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Letters from Dublin

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Letters from Dublin

Rachel Scully, Arts & Life Editor

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Irish history is deeply rooted within the earth of the island. Being here has made me realize how old everything is, like a whiskey bottle in the Jameson Distillery that was dated back to 1780. That is only four years older than the United States’ Declaration of Independence. I was in shock, but eager to learn just how old elements of Ireland can be.

After some researching and talking to my professors, I decided to take a couple weekends and explore where I was going to be living for four months.

I went to the oldest pub in Ireland, The Brazen Head. The sign dates back to 1190 A.D., which to me was extremely impressive. However, after questioning my taxi driver, he revealed that it most likely dates back to 1160 A.D. because Vikings are the ones that colonized Dublin. He claims that 1190 is when they first found any written foundation of the pub, but it’s inferenced that it was unofficially used before.

On my way to Galway, I stopped by The Monastery of Clonmacnoise, or Cluain Mhic Nóis in Irish, which translates to “Meadow of the Sons of Nós” to represent the monks and priests of the monastery. Interestingly enough, the ruins of this beautiful church date back to 544 A.D. I was astonished at how preserved everything was for its age. Walking around the graves and stone exhibited its long history to me. The church was surrounded by a village, which allowed people to build their homes around their religion. Unfortunately, the Clonmacnoise was ransacked numerous times, as many monasteries were during that period. What helped make the building so preserved was that it was rebuilt and reestablished after each attack until its end.

Of course, what trip to Dublin is complete without a trip to the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery? The Guinness Storehouse was established in 1759 and the Jameson Distillery in 1780. Discovering the exquisite tastes while also learning about the foundation of each business was something I will never forget. The art of beer and whiskey is sincerely one of a kind. So much history goes into each bottle as they are created. I saw how the future of each business will continue to flourish as they continue to give the same original taste, while creating a new variety of flavors.

I am still completely eager to learn about this beautiful country and it has repeatedly shown its compelling spirit to me. Soon I will be heading down to Cork, where my great-grandparents are from, to immerse myself even more in the natural artistry this country has to offer.

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