As I write this morning, I cannot believe we are leaving Dublin already. What a great start into the history of Ireland and getting acquainted with Irish culture. The Bloody Sunday walking tour yesterday afternoon was able to put a sense of meaning behind the statues we had seen while out on our own. Especially fascinating was the hidden secrets in the Daniel O’Connell statue. Looking closely at his cape, there are two distinct bullet holes, fired on purpose. I thought that this small detail made me think to take my nose out of maps and towards being in the moment. St. Patrick’s Cathedral was also a highlight, with a special section dedicated to those hurt by war. Paralleled with this is something our tour guide mentioned later that afternoon when he said, “sometimes you need to take up arms in order to succeed.” War and peace are like yin and yang in a way, and something for the group to discuss as we move on to Derry in the north. Rebellions are built on the backbone of the people and their willpower to thrive.
One of the discussions we had as a group was this idea of the victor being the writer of history. In Ireland’s case, we see a tilted view of the English and vice versa if one went to England. The conflict is far from over, and after talking with a girl from Omagh (the city where the single largest bomb went off during the Troubles), discussed with me how there is still blatant discrimination. As a Catholic, she could not walk into a pub on the Protestant part of town without being told in not so many words to leave. In Dublin, we see a bit more merriment and cohesiveness, and I and the group are looking forward to travelling to a smaller city where a more concentrated part of the Troubles history is found.
As we drive to Derry, our stops will be along the way in Drogheda, a monastery, and the three high crosses. Goodbye for now Dublin!