Citizens in Conflict

During the week, Richard visited the Dublin City Library to check out the Citizens in Conflict  exhibition.  It’s a 1916 Easter Rising exhibition currently on display at Pearse street Library in Dublin 2, running until the 25th June 2016.  It’s an historic multi-media exhibition which includes eye witness accounts and sources such as Dublin Fire Brigade logbook.

It gives a snapshot of the Rising through the eyes of ordinary citizens in Dublin and how the Rising affected them, with posters about Martial Law, curfews and notices about shops, banks and bakeries closed due to the conflict.

Citizens in Conflict Exhibition - Irish flags
Citizens in Conflict Exhibition – Irish flags

It has a particular focus on the Pearse Street area of the city (formerly Great Brunswick street) where Patrick and Willie Pearse grew up and where Boland’s Mill garrison was commanded by Eamon de Valera. It also remembers the 257 civilians who were killed during the rising including 40 children.

Citizens in Conflict Exhibition - Martial Law
Citizens in Conflict Exhibition – Martial Law posters

Free Guided Tour

You can pop in and view the exhibition during Library opening hours and there are also free guided tours available on Monday’s and Wednesday’s with historian Donal Fallon, the tour lasts 30 minutes. Donal is also one of the writers on the Come here to me blog and we first heard about the exhibition through the blog’s instagram page.

Citizens in Conflict Exhibition - Pearse Street library
Citizens in Conflict Exhibition – Pearse Street library

The library is worth a visit to view the beautiful building it is housed in, the Dublin City Library and Gilbert Archives on Pearse street was originally the Great Brunswick Street Carnegie Library and Dublin City Council’s library headquarters. The building dates back to 1909 and was designed by the city architect C.J. McCarthy and the façade of the original building is composed of Mount Charles sandstone with dressings of Ballinasloe limestone.

Location and Opening hours

The Dublin City Library & Archives or Pearse Street Library is located on Pearse street in Dublin 2 and is opened from Monday to Saturday from 10 am, with late openings until 8 pm from Monday to Thursday.

It is a 10 minute walk from Pearse street dart station


Images: & featured image - Google maps
Sources:, Dublin City Library & Library buildings

Where one million Dubliners reside

We visited Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin recently, we booked tickets for the museum and got the guided tour, if you are visiting Glasnevin, the tour is well worth it and gives you a great history of the cemetery and some of the people buried there, from ordinary Dublin people who died of cholera, the Great Liberator Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stuart Parnell and the Republican plot with Michael Collins, Eamon DeValera and Constance Markievicz to name a few buried there.

Glasnevin Cemetery Tour Dublin (10)
Parnell stated he wanted to be buried with the ordinary people, he is buried on the top of this cholera pit.


As it was coming up to Easter, the tour we did, had an Easter Rising theme and two actors in costume, performed speeches as Nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell and actor Jim Roche, performed the famous O’Donovan Rossa funeral oration as Padraig Pearse. The tour guide recounted stories about those killed during the Rising, from soldiers to children playing on the streets and also about two brothers buried in the cemetery, one was killed fighting in the Easter Rising and the second brother joined the British Army and was killed during World War 1.

Glasnevin Cemetery O'Connells Round Tower
O’Connells Round Tower


Glasnevin Cemetery Tour Dublin
Daniel O’Connell’s Book of Kells inspired designed crypt


Before the tour, I didn’t realise there was a museum at the cemetery, I wasn’t expecting much from it, but its worth a visit and is really interesting, it tells the history and the lives of some of the 1.5 million people that are buried there.  There are three sections to the museum, the first exhibition area is called City of the Dead and has interactive display’s and covers the burial practices down through the years in Glasnevin. Other sections include the religion wall and the Milestone Gallery.

Glasnevin Cemetery Tour Dublin (15)
There are two public tours daily, at 11.30 am and 2.30 pm, 7 days a week.


Our tour guide that day was Shane, he was great, we like getting guided tours especially when you know the person delivering them is passionate and knowledgeable about the subject. Poignantly, Shane explained that his colleague Shane MacThomais, who had sadly passed away only a few weeks beforehand, he would usually have given the Easter themed tour and he said it was one of the first he had done, since his passing.  A few months after, we did the tour, we went to see the documentary, One Million Dubliners at the Lighthouse Cinema, which features Shane MacThomais, the documentary has also been shown on RTE TV, if you get the chance to watch it, I recommend it.

Glasnevin Cemetery Tour Dublin (14)

We have visited Glasnevin cemetery for a second time this year, when we attended the 100th anniversary service of the O’Donovan Rossa funeral.

If you would like to visit the graves of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, check out our blog post here.

Hidden gems around the Round Tower

The west Dublin village of Clondalkin, has a great walking tour with various different historical and heritage points of interest, dating as far back as the 5th century.  We recently did a self guided walking tour.

