Over 30 members of the Association enjoyed a special treat exploring Hidden Dublin north of the Liffey. Once again Frank Treacy was our guide and he brought us on this historical ramble which started at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Parnell Square where an exhibition of the finest works of Ireland’s renowned stained-glass artists – Harry Clarke, Evie Hone, James Scanlon, Wilhemina Geddes and Paul Bony is located.
Next we went to Blessington Street Basin, the last remaining of the canal reservoirs that supplied water to the city in the 18th and 19th century. The Basin has been fully restored and is now a beautiful park and wildfowl reserve.
We saw the mainline terminus of the now defunct Great Western Railway which is regarded as one of the finest public buildings in the city. En route to Dublin’s oldest Georgian Street (1720s) we visited the remarkable sight of The Hungry Tree in the Kings Inns grounds.
We then proceeded to the historic Green Street Courthouse. Opened in 1797, the courthouse was the location of the trials of many Irish patriot including Robert Emmet, Wolfe Tone, Lord Edward Fitzgerald and John Mitchel. Between 1970 and 1995 it was the location of the non-jury Special Criminal Court where many IRA related trials were held, including that of the Herrema kidnapping. Now closed, the courthouse has been used as a location for many films requiring an original 18th century courthouse.
The Victorian Dublin Fruit & Vegetable Market was next and then on to St Mary’s Church. This restored church (1697) is now one of Dublin’s popular eating venues. The location of the christening of Wolfe Tone and Sean O’Casey, it is also the church in which Arthur Guinness was married. And finally for those who needed refreshment we concluded our walk at Dublin’s newest café – The Tram Café. Some photos can be viewed in the Photo Gallery.