County Dublin Ireland | Things to See and Do
Though it is Ireland's third smallest county, Dublin is home to roughly a third of Ireland's population. The county is made up of Dublin and the surrounding areas of the capital city, and borders Wicklow, Meath and Kildare.
County Dublin stretches in an arc around Dublin Bay, from the quaint and fashionable towns of Malahide and Howth in the north, to the main harbour town of Dun Laoghaire, and Dalkey bordering the Wicklow Mountains to the south. Central to the county is Dublin, Ireland's famously vibrant and colourful capital city.
The status of County Dublin, however, is a little complicated and was officially dissolved in 1994 and replaced by counties Dun Laoghaire, Fingal and South Dublin. These counties do have administrative county status, but many agencies, organisations and sporting bodies still operate on a County Dublin basis. To make matters more confusing there are the terms and separate areas of Greater Dublin and the Dublin Region.
The River Liffey flows through the county dividing it, like the city, into north and south. This has traditionally been a social marker dividing the poor north from the affluent south, though through a general process of gentrification, this social divide is merging.
The area around Dublin was settled by the early Celts in around 988, who inhabited an ancient crossing point of the Liffey, giving rise to the Irish name for Dublin, Baile Atha Cliath, ‘town of the hurdle ford'. But it was the Vikings in the 9th Century who established Dublin as a major port city where the River Poddle met the Liffey creating a black pool, which in Irish translates to dubh linn.
Dublin boasts many famous names, among them are literary figures James Joyce, Brendan Behan, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Jonathon Swift, Bram Stoker and Sam Beckett. Entertainers such as Bono, Bob Geldof, Colin Farrell and Gabriel Byrne and political leaders, Bertie Aherne and Charles Haughey were also from County Dublin.
Top 10 Things you must do in DUBLIN, Ireland
Dublin has so much to offer anyone visiting the city. From traditional music and dance, festive Irish pubs, castles, history and culture, plus the heritage of Irish Whiskey and the story of Guinness – there is something for everyone. Known as one of the friendliest cities in the world, you may even make an Irish friend of two!https://www.youtube.com/embed/kfn5ySr-1fI?feature=oembed
Visit some of Dublin’s unique and fascinating attractions that are key to the character of Dublin city, but also to its people and the people of Ireland.
Guinness Store House
The Storehouse covers seven floors surrounding a glass atrium shaped in the form of a pint of Guinness. The ground floor introduces the beer’s four ingredients (water, barley, hops and yeast), and the brewery’s founder, Arthur Guinness. Other floors feature the history of Guinness advertising and include an interactive exhibit on responsible drinking. The seventh floor houses the Gravity Bar with views of Dublin and where visitors may drink a pint of Guinness included in the price of admission.
The old Jameson Distillery
The original distillery on this site was called the Bow Street Distillery and was established in 1780. John Jameson took full ownership (he was previously the general manager) and expanded the distillery in 1805. By 1810, the operation was officially renamed to John Jameson & Son’s Bow Street Distillery. The distillery grew to an upwards of 5 acres (2 ha) by 1886.
At this time, it was described by many as a “city within a city”. The distillery also housed a Smithy, Cooperage, saw mills, engineers, carpenters, painters and coppersmiths’ shops. Water for the distillery came from two deep wells dug underneath the site. Cellars were also dug underneath nearby streets to store maturing whiskey, while four stills and two wash stills, each holding 24,000 gallons (109,000 L), were heated by both fire and steam coils above.
Following a difficult period that included American Prohibition, Ireland’s trade war with Great Britain, and the introduction of Scotch blended whiskey, the Jameson distillery fell on hard times and decided to form the Irish Distillers Group with their previous rivals, the Cork Distilleries Company and John Power & Son in 1966. Eventually, it became one of the last distilleries in Ireland to close in 1971. The operation was then moved out of Dublin to the New Midleton Distillery.
Glasnevin Cemetery (Irish: Reilig Ghlas Naíon) is a large cemetery in Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland which opened in 1832. It holds the graves and memorials of several notable figures, and has a museum.
The cemetery is located in Glasnevin, Dublin, in two parts. The main part, with its trademark high walls and watchtowers, is located on one side of the road from Finglas to the city centre, while the other part, “St. Paul’s,” is located across the road and beyond a green space, between two railway lines.
The cemetery contains historically notable monuments and the graves of many of Ireland’s most prominent national figures. These include the graves of Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Éamon de Valera, Arthur Griffith, Maude Gonne, Kevin Barry, Roger Casement, Constance Markievicz, Pádraig Ó Domhnaill, Seán MacBride, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, James Larkin, Brendan Behan, Christy Brown and Luke Kelly of the Dubliners.
