Category Archives: Dublin

Back to Dublin

I made it back from Prague on one piece and I’m back in Dublin for one last week of partying and good-byes.  Prague pictures forthcoming.


Irish Elections

Tomorrow Ireland is having a by-election for seats in Dáil Éireann and European Parliament.

The most interesting thing is the use of the single transferable vote system.  In this system, the voter ranks the candidates in the order of their preference.  They vote for their preferred candidated with their #1 vote, their second choice with #2, etc.  First, all the first place votes are tallied.  Those candidates that reach the number of votes required to take their seat as TD or MEP* do so.  If no one reaches the requiste number, or in a mulit-seat constituency there are still vacancies, then there is a second round of vote distributions.  Those elected members with votes over the necessary to be elected have their excess votes proportionally redistributed to those chosen #2; candidates that fail to reach a minimum threshold also have their votes redistributed to their #2 choices (as long as that candidate is still in the race).  The vote distributing continues in this manner, burning the candle from both ends so to speak, until all the empty seats are filled.  I know it’s a bit confusing, so go to the wikipedia link above.  There’s a picture with chocolate and oranges that should help.

*TD – Teachta Dála; MEP – Member of European Parliament


I’ve joined a basketball league here in town.  We play Thursday nights in Rathmines.  Rathmines is the area just south of me on the other side of the canal.  I can walk to my games in about the same time it takes me to walk to college.  The gym we play in is actually worse than O.B. Laing, if you can believe it.  It’s a tiny, tiny gym in a school.  The walls are all in play.  The out of bounds line runs along the baseboard, so the league decided to keep things moving the wall is in play.  Which would be fine, but one one sideline is a set of radiators, and on the other is what I figure is a climbing apparatus.  And on the baselines there are no pads, so any on any break-away you have to start putting the brakes on at the free throw line so as not to run headlong into a brick wall.  That is if you can stop on the floor that has never, ever been properly waxed.  But for all it’s flaws, I’m having a lot of fun playing basketball again.  And for a change I’m one of the best players out there.  So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.


Walking back from the Super Bowl (more on that soon) it started snowing on us. The storm that shutdown London swung over here and is letting loose something that might be considered snow in some parts of the world. To me, this is the lamest snow “storm” I’ve ever had the good pleasure of suffering through. Continue reading

Fees Protests

Sorry I’m just now getting around to posting this, but I just stumbled upon it in my files today.

Back in October, the Irish government announced that in response to the hard economic times that the fees for university would be going up.  I’m not fully up on the details of the proposal, so I’ll direct you to RTE for details.  I was in the Post-Grad Reading Room working on something (I assume it was an essay because that’s about the only real work I do, but I’m not sure) when I heard a ruckus outside.  I’d been seeing the signs announcing the protests for a few days, but it never really registered.  Once I got outside I saw a mob of students coming down Nassau St. then up Dawson St.  From what I learned, they stretched all the way up to O’Connell St and down to Leinster House – probably close to a mile or so.  Traffic in City Center was completely blocked.  I watched for about 10 minutes.  I took a few pictures and this video.

Guinness and Jameson

Over the last two days, we’ve visited the Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery.  I’ve been to both before, but I’m not the type to turn down free beer and whiskey.   Saturday we went to Guinness.  About half way through the tour, there is a sampling station where you get just a small bit of Guinness to try.  Everyone had a go, but only Dad and I liked the taste. Continue reading

Ireland 1-0 Cyprus

Awhile back (October 8th, to be precise), John, Emmet, their dad PJ, and I all went up to Croke Park to watch Ireland take on Cyprus in an World Cup Qualifier. The match took place at Dublin’s Croke Park.

Croke Park at night

Croke Park at night

Croke Park is a really nice park, located on Dublin’s northside, about a 30 minute walk from City Center. It holds up to 82,500 people, making it the 4th largest stadium in Europe.
View from our seat

View from our seat

We didn’t have the closest seats in the place – 2nd to last row of the upper deck – but the view allowed a good view of the entire pitch. It was nearly a top down view, so I could see all the runs being made and movement of all the players.

Robbie Keane scored in the 5th minute, but that was all the scoring. The intervening 70 or so minutes were pretty dull. Ireland had a flurry of chances in the last 10 minutes, but the final score was just 1-0. After the match, the 4 of us went to The Metro for some Guinness. The Metro is right next to the Bunkhouse were I stayed when I first arrived. I’d been there before and it’s probably one of my top 3 pubs in Dublin. It’s all dark wood counters and tables, perfectly lit – no flashing lights like in Temple Bar or too dim like other pubs, soccer or rugby on TV, no insanely loud music. We hung out there for about an hour before we all had to catch the last bus home.