CONTENTS Kingfisher Media Limited Kingsway House, Kingsway, Team Valley, Tyne and Wear, UK NE11 0HW T: (0044) 191 482 5799 F: (0044) 191 491 0871 www.kingfishermedia.co.uk Publishers Note: This publication, its title and content is wholly owned by and the copyright of Kingfisher Media Ltd and does not endorse, and is not supported or endorsed by, any official or private body or organisation. Reproductins in whole or in part by any means without written permission from the publisher is strictly forbidden. The publisher accepts no responsibility for errors, omissions or the consequences thereof. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for the views expressed by contributors, or the accuracy of claims made by advertisements appearing in this publication Images: Visit Dublin
Welcome Arts & Culture Literary Dublin Fast Facts 10 Reasons to love this city 48 Hours in Dublin Getting Here & Around Days Out Further Afield Shopping Eating Out Nightlife 10 Free things to do Open for Business Property Sport Forthcoming Events
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WELCOME by Frank Magee, Chief Executive, Dublin Tourism
I am delighted to welcome you to Ireland’s capital, Dublin, the city of living culture. I hope you will enjoy your visit and savour the hospitality and charm of the city - it will take you to its heart and ensure that your time spent here will be unforgettable. Throughout your stay, I am certain you will be sure to see for yourself how this ancient city has reinvented itself as Europe’s liveliest capital. Dublin has it all: a charming mix of medieval, Georgian and modern architecture coupled with a wealth of history and culture. Voted European city with the friendliest locals in a 2009 Trip
Advisor poll, Dublin truly extends a warm céad míle fáilte (a hundred thousand welcomes) to its visitors. Dubliners will shower you with friendship and unforgettable memories and provide you with a place that you can feel at home. Dublin is vibrant and exciting with something here for everyone! If you need some expert advice on what to see and do, where to eat or for information on current events and festivals, please call in to one of Dublin Tourism’s four tourist information offices at Suffolk Street, O’Connell Street, Dun Laoghaire Ferry Terminal and Dublin Airport. Our friendly travel advisers will be pleased to assist
you. Alternatively, log on to www.visitdublin.com for immediate access to the latest information on Dublin events, attractions and tours. The Dublin Pass, the official sightseeing card for Dublin is a great way to get the most out of your time in Dublin. Covering admission to over 30 of Dublin’s top attractions and with special offers on tours, dining and entertainment, it makes accessing Dublin both easy and affordable. We hope you enjoy visiting our city of living culture and we hope you will return to explore more of Dublin soon!
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Arts & Culture
CULTURE There’s never a dull moment in Dublin, a city with literature as its very fabric and drama its daily bread. You can barely move for museums, galleries, public art and heritage sites. And you’ll be falling over festivals at all times of year – from the Temple Bar Trad Festival in January, through to February’s International Film Festival and mad March’s St Patrick’s Day, to June’s Bloomsday and the Theatre Festival and Fringe in September – you just need to get here; we’ll provide the entertainment.
MERRION & SURROUNDS A day of culture can be very happily spent among the attractions of the museum and political quarter around Merrion Square. The most popular of the National Museum sites is to be found here – this impressive
at the heart of the city
branch houses the Archaeology collection and includes a popular and intriguing Bog Bodies exhibit. The National Gallery, with its grand Georgian entrance on Merrion Square and its impressive modern façade on Clare Street, boasts a wonderful collection of European art, including Caravaggio’s Taking Of Christ, as well as a vast amount of Irish art, with an entire room filled with works by Jack B Yeats. There’s a good restaurant where you can take the weight off your feet and a shop stacked with prints, art books and souvenirs. The nearby Royal Hibernian Academy on Ely Place gives space to more experimental artwork as well as some traditional painting and sculpture. It has strong links with several smaller Dublin art galleries that feed in work by emerging artists that look like being ‘the next big thing’. For classical music, the
National Concert Hall on Earlsfort Terrace is the place to wander round to. Another impressive structure, this is the home of the RTE Symphony Orchestra and the best venue to see international touring musicians of the highest calibre. Its smaller rooms often host performances of challenging, avant-garde pieces and they have an extensive programme of workshops and children’s activities throughout the year. Take the time to sit out in the Iveagh Gardens behind the NCH – a beautiful urban oasis that really catches the sun, when we get it. Trinity College isn’t far from any of these landmarks – it’s a good place to start any day in Dublin since it’s right in the middle of everything and impossible to miss. Take a walk around to have a look at its fine buildings, peruse the excellent Douglas Hyde Gallery, call for a drink at the Pav (at the foot of the cricket pavilion), and of course join
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Arts & Culture >from page 11 the queue to see the stunning Old Library (that featured in the Harry Potter films) and the exquisite exhibition “The Book Of Kells – Turning Darkness Into Light”. Soak up a wealth of knowledge by taking an expert guided tour of the college – the meeting point is at the entrance to the Quad.
CHRIST CHURCH AND BEYOND Another area for culture vultures to circle in on opens out from Christ Church, up the hill to the Guinness Storehouse and, for the keen rambler, on out to Kilmainham. Start with Christ Church Cathedral, a striking church, laden with history, that was first founded here in 1028 by the Viking Sitric Silkenbeard. Recently used as a most authentic set for TV series, The Tudors, Christ Church has a vast crypt and houses the remains of the infamous Strongbow. Across the Gothic bridge, Synod Hall is home to Dublinia, an enjoyable exhibit exploring Dublin’s Viking history. There’s plenty for children to enjoy here – and you can put them in the stocks at the front entrance if they don’t behave themselves. Round the corner on Patrick Street is the imposing St Patrick’s Cathedral and pretty
park. St Patrick is thought to have performed baptisms from a font on the site. Walk down Francis Street towards Thomas Street if antiques are of interest – there are rows of little shops filled with treasures, plus a fair few art galleries. Emerging on Thomas Street you’ll quickly locate the National College of Art and Design, which now has an impressive gallery at the front. The degree shows here provide a superb taste of new currents in Irish art and offer great prices on some of the big names of the future. Further up the same stretch, James’s Gate brewery commands the landscape – turn up the cobbled streets for the entrance of the Guinness Storehouse and the famous gate that features in all the adverts for the black stuff. The museum experience offered here is second to none. Set over seven floors, the exhibition takes visitors through the history of the stout, its making and the iconic advertising that has defined the brand through the years. Included in the entry fee is a complimentary pint in the fabulous Gravity Bar on the top floor. The 360° view across the city is a breathtaking treat. The
gift shop, naturally, is a major attraction – tourists usually leave laden down with bags of merchandise. If the bags aren’t too heavy and the legs aren’t too tired, follow the main road on out to where it meets the Luas track – there’s a sign there for the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). The grand old military hospital in Kilmainham houses an impressive collection of Irish and international modern art – look out for the touring exhibitions, they are often unmissable. The adjoining Royal Hospital Gardens are exquisitely landscaped and a perfect place to relax with a book. Down the parade and across the road is Kilmainham Gaol, a focal point for many important episodes in Irish history. Built in 1796, leaders in a long line of rebellions were locked up here – and the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were imprisoned in its cells and executed in its yard by the British. The tour and exhibition are absolutely fascinating.
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Oscar Wilde statue Merrion Square
Arts & Culture
>from page 13 Theatre THEATRE Of course, a visit to Dublin would hardly be complete without a trip to the theatre. And it’s got to be The Abbey (and its downstairs sister, The Peacock), on Abbey Street on the northside. This is the national theatre and its programming is world-class. From revues of the rich Irish canon – be it Wilde, Beckett or O’Casey – to new Irish plays and international works of importance from Shakespeare to Lorca. Tickets are very reasonably priced and there are also Saturday matinees that are even more pocket-friendly. A trip to The Abbey Theatre is always a joy – challenging, life-affirming performances are commonplace and they even run an engaging series of discussions and artist Q&A’s based around the dramas. The Gate – on Cavendish Row just above the peaceful Garden Of Remembrance
and Parnell Square – is another beautiful theatre that competes proudly with The Abbey, featuring work by renowned directors and attracting world-famous performers to its stage for productions of
classic dramas and exciting new work. For something a little more avant-garde, try Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar (surrounded by a host of other cultural nuggets including the Irish Film Institute, The Gallery of Photography and Temple Bar Gallery and Studios). Project presents theatre that’s at times in the realm of performance art, at times contemporary dance and at other times just straight-ahead, thought-provoking modern drama. A new theatre has recently opened in the Liffey Basin at Grand Canal, the Grand Canal Theatre, stunningly designed by renowned architect Daniel Liebeskind. This is a major venue for opera, largescale theatre productions and touring West End musicals. Similar productions, along with big pop concerts, also travel to the enormous O2 Arena (formerly the Point Depot) on Dublin’s East Wall.
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Kilmainham Gaol (Jail) Abandoned as a prison in 1924, it has been open to the public as a museum since the 1980s.
LITERARY DUBLIN Dublin’s illustrious literary tradition dates back over a thousand years...
Birthplace of James Joyce and Nobel Prize for Literature winners William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett, and home of The Book of Kells, Dublin is a truly inspirational city. The Book of Kells, dating from 800 AD is one of the oldest surviving examples of Early European literary heritage. Housed in Trinity College Dublin,The Book of Kells is one of the most beautifully illustrated manuscripts in the world. Other national literary treasures held by Trinity College include the Books of Durrow and Armagh. Situated in a magnificent Georgian mansion on Parnell Square, the Dublin Writers Museum is an essential visit for anyone who wants to discover, explore or simply enjoy Dublin’s immense literary tradition. The museum’s collection features the lives and works of Dublin’s literary
This is Dublin
celebrities over the past three hundred years. Swift, Sheridan, Shaw, Wilde, Yeats, Joyce and Beckett are among those presented through their books, letters, portraits and personal items. If it is Joyce and the world of Ulysses you are interested in, then trips to the James Joyce Museum and The James Joyce Centre are not to be missed. The James Joyce Museum, located in the Martello Tower featured in the opening chapter of Ulysses, is one of the world’s most famous literary landmarks. The museum houses a collection of Joyce memorabilia including letters, photographs, first and rare editions and personal possessions of Joyce, as well as items associated with the Dublin of Ulysses. The James Joyce Centre is set in a beautifully restored Georgian townhouse containing exhibitions and items relating to the life and works of Joyce. The centre hosts lectures, temporary exhibitions and Joyce related events throughout the year, in particular the annual Bloomsday Festival in June.
