The idea developed over dinner among like-minded friends with a penchant for travel. One of the group hails from Ireland so we were in good hands. The planning began well ahead of time enabling great flight deals and even better hotel rates. We decided to meet in Dublin and drive south to Killarney, Cork and Kilkenny.
Recommended reading, apart from the usual travel books, A Star called Henry by Roddy Doyle, is not a book one can breeze through by the beach. It delves into the 1916 Easter Rising against the British, where 14-year old Henry Smart, a soldier in the Irish Republican Army and later became an acquaintance of Micheal Collins is the protagonist. One review has this to say "Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood".
Of particular interest, the Dublin General Post Office featured as an important landmark as it served as the headquarters for the leaders of the uprising. The building was extensively damaged in the assault by the British army and the columns still bare bullet hole marks. The GPO remains to this day a symbol of Irish nationalism.
The River Liffey runs through Dublin. Like the origins of the name Kuala Lumpur, Dublin was derived from the Irish Duiblinn or Black Pool referring to the dark tidal pool where the River Poddle merged with Liffey.
In the land that produced great writers and poets like Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and many more, their legacy continues in everyday life.
The relaxed atmosphere of summer shines through in the brief sunny spells, luscious flowers, shorts, flip flops and sun shades.
Serious effects of the global economic downturn are perceived by falling real estate prices and numerous businesses closing down. However a saving grace is that tourism remains robust with drones of Spanish-speaking tourists, troops of North Americans, groups of Chinese and a few Malaysians.