Saturday, August 11, 2007

Dustin: Farewell from Dublin

Well, the students survived the rainiest Dublin summer in more than a half-century, and are now safely back in Philadelphia. Despite the precipitation, everyone had a great time in Ireland, and it was an experience none of us will ever forget.

Thank you to the students for a great semester abroad, and for contributing to this spirited travelblog.

Please take a moment to peruse the blog, and enjoy the students' takes on the history, culture, media, and experience of living in Dublin. For more information about the program, please consult the first post in the blog. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at Temple University.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Mark: Photos

A portal to the "Other World" in Irish mythology, somewhere near Doolin.

Co. Meath, Oldest Irish Whiskey Distillery, est. 1757, now a museum

Saint Michael (the Protector) at the entrance of Glasnevin Cemetary

A picture of a picture of me kissing the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle
(saved me 10 Euro)

Sunset in Doolin

Cliffs of Moher (pictures Can not describe it's beauty)

Chaotic view from the River Liffey overlooking O'Conell Street

Stage view of the Abbey Theatre

88 Leeson Street (1 of 5 rainbows I saw in Ireland)

Back of Saint Patrick Cathedral

The side of Dublin Castle

A peacock on a farm in Co. Kerry.

Favorite beverage in Ireland ( every Guinness is severed in a Gunness glass)

Glendalough Cemetary

88 upper leeson street out of my bedroom window

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Mark: Buddy passes, not always your buddy

Buddy passes sometimes really are not your friend. My Grandfather used to work for Delta. He retired some years ago but still gets discounted airfare. He can purchase “Buddy” tickets which are really cheap stand-by tickets. With these tickets you can get on the plane if there is an open seat. Rarely do you not get on, and frequently the seats available are in first class! That is how I flew to Ireland, first class, enjoying cocktails and a seat that reclines to a complete horizontal position. You also get your own television screen and can pick anything you would like to watch. They had my favorite show of all time playing, the Sopranos. This made the flight quick and painless on the way there. When I arrived in Dublin it was easy to grab all of my luggage and make my way to where the IES people were waiting for me. The trip home was not as easy. At the end of the program my friend Jenn came to Ireland and we went on the Shamrocker tour, (with Jim, and the trip was amazing) and spent the last three nights in Ireland at Temple Bar, also amazing. Sadly, the trip was over and we made our way to the Dublin airport at 6:45 am. When we arrived they took our luggage and made us wait to see if there were available seats. Thirty minutes before boarding time they gave us boarding passes and sent us through security, duty free stores and started to wait in line at emigration. After about twenty minutes of waiting a woman working for Delta approached us and pulled us out of the line. She just asked us to wait. Jenn and I both realized that we were not getting on the plane. After more waiting the woman came to us again and asked what my luggage looked like, they had lost my luggage and did not know if it was on the plane or still in the airport. They did not want to delay the plane anymore so they took off. When I asked the woman what happened to our tickets she blatantly said she sold them last minute. As an additional bonus she told us that the Delta flights from Dublin to JFK were over sold for the next three days. We left immigration to go find someone to talk about my lost bag. I had two bags, one was filled with clothes, I got that one back, and one was filled with electronics and souvenirs, that’s the one that was lost. I found no help when talking to baggage claim. I had to change my focus on getting home from a different airport rather than finding my luggage. Jenn and I were able to purchase tickets from Dublin to Shannon on Aer Lingus.

When we arrived in Shannon my luggage was found at the Dublin airport. The airline arranged that the bag would make it on the flight the next day to JFK around the same time I would arrive at JFK. We had to get a hotel to spend the night and wait for our next flight. Unfortunately for my wallet the only one available was a four star hotel. But when morning came we boarded the plane no problem, first class, and arrived at JFK on time.

To bad my luggage was never put on the other plane. I had to fill out a delayed luggage report and I was sent home with out my bag. The woman at the baggage claim told me that I would have to pay for the shipping of my bag because I was on the buddy pass. Every morning for the next five days I called and harassed Delta to send my luggage, when finally I noticed online that it not only made it to JFK but was sent to Philadelphia the same day. I jumped in my car and made it to the airport in no time.
It was there waiting for me in mint condition. It wasn’t until this moment I finally felt that my trip was
(Above Ireland on the way home) over.