Explore the world of Ulysses on foot with the In the Steps of Ulysses iwalk which visits the sights and scenes of the famous novel. The Dublin Tourism iWalks are a series of free downloadable podcasts and maps telling the story and history of the capital under several themes. Why not take in a show in Ireland’s National Theatre, The Abbey Theatre. Renowned as a writers’ theatre, and founded by Nobel Laureate William Butler Yeats, it has contributed some of the world’s greatest theatrical works from such writers as J.M. Synge and Sean O’Casey through to modern day classics from Brian Friel, Tom Murphy, Frank McGuinness, Hugh Leonard, Tom MacIntyre and Sebastian Barry. Or why not combine Dublin’s literary tradition with the ‘craic’ that makes Dublin’s pubs the liveliest in Europe with the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl. This award winning show crawls from pub to pub with professional actors performing from the works of Dublin’s most famous writers.
Learn all about the fascinating life of Bram Stoker, the Irish writer who created the legendary un-dead creature of the night, Count Dracula, at The Bram Stoker Dracula Experience. This haunting walk-through interactive experience takes you on a heart-pounding journey through Castle Dracula with terrifying enactments creating the unique spine chilling story of the Count and his victims. The Shaw Birthplace, birthplace and childhood home of renowned playwright George Bernard Shaw has been restored to its Victorian elegance and charm. It was in this house that Shaw began to gather the store of characters that would later populate his books. Dublin is also home to the oldest public library in Ireland, Marsh’s Library. Built in 1701, the library contains some 25,000 printed books relating to the 16th, 17th and early 18th
centuries. The interior of the library remains unchanged since it was built 300 years ago and it is a magnificent example of a 17th century Scholar’s library. For a window into some of the literary treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world, a visit to the Chester Beatty Library is not to be missed. The Library’s rich collection of manuscripts, prints, icons, miniature paintings, early printed books and objets d’art from countries across the world offers visitors a visual feast. No exploration of Dublin’s literary heritage would be complete without a visit to the National Library of Ireland. The National Library’s holding of books, prints, manuscripts, newspapers, music, ephemera and genealogical material comprise the most outstanding collection of Irish documentary heritage in the world.
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Did you know
DID YOU KNOW ?
This is Dublin
Did you know •Trinity College is built on reclaimed land from the estuary of the River Liffey. •Some famous graduates of Trinity College are Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift. •In December 1759, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease at a rent of £45 for the Guinness Brewery •Dublin has five Georgian Squares: Parnell, Mountjoy, Merrion, Fitzwilliam and St Stephens Green. •The Dublin Writers Museum houses the chair in which GF Handel first publicly performed The Messiah. •George Frederic Handel gave the first performance of The Messiah in Dublin in 1742. •George Bernard Shaw is the only person to have ever received both a Nobel Prize for literature and an Oscar. He received both for “Pygmalion” which was produced as a movie entitled “My Fair Lady”. •The novelist, Bram Stoker who wrote Dracula worked in Dublin Castle as a civil servant for a short time in the 1870s. •Dublin has a total of 14 Martello Towers dotting its coastline. They were originally built to withstand a Napoleonic invasion which actually never happened!
•The first chapter of Ulysses by James Joyce is set in the Martello Tower in Sandycove, now open to the public as the James Joyce Museum. •Percy French was married in the Pepper Canister Church. •The circular carvings on the Victorian Iveagh Buildings on St Werburgh and Beale Street depict scenes from Swiftʼs Gulliverʼs Travels. •Trinity College students, who were prohibited from playing games by the College Statutes in 1628, played bowls outside college on the present site of St. Andrewʼs Church – the Dublin Tourism Centre – near the Front Gate. •The phrase ʻchancing your armʼ originated in St. Patrickʼs Cathedral, where you had to put your hand into a hole to open the Medieval Chapter House door. •Dublin takes its name from the Black Pool (Dubh Linn) which was on the site of the present Dublin Castle garden. •Over ten million glasses of Guinness – the “famous blackpint” from Dublin – are produced daily all over the world. •Dublinʼs OʼConnell Bridge was originally made of rope and could only carry one man and a donkey at a time. It was replaced with a wooden structure in 1801. The current
concrete bridge was built in 1863 and it is the only traffic bridge in Europe which is wider than it is long. •The remains of St. Valentine, the Patron Saint of Love, are contained in Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church, on Aungier Street in Dublin. •Croke Parkʼs Hill 16 was constructed from the rubble left in Sackville Street (now OʼConnell Street) after the 1916 Rising. Croke Park is the 4th largest sports stadium in Europe with a capacity of 82,500! •Dublinʼs HaʼPenny Bridge is thus called because pedestrians had to pay a half penny toll to walk over it. •Malahide Castle is said to be haunted by a number of different ghosts. On the morning of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, 14 members of the Talbot family breakfasted together in the Great Hall. All 14 were dead by nightfall! •Irelandʼs most famous rockers, U2, started out busking on Dublinʼs Grafton Street. •Lawrence of Arabia was born in Dublin. •The roaring Lion, (Cairbre) at the end of all MGM movies was born in Dublin Zoo.
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10 Reasons to love Dublin
REASONS TO love this city Sport
Drama Walk down any street with your ears open and it becomes clear what a kick Dubliners get out of language. It’s a city where gallows humour hangs thick, tall stories reach new heights and sharp answers are never in short supply. Little wonder we’ve produced many of the world’s greatest dramatists, or that this art form is so treasured here. It was The Abbey Theatre that first fostered the tradition of Irish drama; today it remains the proud home of new Irish writing. Also try: The Gate, Grand Canal Theatre.
Food It’s the drink that tends to get first mention, but Dublin is a first-rate destination for those who delight most in great food. From the Michelin-starred elegance of Patrick Guilbaud’s, Chapter One and L’Écrivain to the bright and bustling café terraces of South William Street and the hearty pub lunches of lively bars including The Bull and Castle (Lord Edward Street), the Porterhouse (Parliament Street) and McGowan’s (Phibsboro Road) – there’s something to suit everyone.
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Sport is a major part of Irish life and Dublin provides a passionate hub. If there’s a match on at the hallowed Croke Park, don’t miss it – the national gaelic games are fast and furious and absolutely riveting to watch. Gaelic football is much more hands-on than soccer; and hurling is said to be the fastest team sport on grass. The All-Ireland football final is the biggest date in the sporting calendar, played each year on the third Sunday of September. Also try: Lansdowne Road for soccer and rugby.
Music Fans of the likes of U2 and Thin Lizzy will find plenty of sites of pilgrimage here – and a Rock ’n’ Roll Bus Tour from Westmoreland Street is a good way to gather them together and gain some rock knowledge too. Hit the pubs for a rousing trad session – The Cobblestone is a great place to start, or join the hordes in Temple Bar at the Oliver St John Gogarty.
10 Reasons to love Dublin
Outdoors Phoenix Park is Europe’s largest enclosed city park at 707 hectares. It’s a wonderful facility and home to the country’s president (at Aras an Uachtarain), to Dublin Zoo and to hundreds of deer that roam its grassy expanses. For a more colourful stroll investigate the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin; and leave the shops behind to laze on the lawns of St Stephen’s Green, or in the sumptuous and secluded Iveagh Gardens.
Dublin is super for shopping, but swap the high street for more personal purchasing at one of Dublin’s famous markets. There’s Moore Street for fresh fruit and a slice of old Dublin; bag a bargain and have the banter in the Liberties; try Newmarket for brocante or crafts on a Sunday; or pick up a tasty artisan tidbit at Temple Bar food market on a Saturday.
Yes, Dubliners do love the pub – and you’ll understand why when you’ve tasted some of the atmosphere in any of our many, many drinking establishments. It’s all down to the great company and perhaps some skilful fermentation. Friendly strangers abound and entertainment is as frequently off-stage as on it.
History Writers Dublin’s literary tradition is celebrated by several enjoyable museums, including the Writers Museum at Parnell Square, where visitors can also take in a lively performance of some of the greats’ most inspiring and amusing extracts. The Joyce Tower at Sandycove is worth hopping on the Dart for – the stories told here are hilarious and the setting delightful.
Ireland’s rich and varied history echoes around Dublin’s landmarks and is guarded for posterity in her museums. You can meet Iron Age man at the National Museum’s Bog Bodies exhibit, discover the impact Vikings had on the city at Dublinia and learn of the bloody struggles for independence at Kilmainham Gaol or among the bullet holes at the GPO.
Culture No matter when you arrive in Dublin, you’re bound to bump into a festival of some shape – the only problem tends to be the tyranny of choice. The galleries are teeming with talent (Imma attracts world-class exhibitions), you’ll find comedy every night of the week in cosy venues such as the International Bar, and modern dance is one genre that seems to be very much on the up in the city.
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If you’re only here for
48HOURS As great a shame as it is that you can’t stay in darlin’ Dublin forever, you can pack quite a lot into a short-stay city break if you put your mind to it. Here’s one strategy for seeing a successful snapshot of the city… Day one Morning: Start on the northside by browsing the Hugh Lane Gallery on Parnell Square, where you can see Francis Bacon’s studio, reassembled as he left it prior to his death. If you’re inclined more to literature than to visual art, the writer’s museum is a couple of doors up. On the way down towards O’Connell Street you pass by the tranquil Garden of Remembrance – a lovely place to stop and collect your thoughts.
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On O’Connell street take note of the various imposing statues lining your route. The first you come to is the Parnell monument (an imposing granite tribute to the 19th century parliamentary nationalist), then the middle of the avenue is dominated by the more contemporary Spire (An Túr Solas / the Monument of Light); flanked on the right by the impressive GPO building, headquarters of the 1916 Rising.
