EPIC Ireland: Inside Dublin’s epic new €15 million tourist attraction

A deep dive into Irish DNA

Epic-Logo-FingerprintEPIC Ireland is described as an interactive visitor experience celebrating the global journeys and influence of the Irish disapora.
Opening to the public on May 7 after an official launch by Mary Robinson, the attraction is set in the brick vaults of CHQ on Custom House Quay.

It is entirely privately funded, developed at a cost of €15 million by Neville Isdell, former Chairman and CEO of Coca Cola and member of the Irish diaspora.
On a preview tour, my experience was of a bold series of 20 galleries slickly fitted with at times breathtakingly immersive technology-driven displays.

Designed by Event Communications, the award-winning designers of Titanic Belfast, EPIC Ireland aspires to tell the story of “10 million journeys”, with galleries organised into themes of migration, motivation, influence and connection.

epic ireland

Why did people leave? What was their influence overseas? How has the emigrant experience changed over time? All are questions integral to the experience.

“The vision and objective of EPIC Ireland is to be the essential first port of call for visitors to Ireland,” said its Managing Director, Conal Harvey.
75pc of visitors are expected to come from overseas, with 25pc coming from the island of Ireland, according to Dervla O’Neill, its head of marketing.

She described the experience as “a real deep dive into the Irish DNA”.
Visitors receive a passport as they enter the attraction, stamping it at various points before using it to send a virtual postcard as their tour concludes.

Some 70 living characters are included among the galleries, ranging from Magdelene daughter Mari Steed to Graham Norton and President Barack Obama.

A rogues’ gallery evokes characters like Ned Kelly and Typhoid Mary, whilst others celebrate the achievements of scientists like Ernest Walton, musicians like Morrissey, and literary giants ranging from Bram Stoker to Edna O’Brien.

epic_23

(…)
All told, however, this is a much-needed and extremely polished addition to Dublin’s deck of tourist attractions – at a time when the city is badly in need of new competitive edges to re-position a somewhat tiring image.
Source

15 sci-tech hotspots you have to visit in Dublin

100,000 tourists were expected to visit Ireland last week as St Patrick’s Day looms into view. While many of these holidaymakers travel right throughout the country, the vast majority base themselves in Dublin.

The landmark day alone is expected to bring €70m to the capital city but, rather than go down the paddywhackery route, we’re here with 15 places to visit that showcase Ireland’s science and technology achievements, past and present.

 

Tour of Dublin: Broombridge (D7)

Quaternion mutterings don’t usually make headlines, or indeed get inscribed in stone. Yet, at Broombridge along the Royal Canal, William Rowan Hamilton’s ‘eureka’ moment is captured in all its tangible glory.
It was here that Hamilton came up with the idea for a revolutionary new form of algebra.

Trinity College (D2)

Sticking to the tangible theme, Trinity College is full of hits. For example, the iron railings along Nassau Street sport the inscription R&J Mallet, which, as all you eagle-eyed engineering historians out there already know, relates to Robert Mallet.He was dubbed the ‘father of seismology’, with his iron foundry business obviously well enough respected for Trinity architects.
Elsewhere there’s the painstakingly boring pitch drop experiment, and plenty more besides when you get indoors.

trinity

Science Gallery (Pearse Street, D2)

We love the Science Gallery here at Silicon Republic and, after the wonderful Trauma: Built to break exhibit finished up last month, the team are back in force in March with a new farming show. Check the video!

Makeshop (Nassau Street D2)

Created by Science Gallery, Makeshop is for everyone from novices to advanced makers, young to old. The aim of Makeshop is to provide people with the tools, materials and guidance they need to get making, in a place where creativity is encouraged and everyone is welcome.

Silicon Docks (Grand Canal Dock, D2)

If it’s more of a modern schtick you’re into then check out Dublin’s very own Silicon Valley: Silicon Docks. Home to plenty of software companies you rely on for much of your social media-ing, you could gaze at Facebook’s European HQ, or even watch Google staff out in the wild, getting a coffee at 3fE.

If you want, you can struggle to understand why the red pipes outside the Grand Canal Theatre are supposed to represent trees – come back in the summer to check out Inspirefest these, too. Also, if you’re flush with money and want to invest in start-ups, let out a yell and someone there will be happy to talk to you.

Merrion Square (Merrion Square, D2)

Do you like moderate mistreatment of cats? Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger sure did, at least intellectually speaking. He also took a shine to Dublin many moons ago.
Landing here from England at the outbreak of the World War II in 1939, Schrödinger’s self-described ‘long exile’ was 16 years, during which he became the first professor of physics at the newly-established Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.
He also penned What Is Life? during this time, one of the most significant scientific contributions ever made in Ireland. His name adorns a plaque around Merrion Square.

The Little Museum of Dublin (St Stephen’s Green, D2)

The Little Museum of Dublin is, well, little. It’s also a treasure trove of trivial historical artefacts related to the city. Situated on St Stephen’s Green, it’s an easy find. The Irish Times voted it “Dublin’s best museum experience”, with the tours there very enjoyable.

Natural History Museum (Merrion Square, D2)

One of the better cabinet-museums around, Dublin’s Natural History Museum is great and well worth a trip. It holds millions of specimens, with just a fraction on display at any one time. If you can’t make it down there’s always this 3D virtual tour, should you like that kind of thing.

The Zoo (Phoenix Park, D8)

Of course, not everybody likes hanging out with dead specimens, so, if you prefer the real thing, then Dublin Zoo in Phoenix Park should sate your appetite. Highlights here include the new gorilla enclosure and the excellent zebra, giraffe, ostrich and rhino enclosures.

