Posts Tagged ‘Dublin’

‘The Liberties of Dublin, 800’

10 September 2010

Contributed by Grace O’Keeffe

In celebration of 800 years of development and change in the Liberties and Dublin, from the 1210 date of King John’s second visit to Ireland, and first as king, the St Nicholas of Myra Heritage Project are currently holding a photographic exhibition in their parish centre, Carmans Hall, just off Francis Street, Dublin 8.

The exhibition which runs daily until 17 September was researched and mounted with the assistance of the Liberties Heritage Association and Maintenance Projects, under the supervision of John Gallagher, Bernard Warfield and John Brogan. John Gallagher’s association with this celebration and exposition of the city is an apt one, three decades ago he refused the summons ordering him to exit the infamous Wood Quay excavation and he subsequently became one of the last to occupy the site.

Although ostensibly focused on the Liberties area (a term which originally referred to the various liberties, or ecclesiastical jurisdictions of local government in Dublin, including Thomas Court and Donore, later the earl of Meath’s liberty, and the liberties of the two medieval cathedrals, St Patrick’s and Christ Church), the exhibitors did not restrict their display to only the history of this area. Read more

Choose an Irish Writer, any Irish Writer

16 August 2010

By Christina Morin

I mentioned in my recommendations for August having read and been thoroughly dismayed by a recent Irish Times article, ‘If ever you go to Dublin town’. In it, Rosita Boland reports that Dublin ‘might be a Unesco City of Literature with a rich literary history to be proud of’, but Irish visitors, locals, and tourists alike all seem a bit uninterested and uninformed about this history. One Texan tourist calling herself ‘just a clueless American’, for instance, said that she couldn’t actually name ‘any writers or books from Ireland, let alone from Dublin’. Others echoed her response with heart-wrenching regularity.

Boland’s unofficial experiment doesn’t bode well for Dublin’s new status as Unesco City of Literature. Dublin was awarded the designation – one of only four such honours – after a three-year long process headed by Dublin City Council under the auspices of Unesco’s Creative Cities Network. Other cities that already boast the ‘Unesco City of Literature’ title include Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Iowa, but what exactly does this mean for the cities involved? Reporting on Dublin City Council’s bid for ‘city of literature’ status in March 2009, Irish Times writer Charlie Taylor suggested that it all comes down to the tourism industry. As Taylor then wrote, ‘According to estimates, landing the prestigious recognition in 2004 has generated about £2.2m per annum for Edinburgh and an additional £2.1m for the rest of Scotland’. Read more

Horrible History? Ciaran Wallace is pleasantly surprised by the North Side Ghost Tour

21 July 2010

Contributed by Ciaran Wallace

As a tour guide in the capital I have noticed an increasing number of locals  popping up on my tour- not really that surprising considering that most of us are taking fewer holidays abroad. This got me thinking about discovering our own locality. Pue’s has sent 6 people out onto the streets of Dublin to review new walking tours, like the Ghost Tour below, old classics, like the Literary Pub Tour, and even unusual museums, such as the leprechaun museum. Over the next 6 weeks we will bring you those reviews and hopefully some ideas for historical things to do this summer.- Lisa Marie Griffith

Ciaran Wallace’s review:I admit – I had my fears. Heading out on Hidden Dublin Walks’ “North Side Ghost Tour” it was only natural that I should be a little anxious. I might encounter dodgy history and cringe-worthy performances in underwhelming locations. As it turned out I was pleasantly surprised.  We met at 8pm at the corner opposite The Church bar and restaurant (formerly St. Mary’s Church of Ireland on Mary Street). Our guide, John, held a discreet sign and a large umbrella displaying the Hidden Dublin Walks logo. A decent umbrella was essential; the tiny folding ones were almost useless as the rain flogged down on some of our fellow travellers huddled in shorts and sandals. It was a tribute to the tour content and John’s delivery that everyone kept walking through a most unseasonal evening. Read more

