Seeing as how teachers spend 5 days a week with us pupils, I am sure Mr Bredin, Miss Crawford nor Mr Doherty were the envy of any staff member as they agreed to take 23 Year 14 pupils to Dublin for the weekend. Thankfully Friday 12th April was a lovely sunny morning which lessened the grumpiness of the twenty three 18 year olds, all of whom were successfully on the bus for 6.45am (even J Orr). While some of us slept and some of us enjoyed the scenery it is safe to say we were all very excited about our last trip as Dalriads.
Promptly after arriving in Dublin city centre, we met our lovely tour guide who then took us on a walking tour of Dublin. It was during this tour that we were able to see the statue of O’Connell, the GPO and the very bullet holes made in the 1916 Easter Rising all of which we have studied throughout the entirety of our History course. We were also able to go to what was once the Irish Parliament and is now a bank, where we were also able to sit around a huge table and learn even more about Dublin and Irish history. After the tour guide accepted that a lot of us were dead on our feet and getting very hungry, we quickly got some lunch and hopped on the bus again to go straight to Dublin Castle. We met the tour guide at Dublin Castle and it felt like we were somewhere like Downton Abbey, with the plush red carpet going up the staircase and the incredible portraits hanging from the walls. We quickly learned about the history of the castle, and all of the unique quirks such as the doomed mirrors in one particular area so that the servants could see all aspects of the room or the fact that Queen Victoria needed a step to sit on the throne of her uncle. Once the tour of the beautiful castle was finished, we visited the National Museum of History who had a particular exhibit for the 1916 rising. Here we saw the letters, some of which were written days/hours before the rebels were due to be executed; we saw photographs, flags and clothing from men involved in the rising we have been learning about. Even for those who are not history geeks like me, all of this helped put the course into context and helps us understand the stories we have been learning about. Once the museum trip was over and numerous photos had been taken we power walked / ran (thanks Miss C and Mr D) to town have some free time; getting a coffee was a popular choice. After a coffee and few shops (most dalriads were in the Disney shop) we were able to check into our lovely hotel. With large rooms, comfy beds and complimentary tea we were perfectly happy to stay in our rooms but hunger was creeping up on us all and so the gorgeous meal at the hotel was much appreciated. After this meal we went to get cleaned up and then went to enjoy a film at the Savoy Cinema. I’m fairly certain the cinema staff weren’t particularly thrilled to see twenty three 18 year olds arrive when it was also the premiere of Spider Man 2 with promotional photographs and queues everywhere. However after a questionable lie and a special display from a certain someone who thought they lost their ticket we were all excited to see a wonderful film. Although I am not very knowledgeable about religion, I am fairly certain that most of what happened in Noah maybe didn’t stick too closely to the Bible however it was entertaining. After retiring to our rooms, having a cup of tea and lying on our lovely, comfy beds was a lovely way to end a great day.
After our gorgeous full Irish breakfast we checked out of the hotel and got onto the coach to go to Kilmainham Gaol. With a very passionate tour guide, three worried teachers and twenty three very worried pupils we all learned a lot about Kilmainham and the men who were imprisoned and killed there. We also saw the hanging chamber and the courtyard where the Easter Rebels were killed which was particularly chilling but did indeed make for a very educational visit to the jail. Once we came out of the jail we headed straight for Glasnevin Cemetry. Although the weather was not the best, the wonderful guide completely made up for it. It may be slightly morbid to think of enjoying being shown around a cemetery but for me it was the best and most interesting part. It was odd to see clear enemies laid to rest so close together, or seeing the murdered buried a few feet away from their murderers, however it was incredibly fascinating.
After the tour of the cemetery we all got on the bus and began our journey home. On behalf of everyone on the trip, we would just like to thank Miss Crawford and Mr Doherty for giving up their weekend to spend with us and for making our trip so enjoyable. We also want to say a huge thank you to Mr Bredin for organising such a wonderful trip and making our last trip as Dalriads one to remember.