A day in Dublin and Irish history 100 years on

I took a daytrip to Dublin yesterday to visit the Dublin City Gallery and the Dublin Writers’ Museum with a friend.  The two are well worth visiting if you have interest in learning more of Irish history and culture and, even for us who’ve lived here all our lives and knew a fair bit, it was a fun day out.  Sandwiching the Michelin star restaurant “Chapter One” on Hugh Lane, you’ve nearly got a full day’s worth of activity regardless of Irish weather!

On this, the anniversary of Roger Casement’s death, I’ve linked to his speech he gave in the dock of the court, just before the verdict was read.  The gallery actually has a prose version of this, easily read and brilliantly put together.  As well as this, Irish art and culture has of course often reflected the conflict with the British, alongside the irony that the Roman Catholic Church’s edicts actually made many of our finest literary geniuses in the 20th century escape for British soil to avoid their strict standards!

Much as you’ll not have ecclesial standards playing such a big rule anymore in such things, it’s still an obvious love/hate relationship as many of Ireland’s best comedians, artists, tv stars and many others leave these shores (many to Britain) in order to make it to “the big time”.  It’s got some even muttering quietly under their breath that in order to “make it”, one must leave these shores and come back!  Though that could be said for many a land.

In the meantime here’s a photo I took at the gallery and one from a local volunteer team I led on an Irish beach, where we had a family sandmodelling competition where one family replicated this picture (sadly I don’t have the exact photo):

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A common Irish understanding…

divine mercy sunday sign

This hilarious sign is on the Cork-Dublin motorway to the side.  I’m assuming the Roman Catholic church must genuinely have some day called this, but sadly the old sign could be interpreted as exactly what people think of God.  A stingy power in sky who occasionally might be merciful enough to forgive.  It reminds me of the Islamic “night of power” a little that has also just happened in Ramadan, where many of my friends said that if they prayed hard enough they’d be rewarded extra that night.

I’m not sure such a god appeals to either my notion of justice or to my heart!  But perhaps the ignorance is mine.