After giving O’Connell Street a good look, veer off up Henry Street for some serious shopping. When you’re done, the Epicurean Food Hall on Middle Abbey Street is a good spot to grab a coffee; or if you’re lucky enough to get a place in the tiny Panem on the quays beside Millenium Bridge their brioches and cookies are an absolute treat. Go along the quays to the pretty Hapenny Bridge, which crosses into Temple Bar. Its
cobbled streets are often filled with street performers and the Meetinghouse Square could be hosting anything from a market to a live concert or an outdoor film screening. Spend some time enjoying the galleries and boutiques here before breaking for lunch.
Lunch: Since you’re in Temple Bar, you could go for a bite in the Irish Film Institute, which has a good shop as well as a very reasonably priced café and bar. And if you’d rather the weight stayed off your feet for a bit longer there’s always the option to take in a film – the IFI shows a great range of international, classic and arthouse cinema. If you’re keen to gain some more ground before stopping, head up to Thomas Street where both the Food Gallery and Mannings bakery serve excellent lunches.
Afternoon From Thomas Street, the Guinness
Make your way across to Kildare Street – perhaps via Nassau Street at the bottom of Grafton Street in order to take in the grand Trinity College as you go. The Dail – the Irish parliament – is located on Kildare Street, as is the National Library and the next item on your agenda, the National Museum (History and Archaeology). After acquainting yourself with Ireland’s intriguing past, walk on up the road towards St Stephen’s Green.
Lunch: If it seems like a day for spoiling yourself, go to the exclusive Shelbourne for an expensive morsel. Or walk by it up Merrion Row to the Unicorn for lunch on the popular terrace. Alternatively, there are plenty of pubs in the area with good food and unique atmosphere.
Storehouse is just a short walk. (Stop in to the gallery at the National College of Art and Design if you have time en route.) The highlight of the entertaining Guinness tour is the pint of famous stout that attends you in the Gravity Bar at the top of the building. The panoramic views over the city are wonderful too. Take the Luas down to Heuston station and then walk across to Phoenix Park. Dublin Zoo is at the nearest entrance, or take a walk out to Aras an Uachtarain or to the impressive Wellington Monument. You might pass very close to a herd of deer as you go.
Evening Take the Luas back in towards town and hop out at Smithfield for some dinner in Christophe’s. (It’s right beside the Jameson distillery if you’ve made it down on time.) Later, cross the square to the Cobblestone for drinks and some traditional Irish music. Or, if you prefer, walk back along the Luas
track a couple of minutes to the delectable Dice bar where there may be impromptu dancing to rockabilly and swing tunes. After that you can call it a night – unless you’d rather follow the crowd on to Sin E on the quays for late drinks and more music.
Day Two Morning: Start on the southside with the Viking Splash tour that departs from St Stephen’s Green North. Brightly decorated World War II amphibious vehicles take visitors around many of the city’s major sights – the focus of the tour extends well beyond Viking history. It enters the water at Grand Canal Dock. Take a stroll down the pedestrianised Grafton Street afterwards and enjoy a coffee in the beautifully ornate Bewley’s Café – a real landmark Dublin eatery. There are lots of fancy boutiques on the streets that branch off Grafton Street, should the appetite for shopping remain.
Head back to Trinity College. From April to September there’s a shuttle bus service that leaves from here to Croke Park and onwards to Glasnevin Museum. Go first to Croke Park to the GAA museum where you’ll find out about the history of gaelic games and see the smashing stadium where all the magic happens. Then, to Glasnevin Museum for a captivating look at modern Ireland through the lives of those interred in Ireland’s Necropolis. Take the shuttle back to Trinity.
Evening Go for dinner and drinks in the George’s Street / Wexford Street area – a hive of activity every night of the week, and a place where young Dubliners like to go out. The food in Café Bar Deli is quite well priced and very tasty (pizzas, pastas and salads), likewise the Market Bar (great tapas) and Yamamori (Japanese dishes including sushi and bento boxes). For something a little more romantic, try L'Gueuleton on Fade Street. Bars that guarantee a lively welcome include the exquisitely old-fashioned Long Hall, the youthful Hogans and the trendy No Name Bar.
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Getting Here & Getting Around
GETTING HERE & GETTING AROUND GETTING HERE Dublin is extremely accessible by both air and sea with Dublin Airport, Dublin Port and Dun Laoghaire Harbour within easy access to the city and county. With ever increasing numbers of access routes to Dublin, you will find that you are never too far away from the magic and cultural riches of this fair city. You can travel by bus, rail, bicycle and car around the city and county. A twenty minute journey will bring the visitor from the bustling city centre to the charming coastal towns and villages of the county. These towns and villages dot the sometimes rugged, sometimes sandy coastline and provide boundless opportunities for picturesque walks.
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By Air Getting to Dublin by air is increasingly easy and popular, with many airlines opening new routes and the emergence of cheap air-travel in Europe there has never been a better time to fly to Dublin. Dublin International Airport is about 12km north from city centre, and is well serviced by buses and taxis. The Airport is managed by the Dublin Airport Authority. For information on Dublin Airport phone +353 1 8141111, or log on to www.dublinairportauthority.com. For Summer and Winter Timetable please log on to www.dublinairport.com
By Ferry Travelling to Dublin by ferry is easy. Faster more comfortable ships with good onboard facilities ensure the perfect start to your holiday. Regular, scheduled ferry services
operate between Ireland and the UK bringing both foot passengers and cars and other vehicles to Dublin through two ferry ports, Dublin Port and Dun Laoghaire. Five passenger Ferry companies connect Dublin with Holyhead, Liverpool and the Isle of Man. Dublin Port is centrally located, only minutes from Dublin City Centre. It is Irelandâ€™s busiest passenger Ferryport with up to 18 sailings daily to the UK and the continent.
GETTING AROUND Getting around the Dublin region can easily be done using the bus, DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport), hired car or taxi. The city is also easily traversed by bicycle for those who enjoy a more energetic approach to transport.
Getting Here & Getting Around
By Bus The Dublin Bus Information Office is located at 59 Upper O'Connell Street and there is also a Dublin Bus desk in the Dublin Tourism Centre, Suffolk Street, Dublin 2. Bus Eireann operates bus services from Dublin to the rest of Ireland. Busaras, the central bus station is located on Amiens Street. Aircoach, a private operator, runs its distinctive blue air-conditioned luxury coaches between Dublin Airport and the centre and south of the city, servicing many of the hotels and B&Bs. The service runs 24 hours a day.
By Dart (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) The DART suburban rail service operates
between Malahide at the Northernmost tip of the scenic eastern coastal strip, and Greystones to the South. Enquire at any of the 25 stations along the route about train times and the variety of travel ticket options available.
which is a short walk from O'Connell Street.
capacity, high frequency, high speed services. There are convenient stop locations and excellent levels of comfort and safety with easy access at all stops.
Trains serving all parts of Ireland are run by the State transport company, CIE. There are two main train stations in the city, Connolly and Heuston. Visitors travelling from the South and West will arrive at Heuston Station, a short hop from the centre by bus or taxi. Those arriving from the North, North West and the South East arrive at Connolly Station,
By Luas The Dublin Luas tram system is a state-ofthe-art Light Rail Transit (LRT) system. Luas connects you to Dublin city centre with high
By Taxi Taxis can be hailed, hired at taxi ranks or booked by telephone. Three of the main taxi ranks in the city centre are located on O'Connell Street, Dame Street and St. Stephen's Green. The average fare for a taxi from the airport to the city centre is 25 euros.
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Getting Here & Getting Around
DUBLIN CITY CENTRE MAP
This is Dublin
Getting Here & Getting Around
Days Out & Attractions
HAVE A GREAT DAY OUT! Dublin is absolutely surrounded by sites of tremendous beauty – with its feet in the water and head among the hilltops, this city sits astride landscapes of surprising variation. There’s the dramatic, fantastical Wicklow mountains; Wexford’s epic beaches; the full greenness of Kildare and the mystery of royal Meath – all just a stone’s throw from the bustling capital. Here are just a few day trip tips for adventurers straying beyond the city centre… Newgrange, Co Meath Along with the neighbouring megalithic passage tombs of Knowth and Dowth, Newgrange makes a most deserving Unesco World Heritage site.
Constructed in around 3200BC, this awesome mound is older than Stonehenge or the pyramids at Giza and every bit as atmospheric. The feeling of ancientness, of magic and the unknowable is forceful and exciting here. Competition is fierce each year to be a part of the winter solstice
This is Dublin
celebration at Newgrange – since the chamber is aligned perfectly with the rising sun, which bathes the tomb in glowing light. Newgrange is accessed via the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre in Donore, Co. Meath. Mary Gibbons Tours (0863551355) operate from various Dublin city pick-up points, travelling to Newgrange, Hill of Tara and Slane. There are several other tour operators; alternatively directions by road are fairly straightforward and the journey takes around 45 minutes. Elsewhere in Meath, dip into historic Trim, where Hugh de Lacy’s impressive castle is a particular draw. It was here that the ‘York Castle’ scenes in Mel Gibson’s Bravehart were filmed. And stop by Kells, whose abbey produced the amazingly detailed Book of Kells that is now on view in Trinity College, Dublin.
Aquatic adventures Dublin’s canals provide some very pleasant walks – or, for those who prefer messing around on boats, several companies offer barge hire west of the city along the Grand Canal as it weaves peacefully into County Kildare. In the city itself, near to pretty Baggot
Street bridge (once a favourite spot of the poet Kevin Kavanagh who is commemorated here), there is a floating restaurant, La Peniche. Its candle-lit dinner cruises along the leafy waterway are quite a romantic prospect (0877900077). If that all sounds rather sedate, the Sea Safaris that run from Poolbeg Marina are likely to create more of a splash (016689802). Zipping around the beautiful Dublin Bay in a Rigid Inflatable Boat, these
Days Out & Attractions
tours take in some wonderful scenery, including the craggy Dalkey Island, and give visitors a chance to encounter diverse wildlife including seals, dolphins, puffins and cormorants.