The National Botanic Gardens
The National Botanic Gardens (Irish: Garraithe Náisiúnta na Lus) is a botanical garden, located in Glasnevin, 5 km north-west of Dublin city centre, Ireland.The 19.5 hectares are situated between Glasnevin Cemetery and the River Tolka where it forms part of the river’s floodplain.
The gardens were founded in 1795 by the Dublin Society (later the Royal Dublin Society) and are today in State ownership through the Office of Public Works. They hold approximately 20,000 living plants and many millions of dried plant specimens. There are several architecturally notable greenhouses. Today the Glasnevin site is the headquarters of the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland which has a satellite garden and arboretum at Kilmacurragh in County Wicklow.
Croke Park (Irish: Páirc an Chrócaigh) is a Gaelic games stadium located in Dublin, Ireland. Named after Archbishop Thomas Croke, it is sometimes called Croker by GAA fans and locals. It serves as both the principal stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Since 1891 the site has been used by the GAA to host Gaelic sports, including the annual All-Ireland in Gaelic football and hurling.
James Joyce Centre
The James Joyce Centre is a museum in Dublin, Ireland, dedicated to promoting an understanding of the life and works of James Joyce.
The Centre is situated in a restored 18th-century Georgian townhouse at 35 North Great George’s Street, Dublin, dating from a time when north inner city Dublin was at the height of its grandeur.
Mountjoy Square (Irish: Cearnóg Mhuinseo) is a Georgian garden square in Dublin, Ireland, on the north side of the city just under a kilometre from the River Liffey. One of five Georgian squares in Dublin, it was planned and developed in the late 18th century by the Luke Gardiner, 1st Viscount Mountjoy. It was surrounded on all sides by terraced, red-brick Georgian houses. Construction began in the early 1790s and the work was completed in 1818.
St Stephen's Green Dublin
St Stephen's Green (Irish: Faiche Stiabhna) is a city centre public park in Dublin, Ireland. The current landscape of the park was designed by William Sheppard. It was officially re-opened to the public on Tuesday, 27 July 1880 by Lord Ardilaun.The park is adjacent to one of Dublin's main shopping streets, Grafton Street, and to a shopping centre named for it, while on its surrounding streets are the offices of a number of public bodies as well as a stop on one of Dublin's Luas tram lines.
How to get there and Opening Hours
St Stephen's Green Park is open all year round. Monday – Saturday: 7.30am – dusk. Sunday and bank holidays: 9.30am – dusk. Approximate times of dusk are 4.30-6pm (Jan-Feb), 6.30-8.30pm (Mar-Apr), 9pm (May-July), 7-8.30pm (Aug-Sep), 4-6.30pm (Oct-Dec).
St Stephen’s Green Park is located in St Stephen’s Green Square, in Dublin 2. The main entrance is through the Fusiliers’ Arch, at the top of Grafton Street.
Most buses serve the city centre, and stop near St Stephen’s Green Park. Check the Dublin Bus website for up to date schedules. The Luas tram green line also terminates at the park; get out at the stop for ‘St Stephen’s Green’.
It is often informally called Stephen's Green. At 22 acres (8.9 ha), it is the largest of the parks in Dublin's main Georgian garden squares. Others include nearby Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square. The park is rectangular, surrounded by streets that once formed major traffic arteries through Dublin city centre, although traffic management changes implemented in 2004 during the course of the Luas works have greatly reduced the volume of traffic.
These four bordering streets are called, respectively, St Stephen's Green North, St Stephen's Green South, St Stephen's Green East and St Stephen's Green West. Until 1663 St Stephen's Green was a marshy common on the edge of Dublin, used for grazing. In that year Dublin Corporation, seeing an opportunity to raise much-needed revenue, decided to enclose the centre of the common and to sell land around the perimeter for building.The park was enclosed with a wall in 1664.
The houses built around the Green were rapidly replaced by new buildings in the Georgian style and by the end of the eighteenth century the Green was a place of resort for the better-off of the city. Much of the present-day landscape of the square comprises modern buildings, some in a replica Georgian style, and relatively little survives from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Fusiliers' Arch, erected in 1907 In 1814 control of St Stephen's Green passed to Commissioners for the local householders, who redesigned its layout and replaced the walls with railings. After the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria suggested that St Stephen's Green be renamed Albert Green and have a statue of Albert at its centre, a suggestion rejected with indignation by the Dublin Corporation and the people of the city, to the Queen's chagrin.
Access to the Green was restricted to local residents, until 1877, when Parliament passed an Act to reopen St Stephen's Green to the public, at the initiative of Sir A.E. Guinness, a member of the Guinness brewing family who lived at St Anne's Park, Raheny and at Ashford Castle. He later paid for the laying out of the Green in approximately its current form, which took place in 1880, and gave it to the Corporation, as representatives of the people.
