DUBLIN: River Liffey, and moving memorial to famine victims

July 17, 2014
We were staying in Dublin on the Ormand Quay, just off the River Liffey, in the center of downtown Dublin.  One night while I was working Shirley took a stroll along the river and found that within a relatively short walk she could make it to the ocean.  She found that the river, which at times looked rather muddy near us, actually is a tidal river ebbing and following and morn we saw fellows out cleaning the river bed.


Perhaps most fascinating Shirley came across some stunning and in their way beautiful artistic statues that commemorate the many, many Irish that died during the famine of the mid 19th century.  Of course most Irish people in the US likely are here in one way or another because some ancestor, I suspect, fled Ireland during the decades of around the famines.  I know that is true on both side  of my family, as  I wrote about earlier-- genealogical work my brother Dennis has done traces our families back mostly to migration from Ireland during the 1840-1860 period.

The famine killed an estimated 800,000 people, a stunning number given that today about 5.7 million people live in Ireland and given that 1 million migrated out during the great famine period.



These pictures Shirley took capture some stunningly beautiful and moving sculptures along this walk. They say more than words can to capture the emotions.



 

DUBLIN: Guinness Brewery, IHEA Plenary and Friends

July 17, 2014
As I have written about here, Shirley and I are in Ireland to present papers and participate in the International Health Economics Association (IHEA) conference here in Dublin. On Tuesday night the conference organizers planned a plenary talk at the gorgeous National Concert Hall, then we took buses for a celebration at the amazing Guinness Storehouse, home of Guinness.

As you will see they know how to run an event.  Not only is the venue historic and gorgeous, providing stunning views of Dubl...
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Trinity College, the site of the Tenth Congress for IHEA

July 15, 2014

The conference where Shirley and I are presenting at is called the International Health Economics Association (IHEA), and this is their tenth “Congress,” so a milestone event.  I have attended most of these meetings in great places (Beijing, Barcelona, York, Dublin, Toronto, Sydney). 

This meeting is being held at a University like most are, but like many a very historic one.  It could hardly be more historic – Trinity College.  It was founded in 1592, so it is an amazing place, over ...


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JULY 11: Dublin, the international city

July 15, 2014

We returned to Dublin on July 11th after driving around Ireland for several days.  We spent no time in Dublin before we left so when we got to Dublin, it was quite an experience.  Dublin is not like any other part of Ireland of course.  Where the rest of Ireland is serene and peaceful, Ireland is a major metropolitan city, bustling, busy and never stops.  The rest of Ireland will remind you of what you picture – scenes from movies like QUIET MAN, and most of the towns (except perhaps Cork o...


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The Garth Brooks Saga Continues!

July 15, 2014
You must think I am kidding.  Earlier I wrote about how the Irish folks, and Dublin folks are obsessed about Garth Brooks, and how he was supposed to come here, and originally supposed to do three concerts in an outside park here, then the organizer got him to agree to five concerts.  Then they sold something like 400,000 tickets for these concerts.  When the organizer found out he could not get a permit for all five concerts, and the government objected, Brooks said it was either five concer...
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Day 6: Blarney Castle

July 15, 2014

Before we came to Ireland we had heard much family lore about the “Blarney Castle” and the “Blarney Stone”, I must say.  Like many Irish families I guess, our’s no exception, stories are legend.  My father was famous for them.  When my brother Mike was so kind to take my father on a trip to Ireland my father reported that “I did not kiss the Blarney stone, it kissed me,” almost as a badge of honor – if you knew my father he was bragging about how much blarney he had, and no on...


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Days 4-5: Ring of Kerry, Chocolate, Charlie Chaplin

July 10, 2014

It is hard to imagine countryside more spectacular than the Cliffs of Mohr we saw on July 6th, as our first few pictures demonstrated.  And I would not describe the Irish countryside as spectacular in the sense that I would describe California’s coast in the same way, or the Swedish Alps, or even Colorado’s Rockies.  Ireland is indeed beautiful, serene, and picturesque.  It is as people say – very green!   Is it more green than Missouri where we live?  Perhaps not – we probably get as...


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Observations on Ireland: Garth Brooks, Barbershops, etc.

July 10, 2014

While driving the Irish countryside we have been listening to Irish radio.  And we have been occasionally picking up the local papers.  When you hear local news and radio, it is fascinating (or it seems to me!) to contrast to what we experience back home.

Several things strike me (us!?) as striking.  So what is the BIG – HUGE news right now here, leading every news broadcast?  Garth Brooks.  Garth was supposed to have five concerts in Dublin soon – well it was going to be three, then it ...


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Day 3: Castles, Brian Boru and Killaloe

July 8, 2014

I think I was surprised (though I think Shirley was not) that Ireland has so many wonderful castles to see.  We have seen two great ones so far, and on Day 3, saw another one outside Limerick, called Bunratty Castle, which dates to the 15th century.  It is a great place to visit – the castle is very well preserved, and it has wonderful historic site, though much of the site has buildings that are re-creations (which is fine because it gives you a flavor of life at the time).  But the Castle...


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Day 3: Some family history to guide our trip (and old photos!)

July 8, 2014

Before I add to the blog/diary for Day 3, I’d like to divert for a moment and comment a bit on my family history and how it relates to this trip, geographically.  Probably this is of interest only to the McBrides and Dunnes in my family tree reading this, but I bet many Irish folk making a trip over here have a similar quest – where did my ancestors live, and what does that area look like? 

As I mentioned, I am 75% Irish apparently, the McBride side apparently 50% Irish (though my mothe...


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