Hit the beach Just south of the city centre, the area beyond the pretty seaside town of Dun Laoghaire (home to August’s popular Festival of World Cultures, to a weekly farmer’s market in the People’s Park, and to the lovely Lambert
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Days Out & Attractions
>From page 35 Puppet Theatre – a real treat for children) is replete with sandy beaches. Try the aptly named little Sandycove beach beneath the Joyce tower, or the grand stretch at exclusive Killiney. (Killiney Hill is wonderful for a walk too, or take a spin up Vico Road to have a nosey into Bono’s house.) Further south, Greystones and Brittas Bay in County Wicklow are justly popular; while on down the coast north Wexford has lots of hidden gems as well as holiday favourites such as Clones Strand and Courtown. North of Dublin, Skerries is a charming town with a great beach and attractions including the industrial heritage museum of Skerries Mills.
Lush Kildare The greens are even greener in this abundant county – so it’s the perfect place for golf.
The Arnold Palmer-designed K Club in Straffan is perhaps Ireland’s finest course – it hosted the Ryder Cup in 2006 – and visitors booking tee time will revel in the grandeur of the 330 acre estate it lolls across. Nearby Carton House in Maynooth has two championship courses – and a lot to offer the non-golfer too, from long and lovely country walks to long and luxuriant spa sessions. Another activity Kildare is famed for is horseracing. The Curragh is a remarkable flat plain stretching over some 5,000 acres of common land from Newbridge to Kildare town. Excellent soil drainage means the area is famed for horse breeding and it’s also the site of Ireland’s most important thoroughbred racetrack. All five Irish classics are run here – and a day out at the Curragh is always a glamorous affair.
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Parliament Square Trinity College
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>from page 37 Wicklow Mountains A thoroughly refreshing and captivating day out is guaranteed for visitors trying out some or any of the Wicklow Way (a 132km trail over mountains and into valleys in the stunning Garden County of Ireland). There’s the monastic settlement of Glendalough, said to have been founded by the hermit priest St Kevin in the 6th Century – an immensely popular visitors’ site and a cool and peaceful haven for a contemplative walk. Passing over the Luggula Estate and above Loughs Tay Dan, the Sally Gap provides some breathtaking vistas. In harsh weather, it’s not a place to get stranded – but whatever the climactic conditions happen to be, it’s always utterly breathtaking. Much of the recent TV series The Tudors was filmed in this area – and it’s not hard to see why so many cinematographers have fallen in love with it over the years.
Powerscourt House and Gardens are incredibly elegant, and among the grounds you will also find Ireland’s highest waterfall. It’s such an energising place; and the nearby village of Enniskerry provides a delightful gateway with the cosy café Poppies being a favourite spot for walkers to rest weary feet and enjoy delicious home-made lunches. Other pretty villages include Roundwood, one of the highest settlements in Ireland, and Rathdrum. Children will love Clara Lara Funpark – an outdoor adventure centre in Clara village. It has rowing boats, rafts, water slides, tree houses, rope bridges and plenty besides – a change of clothes is essential. Tours are available with a variety of companies from Dublin city centre, or take the N11 out of town to arrive among the mountains within three quarters of an hour.
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FURTHER AFIELD... One of the greatest things about Ireland is the outstanding variety it has to offer within such a compact space. Travelling from county to county the landscape transforms before your eyes –
Kilkenny’s winding streets and narrow alleys, and you’ll find some top-class places to eat hidden within its impressive buildings. Known as the crafts capital of Ireland, this is where you’ll find the prestigious Kilkenny Design Centre (selling all manner of traditional Irish wares as well as contemporary craft) and the National Craft Council of Ireland.
the craggy wilds of rural Galway seem a world away from the lush plains of Kildare, yet that dramatic contrast is there at the end of a mere two-and-ahalf-hour drive. In fact, the range of experiences on offer at that same distance or less from Dublin’s doorstep mean that you’d almost be mad not to go exploring!
You could hit the North – Belfast is less than two hours by car or a leisurely twohour train ride from Dublin. Again, it’s a world away from Dublin – the architecture is very different, the city is much smaller and history has coloured life quite differently. It’s a unique place and has lots to offer – whether you come for the shopping or for the culture. For those who want to spend some Sterling (retail prices are rather more competitive than in Dublin), make a beeline for the Victoria Square Centre. It’s consumer heaven and quite a nice environment in which to relieve yourself of some cash – take the lift up to the huge glass dome for some great views across the city, from the famous Samson and Delilah cranes to Napoleon’s Nose on the lovely Cavehill.
Try, for instance, the exquisite medieval city of Kilkenny to the south-west. Less than an hour-and-a-half from central Dublin with excellent roads all the way, this is a major cultural draw and boasts some of the country’s top festivals including the Cat Laughs comedy festival in June and Kilkenny Arts Festival in August. The city has a fine Norman castle and a beautiful 13th Century cathedral, St Canice’s. There’s masses of character in
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If you’re intrigued by the history, go for a Black Cab tour, which will take in lots of
political murals, the shipyards where the Titanic was built, the leafy university area, and key sites in the history of the Northern Irish conflict. Go West – to Galway city (you’ll be there inside two-and-a-half hours) for an entirely different Irish experience. This is a university city with a warm, vibrant personality, pretty pedestrianised streets and the rushing waters of the wide River Corrib. There’s a much stronger tradition of Irish language speaking here than in Dublin, and traditional music fills the bars by night. It’s a colourful place with a bohemian outlook and it’s a wonderful choice if you want to really relax and enjoy yourself. The city poshes up at the start of August each year for the Galway Races – Ladies’ Day is a giant parade of ostentatious fashion – it’s an exciting event, but perhaps gives a slightly off-kilter view of what Galway is really like. There’s an air of fiesta always about Galway – perhaps in part thanks to its plethora of great festivals, which include Galway Arts Festival in July, the Cuirt Literature Festival in April and a children’s festival each October.
- the city that loves to shop IF THE PAYCHECK IS BURNING A HOLE IN YOUR POCKET, YOU WON’T BE LONG SPENDING IT IN DUBLIN There’s a shopping fix to suit every taste – and the profusion of eye-catching gift shops seems almost to insist that you share the wealth with those back home.
statues of Ireland’s great and good and lined with shops, some of them slightly incongruous to the buildings that house them but many that are well worth a glance.
There are several main areas to target when intending a retail assault. For some serious shopping in big, popular stores, make for the northside and focus your efforts on the area around O’Connell Street and Henry Street. For chic boutiques and specialist stores, concentrate on the lanes and malls off Grafton Street. For something a little different, browse Temple Bar; and for Irishthemed fine giftware start at Nassau Street. Or, if you’re interested in seeking out real old Dublin, go to the Liberties, which focuses on Meath Street, just down the road from the Guinness Storehouse as you head back towards the city centre.
Most in harmony with the architecture is the old-fashioned, up-market department store, Clery’s, housed in a fine listed building. With a broad range that spans international couture, perfumes, cosmetics and homewares including prestige Irish brands such as Waterford Crystal and Newbridge Silverware, it’s a lovely place for a long look around.
O’Connell Street and Henry Street / Mary Street O’Connell Street is Dublin’s main thoroughfare and descends to the River Liffey from the grand Georgian terraces of Parnell Square. It’s peppered with impressive
Across the road, peruse acres of newspaper and magazine shelves in Eason’s. There are three floors of books, stationery, art materials and, up top, a branch of Tower Records (the main Tower store is on Wicklow Street off Grafton Street). Pop into Penney’s, just along from Eason’s, for thrifty fashion; then into the historic GPO to send some postcards from the headquarters of the 1916 Easter Rising. Follow the crowds down Henry Street, where you’ll find many familiar chain stores as well as another respected Irish department store, Arnotts, which now also has a youthful, trendy branch called Arnotts Project further up the road on Mary Street. (Project stocks a wealth of fashionable yet affordable labels such as Desigual, Superdry, Full Circle and Buffalo.) Also on the Henry Street/Mary Street stretch are shops such as Irish fashion chain AWear (stylish with friendly pricetags), Pull And Bear (casual, attractive clothes for males and females) and Butlers Chocolates (delicious Irish chocolates sold singly and in pretty gift boxes – good coffee too).
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This is Dublin >from page 45 There are also two shopping centres along the road – the Ilac Centre, which houses superstores including Debenhams, Dunnes and H&M; and the Jervis Centre, which has Marks & Spencer, Waterstones, Bershka, Miss Selfridge and many more. Just round the corner on Jervis Street is a massive branch of Smyths toys – children may not want to leave. Just past Jervis towards the Millennium Bridge over the river is Quartier Bloom, an Italian alley of cool clothes shops and lively enotecas and restaurants.
The laneways and malls that branch out from Grafton Street are a delight to explore. Wend your way through the chic boutiques in the Westbury Mall, a charming galleria that snakes from beside the Westbury hotel and emerges next to the wonderful Magill’s delicatessen on Clarendon Street. A dark little cave of delights, Magill’s is packed to the rafters with excellent charcuterie, cheeses, oils and breads.
