Updated: Dec 26, 2018
This morning was spent making arrangements for the Dublin research week, stopping at the National Library, the Valuation Office, EPIC and the Family History Centre and finally the Shelbourne. For those who have been here over the past few years and struggled with all of the mess from the construction of the connecting Luas line (tram system) red and green lines it’s finished! You can pick up the tram on Dawson Street and it only takes about 10 minutes to get to the GPO on O’Connell. To connect to the Red Line which runs north of the Liffey, you walk about a block. Very easy. And the cost is as low as $1.00. If you’re going to be in Dublin for any amount of time it’s worth buying a LEAP card from a newsagent (Londis).The card costs €5
and you put a minimum of €5 on it for a total of €10. Use of the card discounts the fare so the fare of €2.50 drops to €1 off-peak. You can “top up” the card at any Luas stop when you need additional money. Very easy. What is advertised are special 1, 7 or 30 day visitor cards, but the better deal is this one which the locals use. The €5 cost of the card paid for itself in one day.
After my errands, I met up with my sisters who spent the morning in the National Museum and we headed to Kilmainham Gaol. I had never visited and wanted to take the tour. Bulletin: If you want to tour, make a reservation! The tours were sold out. We were able to visit the museum and that was worth the trip. We spent almost two hours there. It covered the history of the Gaol from it’s opening to 1796 to it’s closing in 1924. The first floor covered the conditions that existed for the prisoners and the methods of execution. The second floor covered the various rebellions beginning with 1798 and the prisoners sent to Kilmainham. The third floor had a small area on the project to reconstruct the prison as a museum, but the majority was dedicated to an exhibit titled Nelson Mandela: From Prisoner to President. It will be there until early January 2019. Next time I will make a reservation for the tour.
On our way back to the hotel we had dinner at The Church. Originally built in 1702 as St. Mary’s Church of Ireland it was purchased privately and renovated in the early 2000’s. The stain glass windows are still there as well as the pipes of the great organ. The gallery is open for seating and looks down on the main nave of the former church, which now has a long bar down the center. It’s a popular bar and restaurant, just north of the Liffey across from the Jervis Shopping Center and a block up from the Jervis Luas stop on the red line.
I’m headed for Belfast tomorrow morning with participants starting to arrive for next weeks research trip.