Irish Pubs and Folklore 2016 Day 7 Glasnevin Museum, The Brazen Head Pub, Dublin #cietours #ireland #TourismIreland #mycietour #glasnevin

Ireland 2016
CIE Tour-Irish Pubs and Folklore
March 19-26, 2016

Friday March 25-Glasnevin Museum, Brazen Head Pub, Dublin.
It's March 25, Good Friday and the Pubs in Dublin are closed in observance of the Holy Day. Luckily Jay hit a SuperValu before we left Westport and stocked up on Guinness. We aren't quite sure how it will play out for our final dinner at the Brazen Head Pub, time will tell.

We say goodbye to the lovely town of Westport, on the Atlantic Coast, in County Mayo, and make our way east across the country to the other coast. Dublin here we come. Remember this is a special weekend for Dubliners and the Irish as it is the 100 year anniversary of the Easter Rising.

We enter the County of Rosscommon and drive past a burial mound that is 5000 years old. Rathcroghan, in the town of Tulsk is one of six Royal Sites in Ireland.

We make a coffee stop at Stokestown House , or The Irish National Famine Museum. The House was the family home of the Pakenham Mahon family and is built on the site of the 16th century castle, home of The O Conor Roe Gaelic Chieftains. It's not open yet but the coffee shop is ready to serve us some much needed caffeine. And the gift shop is open too.
People want to shop so Jay and I wander the grounds.

We cross the River Shannon and continue east. Michael, our driver/tour guide tells us never, ever order a Black and Tan in an Irish bar. He says for one thing "why would you ruin a perfectly good beer this way?" Then proceeds to give us a history lesson about the "Bland and Tans." He suggested we watch the film "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" Here's the trailer:

The Black and Tans, who were they? Officially the Royal Irish Constabulary Special Reserve, was a force of Temporary Constables recruited to assist the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) during the Irish War of Independence. The force was the brainchild of Winston Churchill, then British Secretary of State for War.

 Not a nice bunch of lads. So take thee heed, do not order a black and tan in an Irish bar.

So this morning we were in County Mayo, we've now crossed through County Rosscommon, County Westmeath, County Kildare and into County Dublin.

Our destination is the Glasnevin Museum and Graveyard. It's close to noon and our tour doesn't start until 1:30 so Jay and I hit the cafe for lunch. It's mobbed. Luckily we are the first from our group to order so at least we get something to eat before our walking tour begins.

The cemetery opened in 1832.
Prior to this date, Irish Catholics had no cemeteries of their own in which to bury their dead and, as the repressive Penal Laws of the eighteenth century placed heavy restrictions on the public performance of Catholic services, it had become normal practice for Catholics to conduct a limited version of their own funeral services in Protestant churchyards or graveyards. Daniel O'Connell, a champion of Catholic rights, launched a campaign and prepared a legal opinion proving that there was actually no law passed forbidding praying for a dead Catholic in a graveyard. O'Connell pushed for the opening of a burial ground in which both Irish Catholics and Protestants could give their dead dignified burial. The tower stands over the tomb of Daniel O'Connell.

Many prominent Irish folks are buried here: as mentioned above Daniel O'Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins (whose grave site is the most visited in the graveyard, above), Éamon de Valera, Arthur Griffith, Maude Gonne, Kevin Barry, Roger Casement, Constance Markievicz, Pádraig Ó Domhnaill, Seán MacBride, Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, Frank Duff, Brendan Behan, Christy Brown and Luke Kelly of the Dubliners.

There are 1.5 million interments, including 13,000 cholera victims.

Our guide tells us Parnell’s gravestone actually sits on top of  a cholera pit. Victims of a massive outbreak in Dublin in 1849 were buried here in the hopes of containing the disease. What the authorities didn’t realize, however, was that streams which ran into the River Tolka flowed beneath the burial ground. The river water transmitted the disease from this mass grave. 13,000 people were buried there long before Parnell’s body was laid to rest.

While Parnell’s grave is not marked in the same lavish way as that of Daniel O’Connell (the tower above), there is something honorable about the fact that the forgotten dead lie beneath the granite headstone from Parnell’s family home in Avondale (County Wicklow.) It should also be noted that Parnell’s funeral, attended by more than one-quarter million people, was the largest in the cemetery’s history, bigger even than that of Michael Collins’s.

We arrive at the Ashling Hotel, our last rest stop before heading home to Vermont, in the late afternoon. Just to drive us crazy, the Guinness Storehouse is directly across the river from our room! Remember, it's Good Friday. Driving through Dublin was very strange to see all the pubs shuttered up tight. I can't image the loss of revenue these establishments must feel twice a year (Good Friday and Christmas.)

It's too weird seeing the Gravity Bar at the Storehouse completely empty (top center of the picture.)

Our last adventure with the tour is a trip to the Brazen Head Pub. Dublin's oldest dating back to 1198.

They have some cool stuff on their walls and what looks like a great selection of Irish Whiskey but...

We are brought up to the very top floor and absolutely fill the space. Folks not on our tour are already seated and later others join too. Not an empty seat anywhere in the room. Ollie, a teacher of Irish History will be our entertainment in between courses. He gives a condensed version of Irish history. Highlighting what life was like in the days of mud walls and thatched roofs. He explained how Craic Houses started as a place for folks to gather and tell stories, gossip, play music and dance.

He told tales of faeries and banshees and getting a leprechaun's gold. It was kind of fun, maybe it would have been more entertaining if the adults in the room had more than wine with dinner. And by the way-if they can serve wine-how come they can't serve beer or whiskey? WHAT

It's off to bed, need our sleep, we have a long travel day ahead of us.

In the morning of March 26, we have a final full Irish Breakfast. I forgot to get a picture of the pot of Kerry Gold Butter!

Happy Easter from the Ashling Hotel.
Our taxi arrives.
We start talking with our taxi driver and he's a HUGE Springsteen fan and will be going to one of the shows in Croke Park. I give him my card and tell him to check out the videos I took at Albany and Hartford. He wishes us well. We hope he has luck navigating the streets as a five hour parade for the Easter Rising will be closing down most of Dublin on Saturday and Sunday. Good luck mate and have fun with the BOSS!


More images from our last day in Dublin:

Next up: Back to Vermont and some serious Ireland Withdrawl

Irish Pubs and Folklore
CIE Tours 2016
Day 3 March 21 Kilkenny,WaterfordBlarney, Killarney
March 19-26, 2016
Copyright ©2016 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

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