Zoo
Wi-Fi murals (Throughout Dublin city)

Okay, this is a bit of a weird one but, if you occasionally look up from your phone when you’re walking around the city you may succeed in (a) not walking into traffic, bikes or other people and (b) see some of the really cool tiled murals signifying Dublin’s free Wi-Fi.

Croke Park (Jones’s Road, D3)

Right now, Croke Park is home to a whole host of cool pieces of technology. A test bed for internet of things developments, Croke Park is testing everything from micro weather patterns to crowd control.
For example, on the roof, at this very minute, Intel has a tiny little weather centre. In the stands, cameras are monitoring shade levels in minute detail to improve grass growth. The future of stadia, and perhaps cities, is all here.

Botanic Gardens (Glasnevin, D9)

An animal-free alternative for nature fans would be the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. Billed as “an oasis of calm and beauty”, not even dogs are allowed here, so any cynophobia sufferers out there rejoice.
A premier scientific institution, the gardens also contain the National Herbarium and several historic wrought-iron glasshouses.

Botanic
Guinness Storehouse (St James’ Gate, D8)

What is a widget? It’s a Guinness creation that floats about in some cans of beer and stout, keeping the drink’s make-up relatively natural. If you take a tour of the Storehouse – Ireland’s most popular paid tourist attraction – you’ll hear all about it.
There’s far more cool stuff inside the building, too, like the pint-glass-shaped interior and some of the biggest steel beams you’ll see in the country.

Teelings Whiskey Distillery (Newmarket, D8)

We could recommend the Jameson tour in Smithfield but, given it doesn’t actually produce any whiskey, we’ll plump for Teelings. Take a tour, learn about whiskey and enjoy your samples. Simples.

Teeling
The Digital Hub (Thomas Street, D8)

Right beside the Guinness Storehouse sits a hive of start-up activity, with the Digital Hub and the Digital Exchange home to businesses like Slack, Emaint, Tibco and even, eh, Silicon Republic.

 

Source

A Literary Guide to Dublin, Ireland

In a country with a rich literary history, it’s no surprise that travelers journey to Dublin to find those inspiring places made infamous by the writings of Joyce, Wilde, Beckett and Doyle.

From historic buildings to the pubs of Temple Bar, the capital of the Emerald Isle offers an endless array of must-see places to find the lasting mark of Irish writers past and present. Discover and learn about Irish literature’s best-known scribes (and a healthy dose of Irish history) through these well-known neighborhoods and places.

 

Dalkey:

Journalist and novelist Maeve Binchy grew up in the pretty seaside suburb of Dublin that is now home to Irish A-listers. Starting her career at The Irish Times, Binchy soon turned to writing novels and short story collections like Circle of Friends and Tara Road, which can be easily found in Dalkey’s The Gutter Bookshop, a popular local independent bookseller.

web-dalkey-town

Abbey Theatre:

Opening its doors in December of 1904, this theatre (also known as the National Theatre of Ireland) was founded by poet W.B. Yeats and dramatist Lady Augusta Gregory. The first state-subsidized theatre in the English-speaking world, the Abbey Theatre is also noted for staging the first (and highly controversial) production of The Playboy of the Western World by John Millington Synge.

web-1000031

The James Joyce Centre:

The avant-garde poet and novelist has left a lasting mark on his hometown. Local revelers dress up as Leopold Bloom for the annual celebration of Bloomsday on June 16, the date on which Joyce’s novel Ulysses takes place. If you can’t visit on that day, the James Joyce Centre (hosts of Bloomsday) has permanent and rotating exhibits that give you an intimate look into Joyce’s life. Learn about Joyce’s legacy, and then toast his life at Davy Burn’s Pub, a 100-year-old gastropub well known for its amenable atmosphere, tasty cuisine and mention in Ulysses.

web-episode-5-lotus-eaters-in-sweny-s-chemist-on-lincoln-pla

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral:

Also known as The National Cathedral and Collegiate Church of Saint Patrick, this is where St. Patrick baptized converts in Dublin. Its best-known literary connection is cleric and writer Jonathan Swift, who wrote Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal. Swift was dean of the cathedral from 1713 to 1745, and is buried in the church’s graveyard.

 

Merrion Square:

Make the pilgrimage to this pretty Georgian park to gaze at Danny Osborne’s colorful sculpture of poet, essayist, novelist and playwright Oscar Wilde. But what’s more important is across the street at One Merrion Square; the author’s childhood home is now restored and part of the American College of Dublin.

 

Kilbarrack:

Although his stories showcase fictional Barrytown, readers of novelist Roddy Doyle can visit the real life inspiration. One of the oldest neighborhoods of Dublin, Kilbarrack is where Doyle grew up and worked as a teacher. The suburb also became a star in the filming of his book The Van, as local pub The Foxhound Inn was included as a movie location.

 

Trinity College:

The oldest university in the city has many literary alumni, including Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker. Trinity College is also home to the largest library of Ireland. Featuring The Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels of the New Testament dating to 800 AD, the library also includes The Long Room, containing 200,000 of the library’s oldest books and one of the remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic.

 

National Library of Ireland:

With over eight million items, this reference library focuses on preserving Irish cultural identity through its collection of personal papers, letters and writings of many Irish writers. Fans of writer Colm Tóibín can learn about his early years as a journalist and burgeoning novelist/playwright at the library, where his literary papers, as well as works from his teacher/father Michael Tóibín, are accessible.

8119894533-989b320404-z

Source