The Clondalkin walking tour takes about an hour and a half to do and is about 4 Kilometres, if you are short on time, you can also do a shorter version, which is only takes about 30 minutes and 1.5 Kilometres.  It generally takes us longer as we stop to take photos.


Round Tower

In the heart of Clondalkin village, is the impressive 8th century Round Tower, built around 790 A.D., it may have been built to house the relics of St. Mochua or Crónán, who founded the monastery of Clondalkin in the late 5th Century.  It is now accepted that one of the the main functions of a round tower was the safety and veneration of the relics of the monastery’s founder. The height of the tower is calculated at 27.5 metres.

The Clondalkin Round Tower visitor centre has opened in 2017 beside the Round Tower and includes public gardens.  The first three houses on Millview Terrace, which are protected structures were renovated into the visitor centre, along with a new building which which houses a Happy Pear cafe and exhibition space.



St John’s Church  and Church Terrace houses

On the same street as the Round Tower, are these quaint row of houses, that were built originally for the Church in 1879, to be used as Alms houses.  The schoolhouse was built in 1870. The houses were built in 1879 in memory of a former incumbent, Rev. David John Reade. The houses were also known as the Alms Houses. The Alms Houses were opened and in partial use by 1880 and contained four houses with eleven rooms together with one large room to be used as a classroom.



Tully’s Castle
This is a small 16th Century tower house, possibly one of the outposts of the Pale.

Tully’s Castle – This is a small 16th Century tower house, possibly one of the outposts of the Pale.


Its origins are mostly undocumented, however the “Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 1899” gives the following information:  The name “Castle of Clondalkin”’ is applied to Tully’s Castle in a number of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century leases, which deal with a place called “The Sheepus”.   The Castle was occupied for many years by a family named Tully.

Source: South Dublin Libraries


Photos of Clondalkin Walking Tour

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We found the self guided walking tour, on the South Dublin County Council Libraries website, they have several different audio tours covering all the main South Dublin  villages, you can click here to find a list of villages covered.  We used the walking tour PDF printout and also this Clondalkin village walking tour map.

They don’t have a mobile app yet for the all the tours, but I believe its in development.  You can also visit on your mobile device or scan the QR code below to open the audio tour on your smart phone.

West dublin audio walking tour
QR scan – Clondalkin audio walking tour

Have you done the Clondalkin Walking tour? or other Walking tours in Dublin? Let us know of any other Walking tours to do.


Blog post first published in 2015 and updated in 2017

St Brigids Well

Clondalkin, in west county, Dublin is home to St Brigid’s Well, which is said to have been established as a well for baptising pagans by Saint Brigid in the 5th century. It was believed that the well possessed powers of healing.

There are several different St Brigid Wells located throughout Ireland, they are holy wells or sacred wells, connected with Saint Bridgit of Kildare, who was a 5th-century Irish saint from Kildare, who is one of the patron saints of Ireland, and also a figure in Irish folklore.

Legend has it that St. Brigid came to the site of the monastery at Clondalkin and baptised pagans at the well on Boot Road. The structure around it dates from 1761. The well is
believed to have curative powers. A piece of rag dipped in the water and used to wipe the face, particularly of young girls, was said to cure eye complaints.

We heard about the well, when we did a self guided tour of Clondalkin, which was created by South Dublin County Council, you can click here for more information.

It is located about a kilometre from Clondalkin Village, on the Boot Road and Fonthill Road (R113) junction, very close to a Statoil petrol station and Bewleys hotel at Newlands Cross.

It took us a bit of time to find St Brigid’s Well, as from the junction at Boot Road and the Fonthill Road it can’t be seen, as its tucked away in behind some trees and hedgerow.  When you are at the junction and are looking up towards the petrol station and Bewleys hotel, the well is located on that side of the road, just before the petrol station, behind railings, coming from Clondalkin Village direction, go straight through the junction and take a sharp left, there is a footpath and a small road that leads up to a row of houses,  St Brigid’s Well is located to the left.

Photos of St Brigid’s Well, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 

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Photos: melcoo

Sources: Wiki ClondalkinWiki St Brigid’s WellSouth Dublin Libraries 

Iconic Treasures

On Saturday afternoon, after some delicious food in The Porterhouse, we headed for the National Museum of Ireland. We visited here briefly a few weeks ago but decided we would return another day to get a tour. We find taking tours are far more informative than browsing around ourselves.

The museum is located here, beside Leinster House.

The tour on Saturday was called the Iconic Treasures tour and featured some of Ireland’s most precious metalwork like the Ardagh Chalice, the Shrine of St. Lachtíns Arm and the Tara brooch.

ancient artefact
Ardagh Chalice

With it being St. Patricks weekend in Dublin some relevant pieces like St. Patricks Bell and The Shrine of St. Patrick Tooth, were discussed.

historic artefact
St. Patricks Bell

The tour lasted 60 minutes, was free and had about 20 in attendance. The tour guide was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable,  which she displayed when asked some very detailed questions by a tourist.

