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Oscar Wilde in the Park: Dublin

The jury’s out on whether Mr. Wilde would approve of the slightly bawdy statue commemorating him in Merrion Square. Perched on a rock in the park with a green carnation in his lapel (an historic clue to his homosexuality), the dapper writer’s gaze is split between the feminine figure of his pregnant wife on one […]

Patrick Kavanagh on the Grand Canal, Dublin

Ireland is known for honoring her writers. When Patrick Kavanagh stated the best way to memorialize him was with a bench, Dublin gave him a permanent spot along the Grand Canal with a statue by John Coll. Wikipedia: Patrick Kavanagh Story Map: Kavanagh’s Parnassus Come Here to Me: Kavanagh’s two Dublin seats and an international […]

Split Rock Boulder: Easkey, Co Sligo

The enormous boulder in the field beside the road is said to have been placed there by the giant Finn McCool. He challenged members of his band, called the Fianna, try tossing a large stone to the sea. Being a bit of a show-off, Finn chose the biggest stone he could find and hurled it […]

Broome Bridge and Sir Hamilton’s Eureka Moment: Cabra, Co Dublin

Eureka! The Irish invention that helped to land a man on the Moon. This plaque is by the Royal Canal at Broome Bridge. It’s far from Dublin’s beaten track, yet, it is a place of pilgrimage to those in the know, and hundreds gather to mark the anniversary every October 16th. And what are they […]

Mummies in the Crypt at St. Michan’s Church: Smithfield, Co Dublin

Above ground, the church houses an organ Handel supposedly favored and rehearsed his Messiah. Underground, the church’s crypts are an experience unto themselves. You’ll find yourself guided down the cobweb-lined stairs to vaults that house the death mask of early Irish rebel Wolff Tone and the coffins of the Sheare brothers whose sentences in the […]

The Tomb of the Cormack Brothers: Loughmore, Co Tipperary

In 1858, two Tipperary brothers, Daniel and William Cormack, were convicted of murder. They insisted on their innocence, but the evidence, which was later found to be fabricated, was damning. They were hung outside Nenagh Gaol (Jail) on May 11, 1858, and buried on the prison grounds. Later, a man confessed to the murder, and […]

Sean McGuire Music Without Borders Mural: Belfast, Co Antrim

Just a few steps off the Falls Road, there’s a mural that takes a bit of a different angle than the political and topical murals that fill the neighborhood. You’ll see the image of a man playing a fiddle, with several children listening, and Belfast’s Divis hills in the background. This is Sean McGuire. The […]

Ireland’s Link to the Hope Diamond: Castleblayney, Co Monaghan

This three story Georgian manor provides a setting for Ireland’s tie to the famous Hope Diamond. The 1799 home was sold in 1853 to the Hope family who also owned and gave their name to one of the world’s most famous gems, the Hope Diamond. The castle eventually became a convent and was later left […]

William Butler Yeats Retreat: Gort, Co Galway

Thoor Ballylee was originally a Norman Tower House built in the 1500’s. More recently the tower was encompassed by the Gregory Estate. But the fame of the Tower began when William Butler Yeats purchased the property as a family home. Much restoration was required to transform the former fortress into a family home fit for […]

The Bridge from Circle of Friends: Inistioge, Co Kilkenny

The village of Inistioge played a starring role in the 1995 movie “”Circle of Friends based on the Maeve Binchy best seller and starring Minnie Driver and Chris O’Donnell. A line of trees were removed from the hillside between the village and Woodstock Gardens to create a picture-perfect scene of the arched bridge leading into the […]

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