Thursday, 7 April 2016

Castles, Koalas and Crustaceans

A couple of weekends ago we travelled to Dublin for the Scotland v Ireland 6 Nations Rugby match. Sadly the result did not go Scotland's way, so only my other half was happy after the game.

Despite the lack of sporting fortune we had a very enjoyable weekend.

We visited Malahide Castle one of the oldest castles in Ireland, lived in almost continuously for 800 years by one family, the Talbots.

By the time of the last Baron Talbot in the 1970's the family also had estates in Tasmania and as a keen gardener the Baron imported plants from that part of the world for his extensive gardens at Malahide.

So, this cute figure in one of the trees was more at home than you might otherwise have thought :)

We were visiting just before the planned commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising, so we took the opportunity to visit a New to Me location, Glasnevin Cemetery, which I admit doesn't sound like the most interesting place to visit but it turned out to be fascinating.

History came to life when we saw a re-enaction of the oration by Patrick Pearse at the graveside (above) of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa that signalled the forthcoming rebellion.

It was very stirring stuff and given that funerals were one of the few places at the time where large crowds could legally congregate without interference, the atmosphere must have been electric!

As well as containing the graves of notable figures in Irish history such as Michael Collins above, amongst the 1.5m people buried there are my husband's maternal grandparents. The genealogy centre was extremely helpful and armed with their map and instructions on how to work out the grave numbering system, we eventually found them.

My husband's grandfather died before his daughter, my husband's mother, was born so he has always been a hazy figure in our family's past. It was good in the heightened context of the forthcoming commemorations to be able to add another link to the chain of family history.

Our visit wasn't all about ancient, and not so ancient, history we did fit in a sampling of local seafood at the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival too!

 Perhaps it is something to do with the Guinness in the air or something in the water, but if these shellfish just landed at Howth pier are anything to go by they don't do small in Dublin Bay :)

It looks like it is making an escape attempt!

Linking up to Really Random Thursday


  1. I always love learning a little bit more about family history = that is neat you got to find the headstones. Sorry only half of you were happy about the rugby game - ha ha

  2. sounds like a good trip no fabric stores visited? How good to find the grave too so sad he dies so young

  3. That sounds like another fascinating trip, Fiona! Graveyards can be very interesting places, especially really old ones.

  4. My goodness, one family living in a place for 800 years is so amazing! It's hard to even imagine what a rich heritage they had.
    It is also really good that you were able to track down your husband's family graves.
    Sorry your team didn't win, but you surely did have a wonderful trip!

  5. A re-enaction in Glasnevin Cemetery must really have brought history alive and interesting to find your husband's grandparents' graves :)

  6. That is the greatest post title I've ever seen, lol. Very apropos :D Fascinating trip indeed, and I'm most intrigued by the re-enaction @ the cemetery - I've not heard of anything like that before - eerie and awesome at the same time!

  7. Great post Fiona, my hubby has just finished his first novel about the Michael Collins era so I found the pictures very interesting. His novel starts with William Johnson, Frank Teeling and that infamous bag of tomatoes!

  8. I've only spent one day in Dublin, but it's a lovely town!


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