After the tour we had a look around the museum ourselves. One of the most striking things about the museum is the building itself – it is stunning.

History Museum of Ireland Archaeology #Dublin #Ireland #StPatricksweekend

A photo posted by melcoo (@melcoo) on

Other exhibitions on display, which we briefly visited, include Clontarf 1014 (Battle of Clontarf) and a Viking Ireland exhibition.

One other exhibition we were interested in seeing was the Kingship and Sacrifice exhibition, namely to see the bog bodies from the Iron Age.

iron age body
Bog Man


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James Joyce Literary trail

On the Saturday morning of the St Patrick’s weekend, we made our way into town to do the James Joyce literary walking tour.  It’s run by the James Joyce centre which is based in a beautiful Georgian house on North Great Georges street, which is only a five minute walk from O’Connell Street in Dublin.  The street where the centre is based, North Great Georges Street, is an excellent example of 18th century architecture and the street itself is worth viewing.

Georgian street in North Dublin City
North Great Georges Street

For directions, click here.  The James Joyce Centre has exhibitions and hosts events connected to Joyce and his work all year round.

Joyce literary exhibition centre
James Joyce Centre on North Great Georges Street, Dublin

The tour is run once a week at 11 am on Saturdays mornings in the Autumn and Winter and three times a week in the Spring and Summer. The tour costs €10 euros each and lasts 90 minutes.  For the tour schedule, you can check out the James Joyce website here. The tour we did was based on Joyce’s short stories The Dubliners.

The tour is based around the north side of Dublin city centre and takes in some of the streets and buildings connected with Joyce’s life and the characters in The Dubliners short stories.  In  a way not much has changed since Joyce wrote The Dubliners, parts of the northside of the Liffey are still as gritty and ramshackled, as when Joyce wrote about it.

Old Dublin brothel referenced in Ulysses
No 4 Hardwicke Street Dublin, Boarding House referenced in The Dubliners

The tour guide was very knowledgeable and even though we hadn’t read any of Joyce’s work yet, the tour guide gave a background on the characters and events in the book and to the social history of Dublin at the time, which was really insightful.  All I really knew about Joyce  before the tour, was connected to the novel Ulysses and that the book is quite hard to read and the annual Bloomsday, where people dress up in Edwardian costume and do the Ulysses literary trail, roaming around Dublin for the day, which actually sounds like a lot of fun and I would be very tempted to do this year.

Images from James Joyce Literary tour

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We found out a lot about Joyce’s life and I have a greater understanding now of why Joyce’s statue on North Earl street is called “The Prick with the Stick”.   Joyce was a controversial figure and he wrote stories that were critical and showed the grittier side to Dublin, that people did not like.  The walking tour is well worth doing, even if you haven’t read any of his books, you won’t need to have a degree in English Literature, just an interest in Joyce and the social history of Ireland.

For more information, check out James Joyce website and Facebook page.


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6 Great pubs to visit on St Patrick’s Day

The last few years we’ve headed into town early to watch the St Patrick’s Day parade and then met up with some friends and visited a few pubs for drinks.  These are some of our favourite pubs in Dublin City centre.


Hogans Bar

Hogans recently was mentioned on a guide to Dublin, we’ve been going here since 2004, it gets a nice crowd and has great vibe to the place while still feeling a bit rustic and old man style.  It’s located on the Victorian red bricked South Great Georges street.  We visited here after the parade last year and managed to get some seats after all our standing.  For directions, click here

Hogans pub Dublin


Market Bar

The Market Bar located on Fade Street and it also has an entrance through the Georges Street Arcade, an old Victorian Shopping market.  The Market Bar reminds me of a big German beer hall, with red brick walls and a wall of old clogs, this was our first port of call last year, it was busy with food orders and we got a drink while waiting for a table.  For directions, click here.

South Georges Arcade and The Market Bar



Located on Suffolk Street, just opposite St Andrew’s tourist centre and the new temporary home of the Molly Malone statue, O’Neill’s is a large pub which spans over two floors and has lots  of little nooks.  We visited this pub two years ago on St Patrick’s day and it was busy but you could still get a drink within 10 minutes and had some space to chat and drink with our friends.  There was a mix of Irish and tourists, in particular a lot of Americans college students who were all festively dressed up in green, putting us to shame! For directions, click here.

