Day 3 – Thursday – Dublin in the rain

Posted: 21/06/2012 in Holiday
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We’d been looking forward to Ariel House’s breakfast, and it didn’t disappoint. Juices, homemade granola with yoghurt, a selection of homemade breads, cakes and jams, and an excellent range of cooked food. I went for the herby scrambled eggs with bacon, while Mark had the full Irish. Fantastic!! We love the way that Deirdre comes around and chats to everyone; interested and friendly without being intrusive.

Outside the Records Office

Decided to take the car into town today. Parked at Q-Park (behind Clery’s, an old department store); 3 euros an hour. Feck! First stop the Records Office, as I wanted to do some research on my paternal grandparents. I knew almost nothing; my dad had rarely talked about his family. All I knew was that my grandmother was an Arnold. He’d mentioned “the Arnolds from Yorkshire” and I’d assumed she hailed from there. The 1911 Dublin census showed her age as 30, putting her birth year as 1881 (or perhaps the year before). I’d found a few Elizabeth Arnolds in the Yorkshire census, but didn’t have enough information to know if any of them could be her. Another look at the Dublin census showed her birth place as Dublin! First off, we found her marriage certificate. I hadn’t known the year, but we searched in a range, based on the age of their eldest child, my uncle Ted. Quite excited to find that match! Then began the search for her birth cert. The only hits for 1880 or 1881 were in Northern Ireland; highly unlikely. A researcher overheard me ask the staff what month the 1911 census had been carried out, and she came over to help. Turns out she was a professional genealogist, and very quickly deduced that Elizabeth’s age was wrong on the census; she’d either lied or her husband simply hadn’t known. Minutes later, we’d found her birth certificate! So I now had her parents’ names and where they’d lived; indeed, I recalled my dad talking about Kilbarrack. I found Elizabeth’s mother (and siblings) on the 1901 and the 1911 censuses – but there was no sign of her father. I later discovered that he’d died in 1895, and that many of the family are buried in Kilbarrack churchyard.

MS: After all this, Angie felt exhausted, but excited at the prospect or knowing more about her family. However, we felt hungry and thirsty, so paid a visit to Peter’s Pub on Johnson Place, Dublin 2. I ordered two pints (in Irish) and toasted sandwiches (in English). We both love this pub – there’s no TV or music, and so quiet considering the location. The Guinness is gorgeous too!

An Siopa Leabhar

Not the usual paper bag

The Conradh na Gaeilge bookshop (An Siopa Leabhar) in Harcourt Street (Sráid Fhearchair) is the place to go if you’re serious about learning Irish. Lovely to hear the staff chatting in Irish. And very helpful they were. We came away with the rest of the Buntús Cainte series, having been steered away from a rather expensive – although highly recommended – modern course. We might come back to that when we’ve worked our way through BC!

We’d arranged to spend the evening with my cousin Pauline in Swords, and had planned to get there about six. We were late leaving town, though, as we’d got chatting to the chap in the Conradh na Gaeilge shop and lost track of time. Got to Pauline’s about quarter to seven. So good to see her again! She poured wine and beer – priorities spot on! – and bunged homemade lasagne in the oven. Her mum, Peggy, arrived home shortly afterwards, having been out with Margaret (one of Pauline’s younger sisters) and Margaret’s daughter, Maria. I hadn’t seen Margaret for years. It was good to see her and to meet Maria. They didn’t stop long unfortunately. Peggy was in great form, despite a recent stroke. Pauline’s brother Joe called from California during dinner; so nice to talk to him. We chatted and drank wine till about 2am, then headed back to Ballsbridge. The run into town is straightforward but we needed the SatNav for the rest of it. Bloody thing kept losing its signal, though, so we got a bit lost in the pouring rain. Made it, though, and were fast asleep as soon as our heads hit our respective pillows.


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