Ireland day 0240. Thursday 26 May 2022- Lecture

Ireland day 0240. Thursday 26 May 2022- Lecture
Today’s summary Attended a lecture on coastal erosion by Geological Survey Ireland at the Collins Barracks museum in the evening so went in early and had an excellent sunny walk to the museum via Kilmainham, the War memorial Gardens, the Liffey towpath and Phoenix park beforehand
Today’s weather Dry with some cloud but long sunny spells in the afternoon.   Strong westerly wind.   About 17C
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of my route)
Close-up location
(The green line shows where I walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Collins museum via Kilmainham and Phoenix

Having been very lethargic all day yesterday I thought perhaps that I wouldn’t sleep much last night.   But in fact the opposite was the case and I was out like a light for fully nine hours and woke up feeling a lot more lucid than I had the day before.   I positively leapt out of bed (OK that’s a bit of an exaggeration) and set about pondering how best to deploy the day – with Val still being away in London – over my toast and porridge.

I already had one fixed point in the diary – a lecture on Coastal Erosion by Geological Survey Ireland, down at the Collins Barracks at 6pm this evening.   So I decided to make that my destination, and head in to Dublin for an extended exploration of some of the parts of the city that I hadn’t visited already, before walking over the the Barracks for the lecture later on.

I’ve written so often about the DART into Dublin that there’s no point in saying any more about it now.   Anyway, I eventually ended up at Heuston Luas station about 1:30pm and from there walked down St John’s Road to have a look at the Kilmainham area.

Kilmainham nowadays is a pleasant part of Dublin, though it hasn’t always been.   The two most notable attractions are the Royal Hospital, and the notorious Gaol.   I decided to park the Gaol until Val’s back – by all accounts it’s a harrowing place, though something that should be on every visitor’s must-see list.   By the Royal Hospital is free to visit, and it’s a lovely building.   Its a quadrilateral design, with a big square in the middle, a bit like the Collins Barracks, although it was built 15 years before the Barracks, in 1687.   It was the model for the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, which was begun a year later.

The Hospital was designed to accommodate retired soldiers from the Irish army, and some of its first inmates were wounded soldiers from the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.   In 1922 the building was handed over to the Irish Free State and a few years later, in 1927, the last pensioner was moved over to the Royal Hospital Chelsea (Kilmainham pensioners wore the same ceremonial “scarlets” as today’s Chelsea pensioners do, and in effect the two were sister organisations).   For a while the hospital became the headquarters of An Garda Síochána (the police) then it was restored by the State and currently houses the (somewhat underwhelming) Irish Museum of Modern Art.   I had a quick look round the displays but couldn’t make out much of it, so moved on after only a cursory glance.

The Hospital gardens – which are said to be worth a visit –  were closed off in preparation for an outdoor rock concert being hosted on the site at the weekend.   So I walked straight through and down to the Gaol, out to the east of the Hospital.   Saving the joy of a visit to the prison for another day, I walked to the First World War Memorial Gardens, a little further on and down by the southern banks of the Liffey.   I’d spotted these gardens from Phoenix park, on the other (north) bank and thought they looked nice – and indeed they were.   A wonderful peaceful spot so I lingered in the rose garden and had my packed lunch in the sunshine (I still can’t get over the fact that I don’t need to wear a hat and a down jacket any more – I’m loving the spring weather!).

A quick stroll along the Liffey towpath (which I didn’t even know existed, until today, and which is decorated with some thought provoking dog-themed graffiti) and then I was back in Phoenix park, which was nice as ever.   I made my way through the park and down to the museum in the Collins Barracks just in time to nip into the loos and put my smart clothes on (i.e. not my shorts) and joined the pre-lecture drinks and canapes reception.   It was wonderful to be back in an academic environment again (I really do miss my times in the Natural History Museum in London) and to chat to some of the Survey staff.   The lecture was interesting – about the effect of coastal erosion on archaeological and geological sites – and I hope that I’ll be able to go along to more, similar, events in the future.

Well, that’s it for today.   A bit of a long blog I know, but there was just such a lot to report!  Back tomorrow, and maybe I’ll be a bit more succinct next time.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

In the Kilmainham Hospital, now the Irish Museum of Modern Art.   I have to say the building is beautiful but the museum wasn’t (in my opinion) one of Dublin’s best.   There wasn’t a lot to see and what there was, I couldn’t understand Outside in Kilmainham park, the Frames are playing a live gig next weekend.   The Frames are an influential Irish rock band though I’m afraid I don’t know much about their music
Kilmainham Jail.    Not a happy place, but a must-visit.   Perhaps later in the summer we will steel ourselves and have a look around. In the World War 1 memorial gardens.   An absolutely lovely spot.   Peaceful, tranquil, and with a superb circular sunken rose garden.   It’s on banks of the Liffey right opposite Phoenix Park, and it’s a nice place to linger over your lunch (which I did)
On the banks of the Liffey, just outside the gates to the memorial park.   There’s an excellent towpath on the southern bank which runs a few km upstream, as far as the Anna Livia bridge at Chapelizod Back at the Collins Barracks (home to the  National Museum of Ireland-Decorative Arts and History) where the Geological Survey lecture was being held this evening
This is one of the exhibits at the modern art museum.   I’m afraid I don’t know what it is but the exhibition hall had recently been redecorated and the fresh paint smelt nice.
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 27220 m
Max elevation: 36 m
Min elevation: 3 m
Total climbing: 636 m
Total descent: -627 m
Total time: 04:00:49
Download file: Museum Via Kilmainham Memorial Gardens And Phoenix Park corrected.gpx

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