Opposite is the back of the Powerscourt Centre, a beautiful 18th century town At the O’Connell Street end of Henry Street mansion peppered with jewellers, antique sits Moore Street – which presents an sellers, commercial art galleries and fashion entirely different shopping experience. emporia. Spiralling balconies look out on to a Stallholders sing out their knockdown prices spacious, sophisticated café in the middle, as you pass through the central market of overhung with glistening giant silver hoops fish, fruit and vegetables, while the shop and crystal chandeliers. All manner of units at the roadside are a thrum of activity paraphernalia may be sourced within this with global food outlets, African hair salons, Aladdin’s cave – try Rubanesque for ribbons international call-shops, a butcher’s and a and bows, This Is Knit for colourful yarns, The bookie’s. Design Centre for leading lights in Irish couture and the Loft Market on weekends for Grafton Street and surrounding areas emerging names on the style scene. Grab a The pedestrianised Grafton Street is dainty cupcake as you go from the Sugar regarded as the jewel in Dublin’s retail crown Loaf Bakery. – certainly that prestige is reflected in the premium paid to rent premises here; and to Round the corner on Chatham Street is a a large extent it’s reflected in the quality of plethora of bright and interesting specialist the shops represented. stores – Great Outdoors for the adventurer, Muji for the minimalist, Kitchen Grafton Street’s most iconic outlet must be Complements for the well-equipped chef. the flagship Brown Thomas store on the Follow the road on out towards South corner with Wicklow Street; an institution William Street for upmarket beauty salons since 1849. The most exclusive branch of and posh cosmetics hall, Nue Blue Eriu. Ireland’s most exclusive lifestyle store, this is Off South William Street is the charming where to go for that Chanel handbag, Louis George’s Arcade, a covered market that has Vuitton luggage, Prada dress or Manolo stalls and shops selling everything from Blahnik heels. They also stock some top-end records and retro clothing to jewellery and Irish designers, including Joanne Hynes and olives. Louise Kennedy. For the discerning male, On the approach to the Arcade, brands include Gucci, D&G and Paul Smith. Castlemarket Street, you’ll find Costume, (a The beauty hall is a total treat for cosmetics pricy high-fashion boutique), obsessives – there’s Jo Malone, Benefit, Mac, Nars, Aveda… you name it. Across the road is BT2 – Brown Thomas’s younger, slightly less extravagant sister. Aimed mainly at 20-35-year-olds, labels on sale on the cool, warehouse-style shop floor include Sonia Rykiel, Juicy Couture, Paul’s Boutique, Franklin Marshall and Fred Perry. There’s even a fancy tots’ section upstairs for those who feel that even toddlers deserve Uggs. Other significant shops on the street include Weir & Sons jewellers (a real diamond of a store that has been in place here since 1869), Boodles, Swarovski, Tommy Hilfiger and The Camera Centre. And, of course, at the top of the street you’ll find the glass-domed St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre.
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The Harlequin, (full of vintage gems), and Murphy Sheehy (a specialist fabric shop established in the 1940s – sells some excellent Irish linen and wool). Nearby Fade Street is a place of pilgrimage for dedicated music fans – Road Records looked in danger of closing at one stage as the humble independent store fell foul of music sales migrating online, not to mention the recession.
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WHAT A GREAT ESCAPE! Despite the recession, good living remains part of County Kildare’s lifeblood. Where do Dublin’s hipparati go to escape the city? Why County Kildare, the ‘Thoroughbred County’ where it is said there are more millionaires per capita than any other area in Ireland. Dublin’s south-westerly neighbour is famous for the finer pursuits in life; thoroughbred horse racing, golf, luxurious accommodation, spas, gourmet food and savvy shopping. One of the key lures is Kildare Village outlet shopping, a destination that is more than the sum of its parts. Set in glorious green countryside, its experiential shopping, fine food and culture combine to make a great day out. The Village, only 50 minutes from Dublin, has over 60 designer outlet boutiques where prices are reduced by up to 60% off the recommended retail price. A select edit of the prestigious fashion and homeware brands lined up along the Village’s pretty open-air ‘main street’ includes Bally, Anya Hindmarch, DKNY, L.K. Bennett, Juicy Couture and 7 For All Mankind. When you need to take time out, relax and drink in the view of the picturesque ruins of the 13th century Grey Abbey from the terrace of stylish Italian eatery Dunne & Crescenzi. Inject a little culture into the experience by taking the boardwalk into the historic Kildare Town. Why not avail of Kildare Village’s courtesy bus to explore the nearby Irish National Stud and world-renowned Japanese Gardens, where you can get up close and personal with racing legends such as punters’ favourite, Florida Pearl? Having toured the National Stud, you’ll have learned that horse-racing is a big deal in
County Kildare. Highlights of the annual horse racing calendar include the Irish Derby at the Curragh, where the best-dressed competitions are sponsored by Kildare Village of course, and Punchestown’s week-long National Hunt Festival at the end of April. Kildare becomes the destination of every music fan in July for Oxegen, one of the best music festivals on the European circuit. While across the border in Stradbally, County Laois, boutique music and arts festival, the Electric Picnic, always ends the summer on a high note. There is so much to see and do why not overnight or stay the weekend? The Thoroughbred County understands
hospitality as much as it appreciates bloodstock. Pursue the dual pleasures of championship golf and performance spa treatments at the K Club with the Carita treatments at the K Spa and the Palmer course which hosted the world’s best golfers during the 2006 Ryder Cup or the Seve Ballesteros championship course and Pevonia spa at The Heritage Golf & Spa Resort. Venture further afield and you can follow in the early footsteps of intrepid Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, a Kildare man born in a back bedroom in Kilkea House near Athy. His incredible story of leadership and determination unfolds in a permanent exhibition at Athy’s Heritage Centre Museum, and is celebrated each year at the Ernest Shackleton Autumn School. Getting to Kildare Village outlet shopping couldn’t be easier. The Village is located just off the M7 at Exit 13. Drive and enjoy free parking, or take the 35-minute direct train service departing half-hourly from Dublin’s Heuston Station. From Kildare Town Station hop on the complimentary Kildare Village shuttle bus which meet all trains, seven-daysa-week. The Kildare Village Shopping Express coach, operated by JJ Kavanagh, offers visitors a door-to-door service to Kildare Village from Dublin airport and George’s Quay. At the entrance to Kildare Village the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) is a useful information point for visitors. Working closely with the Heritage Centre in Kildare Town, the TIC supports the strong historical elements of Kildare and its surrounding area. Kildare Village is an integral part of a region that something for everyone. It’s much more than a shopping experience, it is immersion in a way of life - and a great day out!
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>from page 46 not to mention the recession. But Road has weathered the storm so far, thanks in part to its dedicated following that organised benefit gigs and generous donations.
Temple Bar Temple Bar has an atmosphere all of its own – and one that transforms with the fading daylight and the heat of summer. For the shopper, it offers plenty of interesting nooks and crannies to potter around. You can buy beads, Irish-themed trinkets, new shoes, old records, even rods and reels at the wonderful Rory’s Fishing Tackle. Not to mention an exotic pet at Fishamble Street’s Reptile Haven! There’s the brilliantly bohemian SéSí on Fownes Street, lined with rows of lacy little dresses, dazzling wool jumpers and customised tweeds; and piled high with handmade Chilean jewellery and cute animé handbags. On Eustace Street get reeled in by the Irish Film Institute’s shop, which has a great range of arthouse films on DVD, some striking film posters and postcards as well as august tomes on cinematography and visual culture. Take in a film, or even stay for dinner at the bustling café while you’re there. The Old City, Temple Bar is a creative hub (continue along Essex Street, crossing Parliament Street and perhaps calling in to Oxfam Books as you go), with the Cow’s Lane Designer Mart presenting the wares of dozens of Dublin fashion, jewellery, accessories and homewares makers. Cow’s Lane also boasts a bright new independent bookseller, The Gutter Bookshop, and a
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>from page 50 super-tasteful retro furniture shop, Retrospect, where 70s Italian chandeliers reflect in thick Murano glassware displayed alongside artful mid-century Scandinavian seating and bubbly 60s chairs.
Nassau Street If you’re stocking up on presents, there’s no better place to start than Nassau Street at the side of Trinity College. The Kilkenny Shop sells handcrafted ceramics from potteries including Louis Mulcahy and Nicholas Mosse. You’ll also find Galway Crystal, Orla Kiely bags, Guinness sportswear and much besides. Kevin & Howlin specialise in Donegal tweed, while Blarney Woollen Mills is the place to go for a snug Aran sweater and House of Ireland is laden with gift collections by the likes of John Rocha, Belleek and Patrick Francis. The genealogy
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enthusiast will delight in Heraldic Artists Limited, while those who are pleased by polished brass door handles will love the cheekily named Knobs and Knockers. Celtic Note is the place to find CDs of traditional music as well as new Irish rock and pop.At the Grafton Street end is Designyard, a lovely old jeweller’s store that now houses a fine collection of contemporary designer jewellery, much of it handmade in Ireland. Continue on over to Suffolk Street where Avoca sells fine woollen scarves, pretty clothes, delicious foodstuffs and thousands of ingenious gift ideas for gardeners, cooks, kids and big kids. Going back on yourself to Dawson Street, parallel to Grafton Street, there are some splendid boutiques and a stack of bookshops – the vast Hodges & Figgis, a huge Waterstones with its own café, and the diminutive crime fiction shop, Murder Ink..
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the world in one city It is perhaps an unexpected pleasure to discover that Dublin is a gourmet’s paradise – a culinary capital to rival the very best of them. BREAKFAST It’s all too easy to breakfast like a king in Dublin – we’re all fond of our Clonakilty Black Pudding, our thick, sizzling smoked rashers and traditional butchers’ sausages. If you prefer your fried goods served on finest silverware amid elegant surroundings, head to Bentley’s on St Stephen’s Green. Service is impeccable in this grand Georgian house, and the food – from the kitchen of celebrity chef Richard Corrigan – is the best of locally-sourced produce. If it ain’t breakfast without Bellinis, Odessa off Exchequer Street (just behind the Central Hotel) is the place to go. Wash down your fancy Full Irish with fresh and zesty Champagne cocktails in this ever-chic and popular spot. Better yet, have a massive lie-in and then head round – brunch
stretches through to 4pm at weekends. For an honest-to-goodness hearty start to the day The Woodstock in the northern suburb of Phibsboro is tough to beat. Combine it with a trip to the nearby GAA Museum at Croke Park, or ideally with a hurling or gaelic football match at this impressive stadium.
Bald Barista – it’s at the front of bustling international hostel, Avalon House, on Aungier Street. The friendly, smoothheaded proprietor knows a thing or two about blending – and the pastries and snacks live up to the same high standard.
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Prices are keen for whatever tasty combination you decide on – and on match days the atmosphere is terrific, with lots of jovial chat bouncing between tables of rival fans. Breakfast is served until noon, when dinner service begins.
