A Cornishman’s flying visit to Dublin
8th September 2023
Having recently returned from a flying visit to Dublin with my nieces a brief report for those who may wish to take a trip there to visit our Celtic cousins.
Getting to Dublin we flew by Ryanair from Cornwall Airport at Newquay. After a slight weather-related delay and I’d got over the trepidation of being fleeced by one of Michael O’Leary’s money grabbing small print rules, everything went smoothly. We’d made sure that bag sizes were right for carryon and paid an addon fee so we could carry an extra bag and sit together. Besides having our boarding passes on the Ryanair mobile app, we also printed them off as ‘Plan B’ to ensure there were no issues and additional fees. One piece of advice for travellers from Newquay in particular is to ensure your toiletries are not over 100ml otherwise they’ll be confiscated. I lost my toothpaste which was half used, but tube size was 125ml.
Dublin has changed considerably since my last visit over ten years ago and seen vast infrastructural improvements. Like many cities Dublin has seen a huge influx of people mostly from across Europe and returning Irish nationals with the largest group being from Ukraine. However, this hasn’t changed its friendly welcoming atmosphere, which we enjoyed very much. Great transport link through Dublin Express by coach from Dublin Airport to the city centre, which we used again on our return journey back to the airport. Tickets for the journey can be booked via a mobile app, which is cheaper, and you just show drivers the ticket on your mobile on boarding. These run every 15 minutes and there are stops all around Dublin on a circular route.
During our short visit from Friday early evening through to Sunday afternoon we stayed in the Temple Bar district. We had booked an Airbnb which was quite basic and pricey, but this was peak season and in the centre of Dublin activity, so no transport apart from shank’s pony was needed. There are a number of hotels and hostels within this area to choose from including a Premier Inn. Trotting around Temple Bar and district we visited Dublin Castle, Trinity College, National Library of Ireland which has free exhibitions and generally enjoyed the ambiance of Dublin. This including some welcoming hostelries imbibing some Irish ‘refreshments’. We’d enjoyed an Irish stew based on a Kerry recipe on Friday night at Ned O’Shea’s, a pub close to our Airbnb, washed down with a Guiness or two and for the girls Irish cider. Entertained by a good traditional Irish singer.
We enjoyed great service from a young Ukrainian lad at the Brick Alley Café who spoke English very well with a somewhat strange combined eastern European/Irish accent. Nice ambiance to the café as well which we used twice on the two mornings we were there. Sam Clifford an 18-year-old singer in the Wild Duck pub, who gave a shout for Cornwall, was most entertaining with a promising singing/songwriting career. Many of the pubs have entertainment in the evenings and most will include a number of Irish themed songs, including one of my favourites ‘The fields of Athenry’ a folk protest song relating to the Irish famine.
The return journey went very well with good service from Ryanair. I was pulled over for a fuller inspection on a random basis, all okay. However, my luggage was also pulled over, a total coincidence apparently as the new detection equipment detected something strange, possibly chemicals they explained. I tried to tell them it was probably my socks and after sticking a tube in amongst my clothes my bag was given an all clear. I and my nieces found it highly amusing and those carrying out the checks were very professional and friendly.
It was good to hear some Irish being spoken in Dublin, albeit far less than I’ve heard in the past in other parts of Ireland, such as the west coast. Although a good percentage of the population speaks Irish, this is not on a daily basis and the government established a twenty-year strategy in 2010 to increase these numbers. Like Cornwall all the governments of the Celtic nations are now working towards increasing their national Celtic languages, which is encouraging. Gradually Cornwall is establishing greater links with the other Celtic nations, and this can only be good for Cornish culture and heritage.
Dublin has many lovely and interesting historic buildings, here is just a small selection of some snaps taken around the city during our short trip there. Click the image for a larger view.
Tripadvisor: Ertach Kernow @ertachkernow