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Holiday Destinations #7: Dublin

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For a country as small as it is, Ireland has had what might be called a disproportionate impact upon the world’s consciousness. And although some of this has not been positive – the Troubles in the North of the island have been an ongoing headache for British and Irish alike – there has been an impressive list of things to enjoy about the country – much of which is seen in Dublin.

The city of Dublin was the scene of the birth of the Republic of Ireland, with the Easter Rising of 1916 giving rise six years later to the Irish Free State. Much of the history of the Easter Rising has been kept intact, giving Dublin a strong historical character – witness the bullet holes on the front of the General Post Office (GPO) where the rebels hid out for much of the time.

Dublin also has a strong literary history, with some of the most prized authors in the English language having come from there. There are museums to the memory of Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw, and a strong representation for the poet WB Yeats. Along with these heavyweights, the author James Joyce lived and set is novels here – the tradition of “Bloomsday” being a day-long retracing of the steps of the hero of his novel Ulysses.

If you have had your fill of history and reading, then Dublin is also a place where you can enjoy a drink and socialize with the locals. Home to the Guinness brewery, it really is true that a pint of Guinness tastes better in Dublin than anywhere else in the world. And if sport is your thing, then the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) and rugby tradition is also something to be reckoned with.

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