Our Ireland trip
June 8 , 2014
Site of St Oliver Plunkett in St Peter's, Drogheda. Archbishop Plunkett was born in 1625, was a professor of Theology and taught school to Protestant as well as Catholic children. The political climate towards Catholics changed and he was arrested in 1679 on charges of treason. He was transferred to London and sentenced to death. On July 1st 1681 he was hanged, drawn and quartered. His head was rescued and is worshipped as a relic.
Battle of the Boyne
The battle of the Boyne was fought on July 1st 1690 and was the largest battle fought on Irish soil. It was between the Williamites (protestant forces represented by William of Orange, King of England) and the Jacobites (represented by James 2nd, a Catholic and Father in Law to William). Catholics were fighting for the right to be represented in parliament and to have land rights as well as the freedom to worship. James' cousin, Louis 14th had sent 6000 troops to help in the battle. Louis wanted a French presence in the British Isles. The Williamites outnumbered the Jacobites and employed a pincer manoevre to defeat them.
Lunch at Scenic Carlingford
We stopped for lunch at the beautiful village Carlingford, along the Carlingford Lough. Our pub was situated in an old castle. We ate nachos.
The day was not quite done. We drove to Belfast, settled in the Malone Hotel but not before we had visited the Titanic Center. I was totally exhausted after the Museum.
The Murals of Belfast June 10
We drove through the North of the city (Protestant Shankill Road and Catholic Falls road) to the Protestant unionist side and the Catholic side. There were murals on the "Peace Bridge" which was a very tall structure dividing the waring factions.
Symbols for the Republicans:1981 Hunger Strike, Phoenix rising, Ireland reborn after 1916 rising. Bobby Sands, a hunger striker.
Loyalist murals: red, white and blue. King Billy, red hand of Ulster (Ulster freedom Fighters) battle of the Somme. Mural directory: www.cain.ulst.ac.uk/murals
Made a stop at Storment, the palace where politicians administer the country.
Then we we're let loose at city hall where I was desperate for peace and quiet and a coffee. I worked on my tackk in the coffee shop and had a brownie for lunch. D and I parted ways and I walked around in the busy shopping center.
At 2:15 we headed out to the Ulster museum which was closed but there was a lovely botanical garden and the Queens University to explore. I got some nice shots of roses in the gardens. I managed to see the inside of the university library and fill up my water bottle. Then we headed to the Malone Hotel for a nap .
Tours are free in City Hall, Belfast and the building is magnificent. The Major is more of a figurehead than a strong political figure.