There’s something about black and white, especially in a big city. The incredible city of Dublin in gorgeous on all it’s own. Some cities
have a historic district. Dublin looks like it’s all history. Monuments rise from the streets and buildings hold onto their rich architecture. Vines cover brick walls, surrounding brightly colored Georgian Doors (so colored because men would come home drunk and not know which door was there’s, ending up climbing into bed with the neighbor, illustrating the dangers of our cookie cutter homes). Businessmen still walk down cobbled streets and horse drawn carriages can be found sitting outside the Guinness Factory ready to tempt the drunken tourist. But behind its quaint store fronts and the appeal of a big city is a certain grittiness.
Behind the cheery dispositions and regular friendliness – the people in Ireland were some of the best I’ve met – is not just hardiness as
strong as their whiskey, but the willingness to stand up. When something is wrong or something is disagreeable, these are not people
who will sit back and let be, gosh darn it, they will sit in the pub, drink a lot, and then start a
rebellion. And you can hear it in the old historic jails full of long cold tunnels and thick wooden
doors shut tight with padlocks where they tell long stories of the multiple rebels who were kept and killed there with a proud sense of admiration. You can see it in the bullet hole covered statues that sit in the middle of O’Connell Street, the main street in Dublin from when they were hit during the Easter Rising, mounted by Irish Republicans (It may have only lasted a week and ended with their leaders being court-marshaled and executed, but that’s really not the point here. The bullet holes are timeless and it brought the separation of Ireland from Great Britain to the forefront of politics and eventually lead to the separation of the Republic of Ireland from the UK. Not your average Easter Egg Hunt there.) And yes, many leaders of the Rising were held and executed at the Kilmainham Gaol – pronounced Jail, just spelled fancy.
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