Behind the scenes at the Dublin Natural History Museum

20 April 2010

By Juliana Adelman

Cleaning glass and dusting are activities that I avoid in my own house, but for some reason in the context of the Dublin Natural History Museum they seemed like fun.  Last Friday Ciarán Wallace and I spent the day getting a completely different perspective on my favourite Dublin cultural institution.  The museum is to open on the 29th of April after three years and I am glad to say that nothing much will have changed except the paint.  They also have a nice new structurally sound staircase.  Unfortunately the downturn in public finances spelled the end for the museum’s renovation project which would have added disabled access, a cafe, a separate education room and proper toilets.  Despite this disappointment I am delighted to see the museum reopening and am glad it will retain its Victorian character.  I thought I would share some photos from our day of dusting and scrubbing.  I had the bizarre experience of looking at the museum from inside the glass cases while the animals sat outside!  Seeing the specimens out of context confirmed for me the degree to which the display structures of the traditional cabinet museum present a particular message to the viewer.  Although innovative taxidermy towards the close of the nineteenth century posed animals in family groups or in active scenes (the museum has a few bloody examples of animals eating prey), there is no question that animals in glass boxes do not trouble you with their gaze in quite the same way.  Anyway, read on to enjoy a different perspective on the museum.  Read More

Top 5: History of Dublin 1500-2000

22 March 2010

By Lisa Marie Griffith

My PhD focused on Dublin and my research (and residency) has instilled me with a keen interest and passion for the history and architecture of the capital. I was appalled a few years ago when running an extramural course on Dublin history when a student told me that ‘as an outsider’, I am from Waterford, I could never truly understand the history of the city. I have since realised that his comment is just indicative of the passion which the city inspires in its older and more established citizens!  As someone coming to the urban history of Dublin as an outsider seeking a broad history, and then looking for some reliably accurate academic studies here is my top 5 in no particular order.

1. Maurice Craig, Dublin 1660-1860: The shaping of a city: Craig is an art-historian so I like this as it is not a traditional history. The evolution of the city, its development, architecture and civic spaces and the book shows how the city was shaped by figures rather than being led by events and people. This isn’t just an architectural history and should not be underestimated. It is a fantastic urban history. There are many editions of this wonderfully written history but if possible avoid the Liberties Revival edition which is riddled with typos and spelling errors. Read more

The Glasnevin Cemetery Tour

10 March 2010

Contributed by Ciarán Wallace

Some time in the 1970s a republican slogan was painted along the wall of Glasnevin Cemetery. Éireoimid arís it read, ‘we will rise again’, to the delight of local wits.  Whatever its political (or theological) implications, the slogan is being fulfilled in cultural terms at least.

On a very enjoyable tour of the cemetery last weekend I learnt about its past and future.  As a local with a number of family graves in Glasnevin, I suspected that I knew the place, and most of the main historical figures and events associated with it.  While the ninety-minute tour included the famous graves, the real value – and fun – came from the minor stories and incidental detail.

Ok, so it was a bit of a thrill to fulfil a childhood ambition by going down into the vault under O’Connell’s tower.  The shrine-like arrangement of the sealed coffin within an open-sided sarcophagus allows pilgrims to touch the Liberator’s casket.  There was no polite disinterest when the enthusiastic guide suggested we follow the tradition – adults and children alike promptly stepped forward and plunged their hands through the opening into the dim interior.  The crypt, with its Arts and Crafts decoration, the Celtic iconography and the stack of deceased O’Connells in a side room (each in their sealed coffin of course) engaged our interest in the tour from the start. Read More

Something for the weekend: The Dublin Viking Festival

15 October 2009

By Lisa-Marie Griffith

Dublin viking festival 1

This recommendation really comes from Dublin Community Blog, one of the most useful blogs for every Dublin inhabitant and visitor. This weekend, 16 October- 18 October Temple bar and Wood Quay will be returned to the Vikings for the Dublin Viking Festival. There will be ‘living history displays’, battle re-enactments, food stalls, street art, walking tours of Viking Dublin ‘traditional acts performing Nordic music’ and much more. This looks like a great day for kids and a good way to introduce them to the city’s history. The author of the Dublin Community Blog post warns, however, that this might be appreciated more by children than adults: ‘the festival is generally more aiming at family entertainment than drinking mead from the skulls of slain enemies’. Still, I don’t know enough about Viking history and I am curious to see what the battle re-enactments are like so I am certainly going to pop along and check this out (I might just have to being my nieces as a cover). 