(Lost luggage slip and boarding pass)
(The lost bag)

Mark: Commercials

After the first class and in between my second, I would usually grab a pre-packaged sandwich from Spar and sit back and watch some television. Channel surfing is not that interesting with Irish broadcasting because you usually pass the same television show 14 times on different channels. To make surfing even less exciting the selection of programming is very limited. You can usually catch repeating shows of Big Brother, reruns of Hurling and Gaelic Football matches, the Simpson’s, Friends and a few Irish soap operas. A different game can be played though, it’s called “guess what channel has sound.” Even though a single show will be playing on multiple channels at once not all of them will have sound, or the volume will fluctuate. After the right channel is chosen for the program you would like to watch, it is usually smooth sailing from this point. Just like any other broadcasting system anywhere in the United States there were plenty of commercials. In Ireland the commercials were much different than the ones aired in America. A lot of them did not make sense, had no relevance to the product being advertised, and were random. My favorite commercial was for YOP, a yogurt drink. It is an animated piece that takes place during the dinosaur period. It had a caveman man running from two Raptors, on the bottom of the screen it gives a BC date and says “before YOP.” To elude the predators the man runs up a tree. The dinosaurs wait looking up into the tree as the branches give and the man falls down. The screen turns black as words come onto the screen that says “drink YOP in the morning.” It was pretty entertaining but doesn’t make sense or make me want to try YOP. (Just the word YOP is unappetizing.) For most products there would be entertaining skits that did not really describe or offer benefits of their product. Although I did find that most of the commercials are targeted at young adults and the comedic approach was the most popular.

This is a YOP commercial.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Michelle: Scientific Fact v Romantic Legend

While in Northern Ireland, we had a chance to view Giant's Causeway. And what a spectacular view!! I was, and still am, amazed at the natural wonder of this place.

It is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns resulting for volcanic eruptions. It is usually fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava on the Earth's surface. It is located on the North East coast about 3 kilometres (2 miles) north of the town of Bushmills in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

The ancient inhabitants knew: clearly this was giants' work and, more particularly, the work of the giant Finn McCool, the Ulster warrior and commander of the king of Ireland's armies. It is said that Finn could pick thorns out of his heels while running and was capable of amazing feats of strength. Once, during a fight with a Scottish giant, he scooped up a huge clump of earth and flung it at his fleeing rival. The clump of Earth fell into the sea and turned into the Isle of Man. The hole it left filled up with water and became Lough Neagh.

During the Paleogene period, Antrim was subject to intense volcanic activity, when highly fluid molten basalt intruded through chalk beds to form an extensive lava plateau. As the lava cooled rapidly, contraction occurred. While contraction in the vertical direction reduced the flow thickness (without fracturing), horizontal contraction could only be accommodated by cracking throughout the flow. The extensive fracture network produced the distinctive columns seen today.

The "discovery" of the Giant's Causeway was announced to the world in 1693 by the presentation of a paper to the Royal Society from Sir Richard Bulkeley, a fellow of Trinity College, Dublin; however the "discoverer" had, in fact, been the Bishop of Derry who had visited the site a year earlier. The first historical accounts of the Causeway started appearing in the late 17th century when the Bishop of Derry made one of the first recorded visits in 1692.

Before the famous coast road was built in the 1830s visitors complained about the ruggedness of the trip. But there was one shining compensation on the journey: the town where tourists made their last stop before the final push to the Causeway was Bushmills. Ever since 1608 saddle-sore travellers had been revived with magnums of the King's whiskey at the world's oldest (legal) distillery, which is still in business.

The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea.

Altogether the 40,000 stone columns are mostly hexagonal but some with four, five, seven and eight sides. The tallest are about 40 feet high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 90 feet thick in places.

One myth is that when Finn fell in love with a lady giant on Staffa, an island in the Hebrides (off the west coast of Scotland), he built this wide extensive highway to bring her across to Ulster.

Other myths include that same Irish giant Finn McCool building the causeway to walk to Scotland to fight his Scottish counterpart Benandonner. But Finn fell asleep before he got to Scotland, and when he did not arrive, the much larger Benandonner crossed the bridge looking for him. To protect Finn, his wife Oonagh laid a blanket over Finn and pretended he was actually Finn's baby son (in a variation, Finn fled after seeing Benandonner's great bulk, and asked his wife to disguise him as the baby.)

In both versions, when Benandonner saw the size of the 'infant', he assumed the alleged father, Finn, must be gigantic indeed. Therefore, Benandonner fled home in terror, ripping up the Causeway in case he was followed by Finn.

