Chard, Ilminster & District

2012 Ireland Holiday

The History and Heritage of Dublin and Northern Ireland
19th June – 25th June 2012

Thirteen members of Chard Ilminster and District U3A recently spent three days in Dublin and three days in Derry. In Dublin we were accompanied by our professional guide, Felicity, who was very knowledgeable on the writers, poets and artists connected with the city. We soon became familiar with the local landmarks including the Post Office in O’Connell Street and the Ha’penny Bridge. We visited Phoenix Park, The Hugh Lane Gallery, The National Library and The National Gallery. We saw the Book of Kells at Trinity College. We were lucky with the weather the day we went to the Wicklow Mountains to visit the gardens at Powerscourt .

On Friday we transferred to Derry making a detour on the way to visit Mount Stewart House and Gardens on Strangford Lough. The weather can only be described as atrocious so sadly the gardens had to be given a miss but we were conducted around the house by Alan Neville, a member of North Down and Ards U3A. On Saturday we had a tour of the City Walls of Derry-most interesting and informative and also the Tower Museum. We all braved the elements for the river cruise in the afternoon. Sunday saw us take the scenic railway journey from Derry to Coleraine to visit the Giants Causeway and Dunluce Castle. Monday was our last day and we travelled to Belfast where we had a guided tour around the City in the morning. The afternoon was at leisure and members of the group visited the Titanic Experience and the City Hall.

Altogether a very interesting and informative few days. I for one now know that the ‘Plantation’ was not a forest but a transfer of people from one part of the British Isles to another for political and religious purposes the consequences of which are still being felt today. - Mary Myron

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