O'Neills pub Dublin



By 7pm  we headed to Mulligans on St Patrick’s day, meeting up with old friends who had emigrated and were home on a visit.  We got the room out the back with the big long table and got chatting to some Irish American’s, it was great, sort of felt like we were at  a friends house, sitting at their table, having the craic.  Mulligan’s is an authentic old man pub.  It is located off the South side of the quays, behind Tara dart station, on Poolbeg Street in Dublin 2, its across the street from the old 1970’s green facade office block that houses the Department of Health. For directions, click here

Mulligans on Poolbeg street


Doyle’s pub

Doyle’s pub is one of those pubs, I use to pass by regularly but never went into, we finally did about three years ago with some friends after seeing an Ireland match in the Aviva stadium, we’ve also visited after a game in Croke Park.  I always got the impression it was a real Dubliner’s pub and it is, which I love. Last St Patrick’s, we visited Doyle’s and we got chatting to two Dublin lads, who locked us into a huddle to sing that Paul McCarthy song Ebony and Ivory! Doyle’s pub is in a real central spot, only 2 minutes walk from O’Connell bridge and right behind Trinity college, located on College Street. For directions, click here.

Doyles pub on College Street


Gin Palace

We plan on visiting the Gin Palace this St Patrick’s day. This is a beautiful Victorian style pub, which has a prohibition era feel to the decor, with large bar lamps and an ornate wooden bar.  It’s located on Middle Abbey Street, the Luas passes by this pub and it also has a more modern entrance on Liffey Street. We visited here a few weeks ago and got chatting to an Anglo-Irish family who were in Dublin for the Ireland versus England rugby match. For directions, click here.

Gin Palace pub



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1916 Rebellion Walking Tour

We recently did the 1916 rebellion walking tour in Dublin city centre.  It is a walking tour based on the history of the Easter rising and encompasses some of the main streets and buildings that were involved in the battles.

Easter rising walking tour
Meeting point for the 1916 rebellion walking tour

The tour meeting point is The International Bar on Wicklow street in Dublin 2,  we did the tour on a Sunday and it started at 1pm and tickets cost €12.  The tour gets a mix of tourists from around the world and locals.  The guide Shane Kenna gave a background outlining the Easter rising before we headed off.

Trinity Dublin
Trinity College Dublin

We then headed over to Trinity College.  The guide explained how the British used Trinity College as an Army Base during the Rising and were able to use the roof of Trinity College to their advantage. He also told an interesting story about an Australian solder in the British Army.

Trinity College
Roof of Trinity College
View from Trinity College towards O'Connell Street
View from Trinity College looking towards O’Connell Street

We then walked up in the direction of O’Connell Street and the General Post Office, the GPO,  which was the rebel headquarters during the Rising.

GPO Dublin
General Post Office Dublin

Then to Moore Street which was quiet, as it was a Sunday, the majority of the fish, veg and flower stalls were closed, only one flower stall and a fruit and veg stall were opened for business on the Sunday we visited. Moore street has seen better days with the Ilac shopping centre looking a bit dilapidated, its brings the street down.

Moore Street Dublin
Flower stalls in Moore street in Dublin 1

There are 3 buildings on Moore street connected to the 1916 rising, Padraig Pearse, along with nurse Elizabeth Farrell and a group of volunteers took refuge in one of these buildings and then ended up breaking the wall through to the next building.  In these buildings on Moore street, the last army council meeting took place and the decision to surrender was made.

Moore Street 1916 buildings
1916 buildings where Padraig Pearse , Mairead Farrell and up to 100 other volunteers spent the last days of the rising

Michael Joseph The O’Rahilly was a founding member of the Irish volunteers and managed the journal An Claidheamh Soluis.  He was against an uprising taking place as he knew any such actions would result in defeat, just before the Rising started, he travelled around the country informing volunteers to not take up arms but by the time he arrived back to Dublin, soldiers had begun to mobilise at Liberty Hall, so he decided to join them,  he stated “Well, I’ve helped to wind up the clock — I might as well hear it strike!”

The O’Rahilly came under attack as he lead a group of soldiers who were looking for an escape route out of the GPO. He died in a lane off Moore street, now renamed The O’Rahilly parade. As he lay dying, he penned a letter to his wife, which has been recreated as a poignant plaque on the lane.

O'Rahilly Plaque
Plaque for  Michael Joseph The O’Rahilly

On Moore Street, there are plaques commemorating the 1916 leaders, which quite controversially, are erected on the gates of an apartment complex, perhaps this was only meant to be a temporary commemoration but it is not very appropriate.  It will be interesting to see how the 1916 commemoration visitor centre planned for Moore street will help to honour the memory of all those involved in the 1916 rising.

1916 Leaders Plaques on Moore Street
1916 Leader plaques that are erected on apartment car park gates on Moore Street

The 1916 rebellion walking tour is very interesting and well worth doing, it gives a great insight into the events that unfolded during the Easter rising and been able to see many of the streets and buildings where the battles were fought.


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