Another variation is that Oonagh painted a rock shaped like a steak and gave it to Benandonner when he arrived, while giving the baby (Finn) a normal steak. When Benandonner saw that the baby was able to eat it so easily, he ran away, tearing up the causeway.

Maybe it's the romantic in me, believing real love does exist and conquers all... so my favorite legend is Finn McCool building the walkway as a bridge to his one, true love.

Ben: Advertising in Purchased Irish Media Programs

One aspect of Irish media that I found particularly interesting was the use of advertising during television programs, specifically American programs. Here in the United States, during a syndicated program, the most that is acknowledged specific to a product sponsoring the show is one of the show’s stars declaring that “this episode is brought to you by…” and inserting commercials to follow. I noticed here that there are separate advertisements made to show the sponsors of a particular program, and that these ads are made specifically to be paired with the show. For instance, upon viewing a Malcolm In The Middle episode, a Sharpie commercial was made, depicting a hand writing Malcolm on items like a lunchbox or a basketball. These commercials take the products that sponsor the show and relate them to the show’s subject matter.
Another example of this specialized marketing is seen during My Super Sweet Sixteen, a show that was shown so often that I regrettably say I watched more of on this trip than I have before in my life. The ad shows a young girl telling her friends how awesome her party is going to be, and then the director yells cut and calls for makeup, to the disdain of the young girl. The sponsor is a skin or beauty care company, but it did not work to properly advertise for me (although I am sure it was not meant to) because I do not remember the specific company.
My third example I noticed, and my roommates and I both expressed our contempt for, was a specialized sponsor spot for Miller Genuine Draft during The Sopranos. It contains two glasses of beer at either end of the frame, and two sets of hands, clad in gold jewelry and covered in hair. The spots do not use actual voices from the show, but merely generic American “mobster” voices; discussing clichéd mobster things like “offing” a guy. If these were ads containing actual actors from the show, or at least clips, it may be more effective, but to specialize an advertisement by using fake actors to hock a product that the characters on the show do not even directly advertise seems so passive and contrived.
My thought about all this is as follows. While I think that a specialized advertisement showing the sponsor’s product can be useful, it must be used properly. A faceless hand writing the main character’s name to show the function of a felt-tipped pen in everyday household uses seems to work for the company. It shows the product’s usage in a household setting, but without drawing too much from the plot of the show to which it has no direct relevance. When a product is applied directly to the motif of the program, I think it applies the product’s image too much to that specific usage, and ultimately cheapens both the sponsor’s image, and the program’s.

Ben: Croke Park Makes Me Want To Hurl

When I arrived in Ireland and first heard about the sport of Hurling, I was astounded that I had never even heard of it, let alone seen anything like it—and yet, it was everywhere! The sport dates back even to Irish mythology when the sport was played by the hero Cúchulainn. The famous sport completely slipped under my radar, and when I first saw it, I was thoroughly intrigued and had to see more!

After my initial education on the subject of Hurling and the hours spent watching matches on Setanta Sport, the Irish TV network, I felt that I had really gotten a feel for the sport, and understood it for the most part. I must say however, that the full effect of a Hurling match must be experienced in person to really get a feel for how extraordinary it really is.I pack in to my seat, shoulder to shoulder amongst the other spectators (at least, in our section, as the stadium was not even close to sold out) and find that I am much closer to the action than I would have expected; while still on the field, players could come to as close as 25 feet from where I was seated. Not even the TV cameras can capture as accurately as the naked eye the control that is possessed by the players as they balance the puck on the small flat wooden surface while sprinting downfield between the hacking hurleys.The hurler takes aim, tosses up his bullet, cocks back his weapon, and swings with all his might at the sliotar (or puck). On occasion, I can hear only the slap of leather on flesh, as a weathered hand rises up and plucks the sliotar right out of its plummet toward the soil. The roaring crowd cheers in a vocal symphony of “oooohs” and “aaaahs”, as the puck sails through the air, back and forth across the vast sprawling pitch. As it hurtles back toward the earth, it is met by the momentous crack of hurley-on-hurley collision, administered by the players battling for control. In an instant, I am wondering how anyone might choose to forego a helmet amongst all the fast-paced swinging and slinging of wood and hard cork. Commonly recognized as the most fast-paced field sport in the world, seeing Hurling live is another experience altogether.
As I was told subsequently, the match we saw was quite a mismatch of team abilities. Kilkenny supposedly belongs in another division compared to Wexford, so this game was much less exciting than a more competitive match-up, but it was exciting seeing this new and exciting sport up-close and in person all the same.

