Dublin Templebar Heritage: Culture, Art and Guinness

Click here to see more pictures from Dublin. Click here to see the ARABMED conference picture. Click here to see the more pictures from Trinity College.

Eight years ago I visited Dublin to help in the preparation of the Conference of Human Rights Defenders. I stayed in Dublin for more than two months. When I went back to my homeland Palestine, I faced tough charges and was subjected to a relentless campaign of brutality and oppression by the Israeli occupation, which ended by myself being thrown out of my home country of Palestine. I do not want to remember the rest of this tragic story at least while I am writing this short report on Dublin, the capital of the lovely and peaceful State of Ireland.

Eight years after my first visit, I attended the ARABMED medical conference there. The heritage, culture, civilization of Ireland and its historical struggle for independence, the art and generosity of its friendly people stole me of myself and the conference. I found myself small before this country, their culture and the incredible friendliness of its people despite their centuries old history of struggle against occupation.

On Saturday Nov. 30 2010, I toured the city on foot. After I visited Trinity College, I spontaneously went to Templebar / Fleet Street, where I had spent ten days in a room B&B at Oliver St. John Gogartys Pub before I moved to live in Dublin 6 during my visit 8 years ago.

Templebar / Fleet Street is one of the most traditional historical streets in the center of Dublin, where many clubs and trendy pre-club bars get the Irish youth and the tourists in the mood for the night life of dancing and drinking the famous Guinness beer. The Templebar / Fleet Street, is located in the center of Dublin. The famous Temple Bar Hotel is located in the same street and about 100 meters from the River Liffey. In the Templebar area of The Fleet St. there are many pubs, cafés, restaurants, and always people are coming and going among the many different nightclubs, they are smiling, dancing, drinking, meeting friends and celebrating their personal parties.

The Templebar starts with restaurants and unusual shops which line these narrow, cobbled streets running between the Bank of Ireland and huge Christ Church Cathedral (Cathedral of the Holy Trinity) where the sky smiles at you (when it is not raining) while touring this historical holy place, which was founded sometime after 1028 when King Sitric Silkenbeard, the Norse King of Dublin, made a pilgrimage to Rome. Read more about the Christ Church Cathedral

When I visited the accommodation where I spent some days in 2002, I remembered that I was not able to sleep at night because of the huge happiness of the night life around me, which turned my nights into days, making me sleepy during the day. Nothing had changed in this accommodation, even the prices of the night stayed as they were 8 years ago, 12 Euros per night.

The walls and fortifications about Dublin were raised by the Danes in the 9th century. It was the head and capital of their colonies in Leinster, which they fortified to defend themselves from their enemies. Read more.

In the 18th century the area of the Temple Bar was home to many insalubrious characters and brothels. It was also the birthplace of the parliamentarian Henry Grattan. Skilled craftsmen and artisans, such as clockmakers and printers, who lived and worked around Temple Bar until post-war industrialization led to a decline in the area’s fortunes.

According to the information which I received from a tourist office, in the 1970s, the national transport authority bought up parcels of land in Temple Bar area to build a major bus depot. The area became the city’s “officially designated arts zone”. Culture mixed with heritage, arts and civilization. Around the street dozens of galleries, centers for music, multi-media and photography, Cultural Centres, etc. coexist.

Walking around the Temple Bar is something special where you could easily reach nearby landmarks such as Grafton Street, Trinity College, The Guinness Brewery and Dublin castle, Dublin city wall, shops, and enjoys looking at galleries, theaters. From the other side you could reach Christ Church Cathedral, St. Stephen’s Green, Patrick’s Cathedral and other important and historical sites of Ireland. Each entry it takes you to a new site and a new story and historical world.

During the same walking tour, I visited various historic buildings, among others the Christ Church Cathedral and Patrick’s Cathedral, which is considered as the largest and most beautiful church in Dublin.

While walking I shot a picture of a sign of “Enjoy yourself!! Enjoy Guinness”. These two sentences where written by hand on the Market Street wall near the Guinness Storehouse, the most important features of Dublin which attracts many tourists. After a long walking tour, when darkness started spreading its curtain over the city, I remembered that I was hungry and went home to eat. The Irish people are fond of Guinness. With Guinness at the end of the day, they live, smile, dance and forget the troubles of a long day of work.

What I saw during the hours of my tour is more than my words could explain and more than what I saw during my previous visit and stay in Ireland in 2002. During this tour, the history of county was my main interest. In 2002, my ONLY interest was exposing the criminality of the Israeli occupation. Now, I preferred walking and talking to the friendly Irish people. Dublin has a center of Tour Buses for tourists which have a design in yellow, red and different colors.

In my opinion making a tour of the city by bus does not really show the whole beauty of the place, so I got out of a group tour in a bus and went to explore the city on foot, which I found much more enjoyable than sitting in a bus. During this short tour I saw much beauty and many tourists. The Irish people told me that the economic situation is not good in the country which they love, that many people are engaged and work in London and they return home only for weekend. This shows clearly as on Monday morning there was huge traffic on the road to the airport because of the many Irish who must travel to their work in Britain.

4 comments to Dublin Heritage: Culture, Art and Guinness

  • Belida Han Uckun (male)

    I enjoy your posts. You take me to new lands from the perspective of someone who loves both justice and life. You appreciate the Europeans and their culture, while you hold the west to task for the atrocities which they have done in the past. I hope you continue to enjoy Europe, but don’t be seduced so far into the good life that you forget to hold that mirror up to them and show them their ugly side. It’s good for them to see that side of them, just as it’s good for the muslim majority nations to reflect on their shortcomings, but they are often forced to that everyday, at the point of a gun. So don’t let the natural inclination to enjoy all of this, a normal human tendency” stay your hand or voice from what is a very important task you are in a position to accomplish. Thanks from the U.S.A.
    Belida Han Uckun (Billy)

  • John R, Cork Ireland

    I am Irishman and can tell you this. The Irish have never dominated or tried to dominate other nations, cultures, races or religions, so don’t put us in with other European nations when you remember what the Brits, French, Belgians, Italians, Spanish and Germans did. Yes we did fight with them sometimes but we went for the fight, not the ideas(except in Spain).

    We spent over 27 years in Lebanon keeping the peace and were loved by Arabs of all religions. We fought for peace in La Cote D’Ivoire, East Timor, The Congo, and many other places. Our special forces are excellent and rarely use helmets either. Our way is peace and respect. But, as the UK discovered, we can be effective in any conflict.
    Don’t ever forget that.

    As to your attitude, I would suggest that you should forget the past and try to enjoy your home in the US. There are many good people there too and if you go about your life with humility, and a low ego, those good people will come to you. That’s what an Irish soldier will do every day.

    Respectfully, John R

    • Frank

      Hmm…as I understand it, the Irish did dominate the English there for awhile. St. Patrick was enslaved by the Irish, was he not? Now I am not excusing what the English have done, certainly not. I have both English and Irish blood flowing throught my veins (I am of mixed race – European-American, African-American and Native American), as well as Scottish and other ethnicities, so I’m not very biased here, although I was raised with more Irish and German pride than anything else. There’s good and bad in all groups.
      I certainly believe in Irish independence! Erin Go Baugh! I also believe in Scottish and English independence. Down with the British Empire!
      Great article, Kawther! Cheers!

  • Vanguardworkd


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