of his involvement in the Easter Uprising, he was set to be executed. Joseph and Grace were allowed to marry in the prison chapel. The gas lines in the city had been shut off due to the Uprising, so the chapel was lit by candles.
After the ceremony, Grace was sent away. She returned a few hours later asking for one last moment to see her husband. She was escorted by two guards to her husband’s cell where she was granted ten minutes. The story goes that afterwards, Grace exited the Kilmainham and waited by the prison walls until she heard the sound of gunfire; then she walked home a widow.
EPISODE #6B: BONUS EPISODE
Arbour Hill Cemetery: Located behind the Collins Barracks north of the River Liffey, Arbour Hill Cemetery is the resting place of the 14 leaders of the Easter Uprising who were executed at Kilmainham Gaol. A simple memorial marks the location.
Glasnevin Cemetery: The Irish National Cemetery opened in 1832 and includes memorials to James O’Connell and Charles Parnell. Also buried here are Grace Gifford-Plunkett, the subject of last episode’s song; the Countess Markiewicz, one of the most notable women involved in building the Irish Republic; Eamon de Valera, the American-born rebellion leader who became Ireland’s first taoiseach (prime minister); writers Christy Brown and Brendan Behan; as well as James Joyce’s parents. It was also included in Joyce’s Ulysses.
Tips for Free Guinness and Irish Whiskey
High Tea in Dublin’s Grand Hotels: High Tea in Dublin usually runs from 3 to 5pm and prices begin at about 24 euro. The Tea will include a selection of breads, sandwiches with meats and cheese, various pastries and desserts. The luxurious High Tea emphasizes savoring delicious food and good company. Dress is not formal for High Tea; however, guests may want to inquire if there is a dress code.
- The Shelbourne (closed for remodeling until September 2006; aka Le Meridien Shelbourne http://www.shelbourne.ie)
- The Merrion
- The Westbury
- The Herbert Park
- The Gresham
Irish Fireside Song