Amanda: Abortion in Ireland...or not?

A heated debate is occurring right now in Ireland about abortion. While in Ireland I frequently saw people on the street holding pro-choice signs and a rally was even held at some point in favor of pro-choice. I’m sure there were also a lot of supporters from the other side of the debate that I just missed as I read a story about a rally in Dublin with people protesting a new European Union treaty that could potentially legalize abortion in Ireland.

Recently, The Irish Times published two editorials – one from each side of the table. Both authors of these pieces shed light onto the whole picture and its history.

Currently, a law dating back to 1861 rules abortions as a criminal offense “with maximum penalties of life imprisonment for women who have abortions and for those who assist them,” cites Ivana Bacik, a professor from Trinity College. This has caused 5,000 women every year to England for an abortion resulting in 100,000 Irish women who have had an abortion in the last 30 years. While these rates are similar throughout Europe, Ireland has the most restraint on abortions. An abortion became only legal when the mother’s life is in danger after a case in 1992. This exception broadened as another case involved a woman who was raped and subsequently became suicidal during her pregnancy, but neither side is complacent with that decision.

Representing the other side, Dr. Berry Kiely writes, “in ethical interventions one hopes the child will survive; in abortion one wants the child to die.” Also, mental health problems are also associated with women who have aborted a child. In a 13-year study in Finland, it was concluded that women who had an abortion were seven times more likely to commit suicide than those who gave birth.

In a poll released last month by Safe and Legal in Ireland, 82 percent of those questioned believed that an abortion should be legalized when the woman is endangered and 66 percent agree that it should also be available for women who were raped and become suicidal. Another recent poll, Pro-Life Campaign found that 66 percent were opposed to the legislation in favor of abortion. Granted both of these polls may be biased as they were supported by a pro-choice and a pro-life group, respectively, but they show that Ireland is highly divided on this issue and that may remain no matter how the law changes.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Amanda: Irish newspapers

Newspaper readership remains high in Ireland as nine out of ten Irish adults read newspapers on a regular basis, according to the nonprofit organization National Newspapers of Ireland. The country’s two main daily newspapers consist of The Irish Times and the Irish Independent, which attracted a readership of 336,000 and 535,000 people in 2006, respectively.

With an average circulation of more than 116,000 in late 2006, The Irish Times lags behind the Irish Independent that reached nearly 164,000 in the timeframe. The Irish Times was established in 1859 after a short stint earlier that century. Its first edition was published on Tuesday, March 29, but did not become a daily paper until June 8 of the same year. It remains the only surviving paper of the ten available at its debut. The view of the paper has changed with each owner. It began as a new conservative paper with founder Major Lawrence Knox only to soon enforce new unionist policy. It has since secured an independent political viewpoint after a trust was developed to avoid any outside control, yet leans slightly toward a more liberal agenda. The paper now costs 1.60 Euro and Geraldine Kennedy is the current editor.

The Irish Independent succeeded the Daily Irish Independent in 1905. The paper, which is printed in both broadsheet and tabloid forms, was founded by William Martin Murphy, an Irish nationalist. The paper held a conservative, nationalist viewpoint throughout most of its history until it was taken over by Tony O’Reilly where the paper became more of a libertarian paper. The paper is also responsible for the Sunday Independent, the largest circulating Sunday paper with 287,750 papers as well as the Evening Herald, which is the only remaining evening paper in Ireland and has a circulation of 85,756. The paper is now lead by Gerry O’Regan after longtime editor Vinnie Doyle left in 2005. It sells for 1.70 Euro.

As for the content, both papers varied between two and in comparison to American papers. The front page of The Times on Monday, July 9, 2007 focused on some political stories followed by some extensive coverage of Oxegen on the following pages. The Friday, July 13, 2007 edition of the Independent had full coverage of the O’Reilly trial on the front page as well as some subsequent pages.

Both papers were not nearly as bulky as a typical American paper with at least five sections. The Times had a main section which included its national and world sections among others. Only its sports section was a separate section. While both seemed to have a greater focus on world news than any U.S. paper as well as a keen sense of ongoing events in Britain, The Times seemed to be more formal than the Independent with a New York Times style of using ‘Mr.’ or ‘Mrs.’ with the exception of sports stories. The Times also tends to lean more toward the harder news with the exception of the Oxegen festival coverage. Both papers vastly cover their various Irish sports. Overall, neither is really all that different from a typical U.S. newspaper.