MORNING COFFEE If you want to refuel after some serious shopping on Grafton Street, or to contemplate the weight of history after a trip to see the Book of Kells in Trinity College, Dunne & Crescenzi on nearby South Frederick Street serves among the best coffees in Dublin. Not to mention its delicious Italian desserts, antipasti, wines and dinners. Those questing for the perfect roast would do well to percolate in the direction of The
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Eating Out >from page 57 If pastries are the priority, pop in to the Queen of Tarts. A gallery of delights for the sweet of tooth, you can now sip your coffee from a dainty China cup while guzzling meringues, crumbles, muffins, cup cakes, tarts, scones and puddings at their Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar, branch if their pretty little Cork Hill base around the corner is bursting at the seams. Good things do so often come in small packages – further proof will be found in Panem on the north quays beside Millenium Bridge. With killer espressos, melt-in-themouth brioches and delicious fresh-baked foccacias served by the charming owners, it can be hard to find a spot at the bar – but take away if need be and continue down the next laneway for more shopping at the Jervis centre. If you must make for the multiples, at least go for one with a good view. Starbucks on the main street of the southern suburb of Blackrock is perhaps the one chain café to be reluctantly recommended. Sit out the back of this attractive former post office – on the balcony if weather allows – and you’ll be treated to a stunning vista across Dublin bay. Then (after a rummage in Blackrock Market and perhaps a meal in Dali’s up the road), hop on the DART down below towards Greystones and back to chase the sunset along the water.
LUNCH Dublin provides some super ways to combine culture with cuisine, not least the excellent Silk Road Café at the Chester Beatty Library behind Dublin Castle. Fresh, imaginative salads come with quiches, curries and casseroles in this bright and airy eatery that fits in elegantly with its estimable surroundings. Fitzer’s in the National Gallery on Clare Street/Merrion Square can get crowded at lunchtime, but the food is good if you don’t mind a queue – and there’s also a table service restaurant upstairs if you feel like a treat. It’s A… in the basement of IMMA – the modern art museum in the impressive old Royal Hospital, Kilmainham – is great for cakes and has tasty soups and sandwiches. It’s run by the respected local chain that owns It’s A Bagel and It’s A Four in Sandymount, Dublin 4. For something a bit different and frequently quite delightful, there’s Bewley’s Café
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Theatre upstairs in the exquisite old Bewley’s on Grafton Street. For €15 you get a large bowl of good soup with two slices of crumbly brown soda – and a short play. The website www.bewleyscafetheatre.com has updated information on what’s showing – it could be a series of Beckett monologues, a dramatisation of a Wilde short story for children or a new one-act play by a contemporary writer such as Conor McPherson – the programme is varied and interesting and the actors first-class. Culture aside, lunch at Avoca on Suffolk Street is always delicious. On the top floor there’s the table-service restaurant serving great meat and cheese boards, delicate pastas, crunchy salads and sumptuous desserts. In the basement, the self-service café has excellent soups, substantial sandwiches and decadent buns – and the delicatessen is a mecca for Irish foodies. If you’re shopping in numbers north of the river and can’t agree on a single style of
cuisine, the Epicurean Food Hall on Middle Abbey Street (along the Red Luas Line above O’Connell Street) might just be the answer. Around a dozen separate counters face on to a central seating area – you can choose from Italian (La Corte – a particular favourite for its lavish lattes and paninis with moist mozzarella and salty Parma ham), Greek, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Chinese and the famous fish and chips of Leo Burdock’s. (The most famous branch of Leo Burdock’s is opposite Christ Church Cathedral – tourists and locals form an orderly queue for its fresh catch at lunchtime, at dinner time and after working up a late-night appetite at the pub. Other fish and chip haunts to hunt for include Beshoff’s, which has its main branch on O’Connell Street. For really serious seafood, head to Howth – north on the DART line – where renowned restaurants such as King Sitric and Aqua serve straight from the sea.)
AFTERNOON TEA Hit the salubrious Shelbourne (St Stephen’s Green) or the classy Clarence (East Essex Street – owned by U2) if you’re feeling flush. Both offer a rather refined afternoon tea experience – and you never know who you might see sipping in a discreet corner. If ceremony and celebrity are secondary, try the lovely Keogh’s Cafe on Trinity Street. The scent of fresh baked muffins will likely lure you in unknowingly in any case. If you stray towards Portabello, try the Cake Café behind the Daintree paper shop on Camden Street for kitschy cutlery and cute cakes, or the excellent Lennox Bistro on Lennox Street – and call on down the road to the Bretzel Bakery for some tasty Beigels and spelt loaves.
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<from page 59 DINNER For those with deep pockets, the two Michélin-starred Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud in the beautiful Georgian townhouse adjoining the Merrion Hotel is not to be missed. Serving modern classic cuisine made with finest Irish ingredients – be it Carlingford oysters, Anagassin Blue lobster or loin of Wicklow venison – an evening in the refined setting of Patrick Guilbaud’s is a superlative experience. You’ll also enjoy the finest of fine dining at Wilde The Restaurant in the plush Westbury hotel just off Grafton Street. Service is truly excellent and includes a table demonstration of the variety of delicious, plump cuts of Irish Black Angus on offer from the tempting à la carte. Steak is also the name of the game at the decadent Shanahan’s On The Green, (beside the Royal College of Surgeons on the west side of St Stephen’s Green), where the vast Shanahan Steak weighs in at 24 oz/700g. In the south suburb of Ballsbridge – site of pilgrimage for the rugby fan grace of the nearby Aviva Stadium on Lansdowne Road – Roly’s is a firm favourite. With casual lunch dining downstairs, a terrific bakery and the classic French-style bistro upstairs, this establishment is deservedly busy and buzzing at all hours of the day. The rich, meaty aromas that greet you on the approach are hard to resist and Roly’s great-value set menus make following your
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nose well worthwhile. On the northside in pretty Glasnevin is the cosy Washerwomans Hill Restaurant, situated just beyond the gorgeous National Botanic Gardens and across from Ireland’s Met Office. Hearty meals at reasonable prices are served in this family-friendly hilltop cottage kitchen that is also convenient to the intriguing Glasnevin Cemetery and to the airport. Staying on the northside, right in the city centre is 101 Talbot – a lively, welcoming restaurant named, conveniently, for its Talbot Street address. They serve a great range of vegetarian meals, providing a great complement to their selection of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influenced meat and fish dishes. Pocketfriendly and perfectly located for a night at the theatre, (it’s near to the renowned Abbey Theatre and to the Gate), 101 Talbot is a popular choice among Dubliners. Closer yet to the Gate Theatre is the Michelin-starred Chapter One on Parnell Square. A higher price-bracket, but with a superb deal on their pre-theatre menu, Chapter One’s beautifully presented food is indulgent yet light and the atmosphere intimate yet convivial. The menu includes an extensive list of local suppliers and there’s an enviable selection of charcuterie and wines.
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WELCOME to the night! As the great Flann O’Brien opined: ‘When money's tight and hard to get, And your horse is also ran, When all you have is a heap of debt, A pint of plain is your only man’ Our writers have never done much to discourage the notion that Ireland is fuelled on Guinness – and thinking over the volume and variety of watering holes in the capital city, it’s pretty tough to argue with them. There’s no denying it, the craic is ninety. But put any ‘dancing at the crossroads’ stereotypes to one side – Dublin drinking is a cutting-edge and cosmopolitan business, with as much to offer the wine connoisseur, the clubber and the hipster as the punter in search of the perfect old-school snug. Here’s a small selection of the most select of spots for sampling nature’s finest panacea, drinking in the craic agus ceol and perhaps enjoying an ould ‘rince’ (say ‘rinka’ – Irish for ‘dance’)… THREE OF THE BEST Traditional Music Pubs: For an expert session by the finest traditional musicians from Ireland and beyond, try The Cobblestone on Smithfield Plaza. It’s a cosy, dusty old diamond of a pub, with a relaxed, appreciative
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atmosphere and friendly service. O’Donoghue’s on Merrion Row is a stalwart of the trad scene – another fine old pub that features some great musicians in picturesque surroundings. Out of town, head for the Merry Ploughboy in Rathfarnam where the sloping Dublin mountains start their tumble down to the city. The pub is run by professional Irish musicians for musicians and music-lovers, so the standard is excellent and the experience second to none. It’s a thoroughly charming spot – and a perfect place to wind up after a day exploring the beautiful Dublin and Wicklow mountains. Bars that Rhyme Talk of a night out in either of Grogan’s, Brogan’s or Hogan’s always calls for double and triple-checking. They’re all within about five minutes walk of each other, so winding up in the wrong one would be no disaster – it’s more that labouring the point about their sounding slightly similar offers the chance of a small chuckle. All three are nice places to be – take your pick or do the rounds. The colourful, higgledy-piggledy Grogan’s is on South William Street, a stretch known mainly for its sleek, fashion-conscious establishments such as Dakota, Spy and The South William. The walls here are covered in paintings by local hobbyists and its frayed stools and faded velvet seats are populated by Dublin’s
strange, bohemian, arty and everyday folk. It’s always lively and has a magic all of its own. Brogan’s on Dame Street is an old-world bar with a surrealist sparseness and a definite theatricality about it. It’s just beside the Victorian music hall-style Olympia theatre so it’s a handy place for actors to enjoy a night on the tiles after an evening treading the boards. Hogan’s on South Great George’s Street is always busy. It’s the first main port of call on a grand parade of pubs that stretches in a straight line (if you’re still sober) right up to the Grand Canal at Portobello. The crowd is mainly trendy young professionals who live slap-bang in the city centre, but it’s very eclectic and you’d struggle to look out of place.
heeled thirty- and forty-somethings and drinks cost that little bit more, but it’s a very pleasant place for lunch or after-dinner drinks. Café En Seine draws an ever so slightly younger demographic at night (it’s very mixed during the day) and remains extremely popular with people from right across the city, not just the post-work crowd pouring out of the nearby financial institutions and government buildings. Its lush, belle époque interior is a big draw – the mosaic tiling in blues, greens and greys; curling wrought ironwork, creeping plants and marbled statues combine in a layout that emphasises the bar’s vastness while also creating lots of intimate nooks and crannies.