By way of thanks the city commissioned a statue of him, which faces the College of Surgeons. His brother Edward lived at Iveagh House, which his descendants gave in 1939 to the Department of External Affairs (now the Department of Foreign Affairs). During the Easter Rising of 1916, a group of insurgents made up mainly of members of the Irish Citizen Army, under the command of Commandant Michael Mallin, his second-in-command Kit Poole, and Constance Markievicz, established a position in St Stephen's Green.
They numbered between 200 and 250. They confiscated motor vehicles to establish road blocks on the streets that surround the park, and dug defensive positions in the park itself. This approach differed from that of taking up positions in buildings, adopted elsewhere in the city. It proved to have been unwise when elements of the British Army took up positions in the Shelbourne Hotel, at the northeastern corner of St Stephen's Green, overlooking the park, from which they could shoot down into the entrenchments.
Finding themselves in a weak position, the Volunteers withdrew to the Royal College of Surgeons on the west side of the Green.During the Rising, fire was temporarily halted to allow the park's groundsman to feed the local ducks.
Layout of the Park- Wikipedia
While the central park of St Stephen's Green is one of three ancient commons in the city, its current layout owes much to the restorations of the 19th century. Architectural history professor Christine Casey states that this restoration obscures what would have been its most impressive feature to 18th century visitors, its large size. The grounds are roughly rectangular, measuring (approximately) 550 by 450 metres, and are centred on a formal garden.
By 1758, the tree lined walks around the park had been named, Beaux Walk to the north, Leeson's Walk to the south, Monck's Walk to the east, and French Walk to the west.
One of the more unusual aspects of the park lies on the north-west corner of this central area, a garden for the blind with scented plants, which can withstand handling, and are labelled in Braille.
Further north again (and spanning much of the length of the park) is a large lake. Home to ducks and other water fowl, the lake is fed by an artificial waterfall, spanned by O'Connell bridge, and fronted by an ornamental gazebo. The lakes in the park are fed from the Grand Canal at Portobello.
There is also a playground (separated into junior and senior areas) which was refurbished in 2010.
The park once featured a statue of King George II on horseback by John van Nost, erected in 1758, until it was blown up in 1937 by Irish Republicans, the day after the coronation of George VI.
Other notable features include:
- the Fusiliers' Arch at the Grafton Street corner which commemorates the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who died in the Second Boer War.
- a fountain representing the Three Fates inside the Leeson Street gate. The statue was designed by Joseph Wackerle in bronze in 1956. It was a gift from the German people in thanks for Irish help to refugee children following World War II. Up to five hundred children found foster-homes in Ireland in a project named Operation Shamrock.
- a seated statue of Lord Ardilaun on the western side, the man who gave the Green to the city, facing the Royal College of Surgeons which he also sponsored (again, see History above)
- the Yeats memorial garden with a sculpture by Henry Moore
- a bust of James Joyce facing his former university at Newman House
- a memorial to the Fenian leader Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa near the Grafton Street entrance
- a bronze statue at the Merrion Row corner of Theobald Wolfe Tone, the leader of the 1798 rebellion.
- a memorial to the Great Famine of 1845–1850 by Edward Delaney
- a bust of Constance Markievicz on the south of the central garden (see History above)
- a statue of Robert Emmet standing opposite his birthplace (now demolished) at No 124.
- a memorial bust of Thomas Kettle, a fatality of the Great War. The attempt to erect a commemorative portrait bust of Kettle was beset by controversy until it was finally placed, without official unveiling, in the centre section.
Stephen's Green Shopping Centre
Stephen's Green Shopping Centre is a large indoor shopping centre located at the top of Grafton Street on the Southside of Dublin. It is named after St. Stephen's Green, a major city park situated across the road from its main entrance. Its street address is Stephen's Green West.
Located in the heart of the most prestigious shopping and cultural area of Dublin city centre, Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre hosts a wide variety of top retailers, including household names like Dunnes Stores, Argos, Boots, Eason, United Colors of Benetton, Mothercare, Elverys, Golden Discs and TK Maxx.
Leading home grown retailers, such as Best Menswear, Raidar and Tribe carry all the premium names and brands found in any of the top European shopping destinations. We also cater to those with slightly more eclectic tastes, with stores such as Asha, Cactus, and Retro Nation stocking everything from Goth fashions to quirky gifts.
Also a one stop shopping destination for tourists, visitors from overseas can find all kinds of high-end gifts and souvenirs at a variety of Irish craft and gift stores, including, The Donegal Shop, Carroll’s Irish Gifts and Celtic Spirit. For those wishing to take a break from shopping or sightseeing, Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre has a huge variety of top quality cafes, bars and restaurants to suit all tastes.