Jon: Galway

Im sitting at a hostel in Galway right now, and let me say folks.....this place is beautiful. I am here during the arts festival, which is an event honoring various art forms throughout Ireland. I took a gander through a gallery with paintings and sculptures by local artists. Musicians are filling the streets with the dossid sounds of traditional music. I have not made it to a theater, but I hear there are great theatrical performances around town. Galway is very similar to a beach town in Massachusettes (obviously with a large cultural difference). However, the feel is close. Seafood restaurants, laid back attitudes, seagulls, and a light breeze are all making this trip very pleasant for me. There are many tourists in town at the moment. I have met people from all around the world: America, Australia, England, India. Everyone has a different story but a common interest in traveling to Ireland. Shop street is the main street, filled with various shops, pubs, restaurants, street performers, and a very bohemian feel. There are many artsy people here. I made a logical assumpton that the art festival has something to do with it. However, I hear this is how it is all year. Several tourist sites stand out as very appealing attractions for those who desire the standard toursit experience. Lynch's Castle and Nicholas Collegiate Church preserve the history of Galway and maintian interesting architechtual features. Eyre Square (also called John F. Kennedy Park) and the medieval quarter are great places to hang out and absorb the surroundings. Galway is a small town, with a population of about 70,000. It is considered one of Europes most rapidly growing towns. It is, however, undergoing a problem with the water supply. Bottled water is imperative to have handy, even for natives. Some sort of water contamination is currently being examined and will hopefully be treated as soon as possible. None the less, Galway is delivering all I expected and more. Hopefully this trend continues.

Mark: Doolin Cave

Doolin Cave is home to one of the worlds largest free hanging stalactite. The mineral formation is called the “Great Stalactite” but nicknamed the “Eagles Wing.” It hangs approximately 20 feet long.

Discovered in 1952 in Co. Clare, the massive cave is home to many different formations other than the Eagles Wing. One formation looked like a woman laying on her back with her hands in a praying position. Another was a face tattooed into the wall of the first large chamber. The largest chamber of the cave has been used for church masses, concerts and meetings. Vibrations that bounce off of the limestone walls reproduce great sound. Thirty four miles of the cave have been surveyed. It is a great experience for anyone too see.My experience in the cave was great. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and funny. The entrance tunnel was small and hard to maneuver through. It was light by multiple flood lights to help guide your way. There were about thirty people in my tour and I was in the front. About halfway through the tunnel someone behind me accidentally kicked the plug connected to the lights and for about a minute it was the darkest place I have ever been. When the tour continued the guide pointed out all of the formations and explained how they came to be. When we reached the main chamber with the excellent sound he asked someone to scream. After about fifteen seconds of silence a girl let out a sound I didn’t think was humanly possible. It was beyond a scream or shriek, I thought the cave was going to crumble down on top of us. Everyone else in the tour just stared at each other and suddenly burst out in laughter when we noticed the guides face was stuck with a horrific expression on it. Then the tour continued to finish. Coming out of the cave the sunlight hurt my eyes but I left with a sense of amazement.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ben: The Quest For Wild Puffins

While on the Northern Ireland excursion, we took a day to visit Rathlin Island, a small island in Northern Ireland inhabited by only 90 people. On the way, we were told that puffins inhabited this island. I have never seen puffins in the wild, and was very excited to catch a glimpse of them. After we had taken a walking tour of some of the island and eaten lunch, we were informed that seeing puffins was not part of our trip’s plans and required a separate bus ride. However, for the last hour or two, we were free to wander. After concluding amongst a few of the other trip-goers that the tour was rather dry and not very exciting, we were determined to spice up our trip and make it our mission to see these puffins. We boarded the Puffin Bus, as seen below.

When we reached our destination, we were let off the shuttle and walked what I would estimate to be about a mile, maybe a bit more, through what was supposed to be a nature reserve. We did not see any puffins, and were afraid that perhaps they simply were not around today. We did not actually see any wildlife and were becoming very anxious climbing hills leading to no puffins.

We finally reached our destination, which turned out to be merely a bird watching tower. There was a small gift shop, binoculars and small scopes for viewing the rocks and cliffs where hundreds, probably thousands of birds sat, perched, walked and flew around. We were, however, no closer than at least fifty feet from the closest bird, by not only horizontal length but height as well.

