CitiesFr. Ryan Humphries

Dublin

CitiesFr. Ryan Humphries
Dublin
Paris is cafe culture, Dublin is pub culture, and that’s the best place to solve all the world’s problems: over a pint! One of the great joys of living, I think. The problems of the world seem to disappear.
— Liam Cunningham
 

Dublin is known in Irish as Baile Átha Cliath. It's the capital and the largest city of Ireland. Dublin is situated at the mouth of the River Liffey and bordered on the south by the Wicklow Mountains.

History

Almost 2 million people live here now, but Dublin was established by Celtic-speaking people in the 7th century AD. The Vikings eventually showed up and then the Normans joined suit. The city expanded rapidly from the 17th century and was briefly the second largest city in the British Empire. The overthrow of the British a century ago spawned some of the greatest poetry and folk music the world has ever seen. "The troubles" between Northern Ireland (the top 1/5 of the Island) and the Republic of Ireland are finally in the past as of only a decade or so ago. Nowadays, Ireland is a massively growing people with a raging economy. The old stereotypes about uneducated day laborers (e.g. "hiring a paddy") or Irish food as a punishment are firmly in the past. Ireland's educational and technological prowess are genuinely impressive by any standard.

Modern Ireland, much as un-modern Ireland was, is driven by the spirit and passion of its people. The Irish are some of the best conversationalists in the world. Pub chat seamlessly becomes improvisational poetry which gives way to an a cappella bar song which then goes back to what the Irish call Craic. Craic is what we might call "shooting the breeze" or chatting. But it's so, so much more than just idle words. The Irish have a capacity for wit that rivals the British masters like Churchill and Chesterton. We can't be too quick to dismiss pub talk as drunken ranting. The Irish pub is nothing at all like the American bar. It's not a place for getting drunk or picking up a date - although that happens there. It's the public house - the neighborhood living room where everyone comes to socialize and to have a bit of the Craic. The Irish people and their culture make Ireland an amazing place...

An Unexpected Truth

There is, here in Dublin, a Catholic Church in honor of St. James. And what do we find outside said Church? We find a banner which declares “The Camino begins here...” Wise!

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