Barnacles and The 1916 Revolution Walk

Trip Start Apr 12, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Dublin is a great city, slightly edgy, slightly grimy in parts, definitely a little raw, but vibrant and energetic, and terribly bloody Irish, as you just might expect from the capital of Ireland. I decided yesterday that Abbey Court, though fairly well equipped, was a bit of a dive compared to other options available in Dublin. After coming across a variety of shady in-house hostel residents, one of them a total shade merchant dole bludger from Keilor Downs, and a dolled up English brunette stripper in town to work her way up the stripping circuit, i figured that Abbey Court was not the place for me. So i checked out this morning after missing the complmentary breakfast by a matter of minutes, then hit my way over to Temple Bar, to a far cosier, much nicer little place called 'Barnacles', parked right in the guts of the town's major partying/stomach purging strip.

With a new checkin time of 2pm, i continued my customary trundle around ol' Dublin town, taking in all the sights, the Irish smells, of old stone and sea-scented river liffey, and the unmistakable hint of Leprechaun. Having more or less bludged away for the last couple of weeks, or indeed, ever since the meticulously organised Reverend and Brooks parted ways to undergo real lives back home, i figured today i'd break the ranks and go do something educational. So i went to the pub...but not to waste myself on Guinness. That would come later. The International Bar was the meeting spot for the acclaimed 1916 Irish Revolution Walking tour, headed up by a hilarious local larrikin by the name of Locran O'something. Locran was a character from word go, and amongst a cosy group of two yanks, three Irish from Cork and a sheepish German bloke, Locran went all out in paiting the historical picture for us, with great humour, pathos and exuberance. The 1916 Revolution was a brief armed revolt headed up by a group of 15 and their cohorts, who shacked up in the GPO one morning back in the day and proceeded to get bombed and fired upon by the occupying British forces. The recently formed group 'Sinn Fein' were attributed with the blame, though the allegation was not entirely true, giving tremendous credence and publicity to the militant group, and making martyrs of the 15 organisers who were subsequently exectued as a result of their revolutionary activities. This event arguably paved the way for the road to Irish indpendence.

In fast, rolling, twangy Dubliner accent, Locran gave us the lowdown and insider info on the whole event, the characters within it, and a visual understanding at the various points of interest around town. I said Dublin was unpredictable and edgy, and this was exemplified by a number of old boozehounds and one insane bag lady who told Locran he was full of shite and looked ready to punch on about the historical implications of the event. It made for a very amusing, yet educational experience. Referring to the liffey as 'the snot green, scrotum tightening sea', he referred to a tour he did with a bunch of American college students. One girl, resembling Britney Spears, asked him quizzically what the huge metal hooks planted riverside near the old customs house were, though they were quite clearly docking hooks for ships passing along the Liffey for dropping off goods. With an enormous tongue in cheek, Locran explained that the hooks were for capturing whales that used to pass through the Liffey back in the day. The girl nodded. "How were they caught?", she replied. 'With dolphins', replied Locran, his cheek about to explode from the mouthful of tongue. Moments passed....."I'm against whaling. Its cruel on the dolphins". Yup. This from a college educated, dead faced tertiary student.

I found out today that the lead singer from 70's rock outfit Thin Lizzy was also a Dublinite. Locran took great amusement in the fact that a bronze statue of a heroin injecting, wifebeating rocker was on display and glorified in the middle of Grafton street, which is essentially what Phil Lynette was. Anyway, the tour came to an end after the GPO leg, and we trundled back to the International Bar for a Guinness where i wrote lyrics and listened to old Irish blokes chatting hilariously amongst themselves. Checked into Barnacles mid arvo, and got talking to a kiwi chick, a couple of Germans, and a dude that i was sleeping next to in Abbey Court, a long haired Danish bloke called Simon who looked like the singer from a Scandinavian Black Metal outfit.

The rest of the day was dedicated to hanging out, traipsing the streets and listening to the bevy of buskers around the place. I chilled in the main gardens and read books, wrote songs and journal notes and sunbaked in some glorious, unusual Dublin sun. It was a pleasant afternoon. Had a pint of the best Guinness so far in the world acclaimed Stags Head pub, then pretty much dolled around Temple Bar and made some dinner for myself at Barnacles. Walking around Temple Bar in my 'Mad Caddies' shirt and ska creepers, i caught the avid attention of one young lass from some Eastern European descent, who told ne that i rocked and was unbelievable. Though i couldn't agree more, i got the feeling she thought i was a member of the Mad Caddies. That in itself, aint a bad thing.

Anyway, it was another fine night in Dublin, and feeling like id seen the city in its wholeness, i looked forward to moving on tomorrow to the town of Kilkenny.
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