Clubs Smart bars Conveniently, these salubrious spots are all on the same side of the same street, Dawson Street. Walking from St Stephen’s Green down towards Trinity College you’ll first come by Ron Black’s, then Samsara, then Café En Seine. Ron Black’s has the most rarefied atmosphere of the three, yet it’s not snooty or inaccessible – just elegant, airy and professional-looking. It doesn’t lack atmosphere and is quite the aesthete’s choice – film professionals filter among the besuited business types at the bar. There’s a champagne bar and great cocktails – all comes at a price, but if you’re good for it you’re sure to enjoy it. Samsara, part of the swish La Stampa hotel, has a warm eastern theme and is opulently decked out in rosy stained glass, starry lights and sandy tiling. Again, the crowd is well-
The Pod complex (in the old Harcourt Station at Harcourt Street Luas stop) is the big one. Four venues in one, there’s a space to suit all sorts. Crawdaddy is a gig space that provides a stage for local as well as international alternative acts. Beside it is the Chocolate Bar, a symphony of browns with a unique atmosphere provided by the exposed brick of the station walls and its towering ceiling. Beyond is the larger gig space, Tripod, which tends to feature dance acts. Upstairs is the main event – Pod. It has a separate entrance round the corner into a multi-roomed club with DJs in each room spinning a different style of music. So whether it’s house, trance, techno, indie dance or Italodisco you’re after, there’s a dancefloor space that’s right for you. For out-and-out ravers, Temple Bar is a likely haunt. There’s Alchemy on Fleet Street and Club M in the bowels of Bloom’s Hotel; both big spaces built for big bass and manic moves. continues page 75>
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>from page 73 Rock bars/clubs Whelan’s of Wexford Street is the must-go-to for music-lovers. The downstairs bar often features sessions by singer-songwriters – expect recognisable faces among the crowd. The covered smoking area is Dublin’s most sociable – you’ll meet backpackers, exchange students, musicians, actors and hacks. The club stretches off behind the bar and spirals upstairs – at weekends you can catch an early gig by touring and local bands, then dance the night away to alternative anthems. There’s a hidden upstairs space with more refined décor and a hushed atmosphere – this is where you’ll find some real musical treats, so keep an eye on who’s billed. The Academy (Middle Abbey Street along the Luas line on the northside) has slightly larger acts playing on most nights. It’s dark, minimal and cavernous – with maximum space for jumping around. Bruxelles off Grafton Street is a handy landmark to meet at. You can’t miss it, thanks to the life-size statue of Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott that stands proudly outside. This is a real rockers’ bar – one downstairs room has long been claimed by metallers; the other is a great place to go for an acoustic rock session. Upstairs is a narrow parlour bar that’s always full to the brim and spilling out into the street. It’s a characterful place where you can’t but have a great night. THREE MORE... Bars with Irish names: An Seo (Means ‘here’. Camden Street, very cool with twinkling lights and tatty seats). Sin É (‘That’s it’. Ormond Quay, late-night dancing to swinging sixties, roaring twenties, rockabilly and rock. Great fun). Solas (‘Light’. Wexford Street, chic and trendy with great cocktails). Gay bars: The George (South Great George’s Street – a classic). The Front Lounge (Parliament Street – straight-friendly, laid-back, great ambience). Pantibar (Capel Street – run by the inimitable Miss Panti, tastefully decorated and fun, bring an arch sense of humour).
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Nightlife >from page 75 Interesting shape: Horseshoe Bar (in The Shelbourne on Stephenʼs Green – elegant and upmarket; older crowd). Octagon Bar (In The Clarence, East Essex Street – owned by U2, lush cocktails, gorgeous décor). The Long Hall (Long and hall-like, on South Great Georgeʼs Street – proper old-fashioned with warm atmosphere).
For the fashion-conscious: Krystle (Harcourt Street – where models and young rich hang out). Lillieʼs Bordello (Adam Court, Grafton Street – decadent interior, celebrity go-to in Dublin). The Morrison Hotel Bar (Merchantʼs Quay – plush East-meets-West design by John Rocha, luxurious and another fair bet for celebrity-hunting).
things to do in Dublin...
1. Travel the Culture Trail
5. Deeply Relaxing Parks and Gardens
Discover our FREE museums and galleries. • Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2 • Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin 8 • National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8 • National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West & Kildare Street • National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2 • National Photographic Archive, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar • National Museum of Ireland-Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Benburb Street, Dublin 8 • National Museum of Ireland-Archaeology, Kildare Street, Dublin 2 www.cnci.ie
St. Stephen’s Green: an oasis in the heart of the City Following a busy day taking in Dublin’s many sights, treat yourself to an ice cream or a healthy smoothie and have a stroll in the shade in St. Stephen’s Green, a sanctuary from the bustle of the city streets in the heart of the city.
6. Dublin by the Sea Dublin bay is one of the most scenic in the world. Take a walk out on Poolbeg pier and blow the cobwebs away. When you get to the end, you will see Dublin as you’ve never seen it before, mountains on one side, Howth head on the other and straight ahead: Dublin’s fair city!
2. Dublin Tourism’s iWalks Bring the history of the capital to life with Dublin Tourism’s iWalks series! These FREE podcast audio guides tell the many stories of Dublin as spoken by their author, historian and artist, Pat Liddy
3. Grab a Cab…an Eco Cab! Dublin has followed in the footsteps of 50 other cities around the world by introducing a fleet of high-tech rickshaws around the city centre. Each ‘Ecocab’ can carry two passengers and although generated mainly by pedalling; they are also equipped with emission-free electrical power.
7. Uncover Spooky Dublin: The Hell Fire Club Overlooking Dublin city from the south west, at an altitude of 383m (1264ft), is a foreboding ruined hunting lodge, marked on Ordnance Survey maps as the 'Hell-Fire Club'. Urban lore insists that this was a site commonly used for the practice of 'Satanism' and other occult activities, and that the Devil himself made a brief appearance there at some unspecified time in the past. See for yourself if you dare!
8. Tempt yourself with some Dublin Window Shopping! World Class Shopping Centres Dublin is the unrivalled shopping capital of Ireland and home to world class shopping centres such as Dundrum Town Centre – great for rainy days – you will find all you need under one roof!
4. Trendy Markets & Farmers’ Markets Temple Bar transforms into a colourful market place every Saturday with
three great outdoor markets. The Temple Bar Food Market takes place in Meeting House Square; Designer Mart happens on Cow’s Lane and the Book Market is every Saturday! Browse away to your heart’s content! www.templebar.ie Dublin’s farmers markets are well worth a visit – even if you just want to feel the buzz of the crowds and see the wonderfully colourful and fresh produce on offer. Farmers’ Markets take place throughout the Dublin region at various times during the week. Howth Fishermans and Farmers Market every Sunday has a huge array of produce and the seaside location makes it a great place to explore at the weekend. www.irishfarmersmarkets.ie
This is Dublin
9. Movies on the Square (summer) Every Saturday from July 5th until August 30th Dubliners and visitors to the city can watch movies under the stars in the best open air venue in the City – Meeting House Square, Temple Bar. Tickets for all movies are free but require collection. www.templebar.ie
10. Step back in time in Dublin’s only Medieval church Sited in the heart of the walled city, St. Audoen's is the only remaining medieval parish church in Dublin. It is dedicated to St. Ouen, the 7th century bishop of Rouen and patron saint of Normandy.
open for business
Dublin has long been the seat of political power in Ireland and home to its ruling elite – but as an industrial base it was very slow to prosper.
notably the distilleries and breweries. A job with Guinness at St James’s Gate was highly prized – the firm was one of the city’s biggest employers and certainly one of its fairest. Wages and conditions were good, and the housing and facilities dedicated to its staff were excellent.
While its northern neighbour of Belfast flourished during the Industrial Revolution and was a much bigger city at the time of the 1911 census, Dublin languished in poverty, ill health and industrial strife. The gap between rich and poor was vast – and almost half of the working population lived in cramped tenement housing.
Improvement, for many decades, was gradual – but Dublin remained a poor cousin in Europe right through to the early nineties. With unemployment rife and the inner city blighted by a nascent heroin epidemic, increasingly highly educated younger generations left in their droves to find work in England and further afield.
There were few enough jobs in the port and in construction; manufacturing had stagnated and while much of the work was done for the home market (textiles, coffins, mattresses, pipes, cigarettes…), competition was stiff from cheaper imports. Agricultural trades persisted in the city centre – surprising pictures from the time show an immense cattle market overlooked by tenement flats. Certain industries thrived –
Then in roared the Celtic Tiger. Growth came in a giddy spurt, aided firstly by European Union funding then by Government cutting corporation tax to 12.5% - and in certain cases just 10% to encourage inward investment. At this ultra-competitive rate, of course the multi-nationals flooded in, and soon the Irish economy – and in particular, Dublin – was awash with high-technology and pharmaceuticals manufacturers. (Repatriation of their profits, however, has
rather skewed Ireland’s GDP to GNP ratio – GDP is significantly exaggerated compared to GNP.) Suddenly, emigration was reversed – people were even returning from the US, and immigration into Ireland, especially from new EU nations, rocketed. The population increase along with higher incomes and alltoo relaxed mortgage conditions fuelled a massive property and construction bubble. A handful of property developers seemed to have been given carte blanche to radically change the city skyline, with epic apartment blocks and retail spaces shooting up all over the place at a rate of knots. (In 2006, a massive 12.6% of the Irish workforce was employed in construction.) Cost of living soared – and wage levels climbed above those available in New York and London. Dublin was at the centre of everything – and having discovered what it was to be rich, for some, ostentation was the order of the day. The motor trade rocketed thanks to Dubliners’ need to show off a new number plate each
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Business >from page 79 year; second homes were de rigueur – in European countries with smaller economies and warmer climates. Of course, life was good – the city had become much more cosmopolitan, much more confident and capable. Young people had every reason to stay – the opportunities seemed limitless. Dublin was a hive of media activity; the hub of a large and well-paid Civil Service; the site of the International Financial Services Centre with Citibank, Commerzbank and Merrill Lynch all present and correct; it was the centre of Ireland’s knowledge economy. Of course, no matter how hard we pushed our fingers into our ears, the crash was inevitable and duly hit hard in 2008 – an international crisis, but Ireland fell further than most since regulation had been so loose and the economy so exposed to vagaries in international conditions. Ireland was the first of the EU countries to enter recession. Since 2007, there has been a 51% falloff in employment in the falsely inflated construction industry, and overall unemployment was at 12.9% in the first quarter of 2010 with many already having taken to the waters again for better luck abroad. The Irish Government has managed a frightening budget deficit by means of a raft of austerity measures. Taking significant pressure off the public purse has already helped Ireland become more competitive again – but the social consequences have been painful. The Government’s other main action was to provide for an extensive banks bailout. The two main banks (Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland) were recapitalised with €3.5bn each and Anglo Irish Bank – which served big money clients rather than the general public and which displayed significant accounting irregularities – was nationalised at a cost of at least €22billion. Furthermore, a ‘bad bank’, the National Assets Management Agency was set up to buy up distressed property loans at a cost of €8.5bn to taxpayers. NAMA will absorb €81bn in toxic loans – almost half the worth of the Irish economy. International markets have looked favourably on the Dublin approach – with Finance Minister Brian Lenihan winning much praise – but in mid-2010, full recovery still seemed quite a way off. Signs of gradual relief were emerging though, with growth predicted by Ernst and Young for 2011. A focus on export, strong graduate skills and swift action on price correction meant that Ireland was well placed to slowly but surely pull itself out of the hole.
