A visit to Wicklow is always memorable. The “Garden of Ireland” as it’s also known is always inviting, its colours, contours and mountains leave an admirable impression. It has always been an escape route for Dubliners wanting to escape the daily grind of modernity. Being in close proximity to the Big Smoke, Wicklow is always appealing but its beauty is perhaps its greatest appeal. It has of course many other attributes not least of which is its historical connectivity with the story of Ireland. Many of Ireland’s leading protagonists in the field of rebellion came from here; others found fame in the area of pioneering while others still left their eternal footprint in their ecclesiastical endeavours.
The stuff of legend can apply to many things in life. It can evoke memories of childhood fantasies of emulating a great sporting icon for example. If Hurling is your passion that might be memories of Christy Ring lining out in the colours of his native Cork or more recently perhaps DJ Carey of Kilkenny or Nicky English of Tipperary slotting over points to beat the band. If you prefer soccer it might be Bestie (George Best) beating defender after defender until the net bulges and you are left mesmerized but in awe. More recently again it might have been the pride and unadulterated male envy of watching the ladies hockey team reach the promised land of hockey heaven by announcing their arrival at the Hockey World Cup final.
This is the first in a series of articles giving an overview of Ireland’s four recipients of the Nobel Prize for literature. True to form we start with the second winner of that coveted accolade, one George Bernard Shaw. The other recipients were: William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney.
In the course of writing anything about the Famine one is understandably touched by the awful human tragedy that befell our island and its people. But being objective is important in order to give a fair analysis or understanding of the tragedy. However, it is also worth recalling some of the people concerned in trying to bring help and succour to the poor of that period. Amongst that number were the Quakers or The Society of Friends. Though small in number and not having a real presence in the worst affected areas, in the West of Ireland in particular as it transpired, they were successful by all accounts in dispersing funds, clothing and farming essentials to the needy in the areas that they could reach.
During a recent visit to Cork City Gaol we heard of and witnessed the kind of conditions and punishments that inmates of the jail would have had to endure. From the lowly to the not so lowly. The prison opened in 1824 but is today a visitor attraction. People were interned here for what would be considered today as less than petty transgressions. Amongst that number was one Constance Markievicz who was recorded here as one of its residents in 1919. This lady already immortalised for her part in the Rebellion of 1916 would shape the role that women would play in the Ireland that emerged after the War of Independence and indeed the Civil War. Her crime was that she gave a speech that was considered seditious.
This accolade could fit a number of people in the world of literature past and present. Indeed the list is potentially endless. How does one quantify or indeed arrive at a consensus to this inexplicable question. We can list the usual luminaries, everyone has a favourite. The names slip off the tongue whether it is: Wilde, Yeats, Shaw, etc. etc. However. If one were to delve into what it means to be the personification of a Dub or Dublin person who happens or happened to be a dramatist, might we find ourselves arriving at a consensus of sorts when we think about the man himself, or the ‘Quare fella’ the redoubtable Brendan Behan?
A walk through Dublin City in the company of a native Dubliner with the emphasis on history, culture and the great Irish ability to tell a story and to sing a song. In addition, and at no extra cost an actual rendition of a self-penned verse or perhaps a spot of warbling. I'd like to share my love of history with you, after all the past is our present and should be part of our future.
Tours are in English, with Irish translations, where appropriate. I also speak Intermediate level Dutch. Duration: 3 hours approx., with a short break in-between. Tour prices and booking options are available in the booking section.
The contact hours are Monday to Sunday, 09:00 - 20:00 IST.
We can also arrange a half-day private tour for a maximum of twelve people. This incorporates a collection of parts of our three Tours combined. Tour duration 4-5 hours approx. A break for refreshments in between. Group of 2: €50 per person, Group of 3: €30 p.p., Group of 4 or more: €25 p.p. Refreshments: €10 approx. (This is an extra). Please contact us for details.