A country-wide peek at Culture Night…

25 September 2009

By Lisa-Marie Griffith

Recomendations for Culture Night Pue's OccurrencesTonight is Culture Night 2009 and this year even more cities and towns than ever will take part in the event. BelfastCork, Dublin, Galway, Letterkenny, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Tralee, Waterford and Wexford so I have taken a quick look at whats going on around the country to make some recommendations on what to see.  Belfast is participating in Culture night for the first year and most of the events will take place in the Cathedral quarter which ‘will be totally transformed for the evening as public areas and streets are turned into performance spaces. Read more

Is this city fit for purpose?

20 August 2009

By Lisa-Marie Griffith

Culture and the city DebateLast night Exchange Dublin and Temple Bar Cultural Trust hosted their open access culture and the city debate ‘Is this city fit for purpose?’ in Meeting House Square. Considering how wet the evening was I was very impressed with the turn out. The other noteworthy point about the turnout was that 90% of the audience consisted of 16-25 year olds. Surely this proves how eager Dublin’s young population are to have their say in the culture and activities going on in their city. The event, like most hosted in Temple Bar also had a novelty factor; each of the participants was asked to wear a white mask covering their face. The idea behind this, explained by Dylan Haskins of Exchange Dublin and the Debate Curator, was to provide an ‘opportunity for people to say what they really feel as users of the city without worry of who it might offend’. At several points, speakers both objected to the use of masks and offered support to the initiative. Some felt that if the debate was to be an honest one the participants should come together in an open manner that allowed them to get to know each other. Others felt that the masks allowed them to express their opinions uninhibited. I felt mine was made me far too sweaty and uncomfortable so I lost mine half way through. It was an interesting idea and while highlighting that as citizens of Ireland’s largest urban dwelling we can often feel marginalized and anonymous, without a say in how our city is run, it can also be accused of having sidelined the main discussion; Is Dublin fit for it’s purpose?

The question prompted many interpretations from the guest speakers and many answers, the most interesting were from the audience. Like any open access debate there were many rather eccentric, forceful and unpractical suggestions aired, but there were a lot of very interesting opinions aired about youth, culture and the times we live it. Read more

Pue’s Recommendations for August

3 August 2009

Pue’s Recommendations is a (mostly biased) monthly list of things worth reading, watching, listening to and attending, put together by the editors of Pue’s Occurrences. If there’s anything you think we’ve missed out on, or anything you think isn’t worth the mention, feel free to leave us a comment.

The RivalsJuliana Adelman August 22-30 is Heritage Week. There are hundreds (thousands?) of free events going on around the country, bound to be something worthwhile near you. Be a tourist in your home town. They’re teaming up with Archive Awareness again this year, but there don’t seem to be any Irish events listed yet. So archivists out there, sign up! Also Robert Macnamara died in July this year (he was born in 1916) so in commemoration I’m re-reading Tim O’Brien’s first Vietnam novel, The Things They Carried.

Lisa-Marie Griffith I have just discovered Dublin City Blog – a fantastic way of finding out what’s going on in the capital. On Wednesday the 16th of August, Meeting House Square in Temple Bar hosts the ‘Culture & the City Debate‘. I have never been but this looks like it could be really interesting and promises to be lively. Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Rivals is playing at the Abbey 28 July – 19 September and while I haven’t seen this yet, the reviews I have seen, and the photographs of the set and costume, promise a fantastic production.

Kevin O’Sullivan This summer why not step off the beaten track around Ireland? In the East, head to the megalithic burial tombs at Loughcrew, Co. Meath or to Old Mellifont Abbey in Co. Louth. In the South, the heritage town of Lismore, Co. Waterford, is a gem, and the link to Walter Raleigh and Richard Boyle continues to Youghal in East Cork. Heading West, next time you’re in Kerry, visit Staigue stone fort, near Sneem. And finally, in the North, have a look at the two cathedrals and St. Patrick’s Trian in Armagh city. To read? Aalen, Whelan and Stout (eds.), Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape (1997).