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IF YOU’RE THINKING OF STAYING LONGER... Ireland’s decade-long property and construction bubble dramatically burst in 2007 – and by the first quarter of 2010 prices had tumbled by up to 50% from peak, with Dublin city taking the greatest hit. ‘Bad bank’ Nama (National Assets Management Agency) swept in to absorb the country’s toxic real estate loans at a massive discount. Fire sales of apartment blocks in receivership became a grim feature on the Dublin property landscape, with Carrickmines Green in the south of the city gaining notoriety as an early example of the trend – three-bedroom duplexes that cost €770,000 at the height of the boom in 2006 sold quickly for €300,000 in June of 2010 and one-bedroom apartments went for the bargain basement price of €135,000. Ghost estates loomed large on the national
This is Dublin
psyche – most of these blighting the depopulated Midlands, but several languishing by the side of Dublin’s M50 ring-road. There was a massive shrinkage in occupancy of Dublin city’s office spaces, with around 20% lying vacant in early 2010. However, as regards empty homes the city suffered less than the country at large – with around one in ten uninhabited as compared to a sixth of all homes nationwide. Though prices tumbled hardest in Dublin, experts predicted that recovery – when it came – would give its greatest gains to the capital. And while countless homeowners were stuck in negative equity, conditions improved for tenants as the rental market became genuinely competitive for the first time in years. Vacant commercial property in the city could be put to imaginative use – with artists moving in for temporary exhibitions and creative start-ups taking advantage of cheap space to make good of the recession.
Regardless of the economic climate, there are certain areas of Dublin that retain an unshakeable appeal. For families, well-heeled couples and the comfortably retired the salubrious suburbs along the DART line – especially to the south – are a reliably pricey favourite. Blackrock, Booterstown and Monkstown are all charming southside neighbourhoods with some snob cachet and stunning bay views – plus it’s only 15 minutes by DART or bus to the city centre. It’s a great bet for those in finance – the train line runs right to the edge of the IFSC (Irish Financial Services Centre). Further south on the coastal route it’s even more ritzy – the beautiful beach village of Killiney is home to Ireland’s great and good including U2’s Bono. On the north side of the bay, along the same track, are Raheny and Clontarf (attractive, solidly well-off suburbs) and further out, Howth, Portmarnock and Malahide (home to
wealthy media personalities, novelists and musicians – Larry Mullan of U2 flies the flag for the northside in rarefied Howth). A more recent public transport development – the Luas tram system – has pushed up the value of homes along its trajectories towards town. Many of the suburbs on the southerly Green Line didn’t really need much of a helping hand – they’ve always been very desirable so the Luas has just been added value for already privileged locales. These areas include the chic Ranelagh – a mecca for the young professional, the yummy mummy and the moneyed creative type. It has a real village atmosphere and its main street is lined with fancy boutiques and trendy restaurants and watering holes. Also along the Green Line is Dundrum – a shopper’s paradise thanks to the vast Dundrum Town Centre development and another historically respected area for families. Veering off the Luas line around Dundrum are lots of other areas traditionally coveted by househunters, such as Templeogue, Terenure,
Goatstown and Churchtown. The Red Luas Line cuts a line from East to West across the city. Some of the more central areas in and around this route have become quite fashionable in recent times – Smithfield has been redeveloped with lots of swish apartments that appeal to young professionals (though it can feel rather isolated at night and gentrification has perhaps not been fair on the community that was here beforehand). Just north of Smithfield, Stoneybatter is now a firm favourite among arts workers, artists and architects. The houses are mainly small Victorian redbrick terraces, but very pretty – and there’s a great atmosphere and bustle about the place, with some excellent pubs and little shops. (Other northside suburbs away from the tram tracks that are worth investigating include Drumcondra and Glasnevin.) Further out on the Red line the areas around Rialto and Suir Road offer some great
possibilities. Kilmainham especially is very picturesque and steeped in history, with the intriguing Gaol, the ancient Bully’s Acre Cemetery and the grand Royal Hospital (which now houses the Irish Museum of Modern Art) as centrepieces. Rialto and the area above it up around the canal can provide some good investments – but the area does have some social problems that may put certain buyers off. At the end of the Red Line, Tallaght is like a city on to itself. There’s plenty on the market out here that will appeal to families who want good links to the city, don’t want to pay over the odds and want lots of amenities on their doorstep. Though for those prepared to travel that bit further, the commuter belt has widened significantly and the roads network has improved to cut journey times from rather more cosy little towns than Tallaght in the neighbouring counties of Meath, Wicklow and Kildare.
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OUR SPORTING LIFE...
This is Dublin
Dublin was named European Capital of Sport for 2010 – but every year is a winner on the sporting stage in this city of passionate fans, active enthusiasts and consummate professionals. No matter what your ‘thing’ is, you’ll find an outlet for it in Dublin. You may even discover the sport that you never knew was meant for you – and there’ll be ample opportunity to become the expert you were born to be… If rowing floats your boat, the Colours Boat Race is a major intervarsity that sweeps along the Liffey through the city centre in early March. The city’s rowing clubs are all based along a stunning stretch of the river running alongside Phoenix Park towards the pretty suburb of Chapelizod – and Dublin hosts frequent national meets throughout the summer season.
Catch includes whiting, Pollack, ray, dogfish and mackerel – you’ll be spoilt for choice!
as it is now known, is well worth a visit - the new facility there is state-of-the-art.
Dublin soccer draws fervent devotees to clubs including Bohemians, Shelbourne, St Pat’s Athletic and Shamrock Rovers. Soccer isn’t nearly so lucrative in Ireland as in England, and a lot of our top players up sticks for a shot at Premier League success. The Failte Ireland Dublin Horse Show is a major date in the equestrian calendar and thousands of visitors flock from every corner of this horse-loving country to the August event in the RDS. There’s international show-jumping, an always glamorous Ladies’ Day and tonnes of shopping and family attractions.
But a visit to Dublin would not be complete without a trip to Croke Park, where Ireland’s national games are played at top level. Gaelic football and hurling – the two main GAA sports – are high-speed, exciting sports that are a joy to watch; and the All-Ireland football final on the third Sunday of September at the huge north city centre stadium is the absolute highlight of the sporting year. Tickets can be very tough to come by as it’s also the most popular event in the country – so planning ahead is crucial.
Irish rugby has enjoyed a great renaissance in recent years, spearheaded by the performances of players such as international team captain Brian O’Driscoll (himself a Dubliner). The home of the sport is at Lansdowne Road in the southern suburb of Ballsbridge. The ‘Aviva Stadium’,
There are lots of great matches to be enjoyed at Croker at weekends throughout the Championship season from the end of May through to the final. The skill on display is terrific and newcomers to the sports are unlikely to be disappointed. The stadium also boasts a fascinating museum and tour.
When the sun is out, a very pleasant afternoon can be spent lazing by the ‘Pav’ in Trinity College. The university’s cricket pavilion faces on to its ample and elegant grounds where you can sip cider and study Ireland’s emerging stars, who don their whites for matches between April and June. A favoured active pursuit in Dublin is to take a bike around the Phoenix Park – it’s Europe’s largest enclosed city park at 707 hectares, it’s a hive of activity and a truly beautiful place to explore, plus it’s extremely bike-friendly with miles of dedicated cycle paths. There’s a great rental place just inside the main gates at Coyningham Road opposite the zoo. If you’re feeling romantic, you can even hire a tandem for the day! Ireland is an angler’s paradise – and Dublin boasts some excellent spots going west along the Liffey towards Kildare (Leixlip in May is great for trout.) Of course our sea fishing is superb – head for Howth Harbour on the northern tip of Dublin Bay where you can cast off the cliffs up by the Bailey lighthouse or take a boat out towards Ireland’s Eye.
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FORTHCOMING EVENTS New Living Art Exhibition 1 July – 1 August
Dublin Fringe Festival 11 September – 26 September
Riverdance 23 June – 28 August
Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival 30 September – 17 October
Photo Ireland Festival 1 July – 11 July Dun Laeoghaire Regatta 7 July – 10 July RTE National Symphony Orchestra 16 July
Fighting Irishmen Exhibition 18 May – 31 August Traditional Irish Music & Irish Dance Show 23 February – 23 December
Carlsberg Comedy Festival 22 July – 25 July
National Heritage Week 21 August – 29 August
Failte Dublin Horse Show 4 August – 8 August
GAA All Ireland Football Final 19 September
6th European Transplant & Dialysis Games 8 August – 15 August
Dublin Culture Night 24 September
Milk Festival 14 August Pheonix Park Motor Racing 14 August – 15 August Dublin Viking Festival 27 August – 29 August GAA All Ireland Hurling Festival 5 September
Senior Times Over 50 Show 15 October – 17 October Adidas Dublin Marathon 25 October Knitting & Stitching Festival 28 October – 31 October Hallowfest 25 October – 31 October
Mountains to Sea Book Festival 8 September – 12 September
Ireland v South Africa Rugby Union International 6 November
Cannonball Run 10 September
Art Fair 2010 5 November – 7 November
Dublin Toy & Train Fair 12 September and 14 November
Leopardstown Christmas Racing Festival 26 December – 29 December
• For a full list of events go to www.visitdublin.com 86
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