We all were glad to see these birds (of many kinds, not exclusively puffins) in their natural habitat, and I cannot speak for everyone, but I kind of put on a happy face just for having seen them. Inside, I have to admit that I expected to be a bit closer—I probably could have been closer to one at the Philadelphia Zoo if I really wanted to—but I guess it is the adventure and anticipation that adds to the journey ultimately. I did manage to snap a few pictures and a video of the puffins “in the wild” through one of the scopes, because few people had a camera with powerful enough zoom to capture the birds from so far away. With a small donation, I took home a puffin pin as a keepsake to remind me of this adventurous, albeit rather anticlimactic journey in search of wild puffins.

Ben: Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge

Here is my first person view of the Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge I had the oppurtunity of visiting and crossing in my trip to Northern Ireland. Shooting the video helped to ease my vertigo on the way over to the tiny island, but the return trip, without the distraction was not nearly as pleasant.

Mary Rose: The. Weather.

We’ve all heard about it, we all bitched about it (me especially), but damn the weather sucked that whole month we were in Dublin (ok, another exaggeration…but I would say it sucked 97% of the time). Now I know that there was an unusual amount of rain, even for Irish people, but it did make me wonder how the Irish cope with their weather situation. I was told it barely snows, so no happy times White Christmas. And I was told that it’s rainy and windy all year round, except sometimes it’s freezing rain – something new and different. How do the Irish cope? My first guess is suicide. In 2005 401 people took their lives, 335 men and 66 women. However, there still seems to be a lot of people in Ireland, so that can’t be the answer. Antidepressants? Well, I had trouble finding exact figures, and I’m not going to try to make them up, because I have a well-documented tendency toward exaggeration. But I’ll bet antidepressant prescriptions were up this year. However, I don’t think Ireland’s the next Brave New World, so the next option – drinking, alcohol that is. You don’t even have to leave the house in crappy weather to get pissed with your friends, how convenient! In 2002, 421 men and 459 women (ages 18+) were polled and 28.6% of men and 13.3% of women reported weekly ‘risky drinking.’ Risky drinking is defined as “weekly consumption of 21 standard drinks for men and 14 standard drinks for women (one standard drink is the equivalent of 10 g of pure alcohol).” (World Health Organization Statistics). I don’t think that’s it, any self-respecting American college student boasts about that much, so Ireland’s not too different.
So what’s left? All the morbid, stereotypical options are out, that leaves only the cliché. Truthfully, I don’t know how Irish people survive their crazy weather, but I know how I survived it. I think, to go all out, I would have to quote Joe Cocker and say, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” Without all you great people I met in the program, and the other Leeson Hall team mates, I don’t think I would have made it through. If I couldn’t have woken up every day, looked out the window, then said to Brianne “Oh good, something new and different,” or learn all the words to Umbrella with Brianne and Becca so we could sing it every time we inevitably opened an umbrella, or vented my frustration karaoke-style with everyone, I would not have made it. There are dozens more instances where you guys really kept me going, and I just wanted to say thank you. Thanks for making this a wonderful experience, and being part of me actually getting home alive. Thank you.

Myself, Becca, and Brianne in Kerry. "Love us three." Yeah, I went there.

Mary Rose: Kilmainham Gaol, Glasnevin Cemetary, Stuffed Cat, and Christ Church Cathedral.

This is a photo of grafitti done by a prisoner of the gaol. My friend Andrew, who happens to be Irish, saw this on his trip to Ireland and got it tatooed on his leg.

This is a shot of the East Wing of Kilmainham Gaol.

A stairwell in the West Wing, built over 100 years before the East Wing, and you can definitely tell...that's all I'm saying.

A view of Daniel O'Connell's monument in Glasnevin Cemetary.

A trinity of grave markers?

The ceiling of Daniel O'Connell's tomb.

Ivory covering tombstones, yes I said ivory Brianne.

The original gate into Glasnevin Cemetary.

The grave of Michael Collins is the most visited grave in the cemetary.

A picture of a cat in the Jameson Distillery. Apparently, it was a real cat that cought mice in the grain room. So to commend it for its services done to Jameson, someone decided it would be a good idea to stuff it. I know, right?

The inside of Christ Church Cathedral.


The fake tomb of Strongbow. They don't tell you this unless you read the pamphlet, but it's the second tomb and they don't know where the first one is. Incidentally, the pamphlet does not mention that Strongbow is also a delicious cider.

Hope you liked my visual explosion.