Thursday 4 April 2013


You have to scratch beneath the surface to find the hidden treasures of Dublin.

My mother has been in the Tallaght Choral Society for thirty five years.  It has 110 amateur members.  They perform a couple of concerts every year.

Last year they performed a Mozart mass in Westland Row Church in Tara Street. It's hard to give justice to the choir singing in the most beautiful of surroundings.  My friend asked me to bring her wheelchair-bound mother.  At first I baulked because of all the logistics in getting her into the church.  But as usual, people couldn't be helpful enough and she got a seat near to the top of the church.  The effect the concert had on her was amazing.  I later learned that she grew up near the church and used to sneak into it when she was a child.  She adored the music and sat with her eyes closed nodding to it for most of the night.

Later that year they performed a Baroque concert in Clarenden Street Church. Again this church is very plain on the outside but had intricate details inside, as was the building practice of the time.  It was on a sweltering June evening and the church was full.  I had never been in the church before but it's stunning inside.  At the end of the first half they sang,'Zadok the Priest,' by Handel (known from the famous football ad.)  It, quite simply, made the hairs on the back of my neck stand-up.

Another treat was in January.  Every year Joseph.M.W.Turner's watercolours exhibition takes place in the National Gallery.  The exhibition is only held in January due to the low light at that time of year.  Turner's evolution as a painter is apparent and the fine detailing of his watercolours merit a very close viewing.  Also my birthday is in January, therefore I feel, egotistically,  that it is my prerogative to visit this every year.  If you haven't seen it, please do, but you'll have to wait another nine months.

There are so many other hidden gems in Dublin worth visiting.  For example, the IFI, The National Concert Hall, and the National Gallery, where the staff are always helpful and friendly.  The free concerts in Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park. I love that I can travel from Meath and be parked and in the Olympia Theatre within an hour.

The hop-on hop-off buses touring Dublin are also a brilliant way to spend a day.  I once was involved in taking a school tour with 35 schoolchildren around Dublin.  We stopped at Christchurch Cathedral, Kilmainham Gaol and Collins Barracks.  The commentary by the 'Dub' bus drivers was hilarious and much more entertaining than bus tours I've done in other cities.

I'm a Dub but I've lived half my life in Meath.  Meath has given me a family, a job and a home.  But, Dublin will always be special for me. 


  1. Lovely post, Carol. I love Dublin but I sometimes forget just how much and need a gentle reminder every so often. This week it came in the form of a trip to the National Gallery to see the Jack B. Yeats sketchbooks exhibition.

  2. I've never been on a hop on hop off bus, been threatening to do it since the kids were small. I think visitors see more of Dublin than Dubliners do. It's a great city. I love it <3
    Well done you,I'm so enjoying your