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Can anyone say anything BAD about IRELAND?

Can anyone say anything BAD about IRELAND?

Old Mar 9th, 2001, 12:56 PM
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As an Englishman I was a little worried when my job took me to the Guinness brewery in Dublin ( you know - "the troubles" etc. ). I've never met freindlier people ( but then again I've also been to America, Japan etc....
sigh.. ).
Old Mar 9th, 2001, 12:59 PM
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My daughter and her friend spent 10 days traveling around Ireland from Dublin South and then back up the West coast to Galway...they had a wonderful time and although it did rain a lot it did not dampen their spirits one bit. They stayed at B&B's except for one hotel in Dublin and the people they stayed with were extrememly kind and helpful to them and treated them like they would their own family...they went out of their way to make my daughters trip a memorable one.....they said the people were genuinely friendly and the countryside, especially the South and West coast was just beautiful...they are planning to go back as soon as they save up enough money...I know that you will have a wonderful time and I hope that you report back to Fodors and tell everyone your thoughts on your trip....
Have a safe trip!
Old Mar 9th, 2001, 03:34 PM
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"religious, franke, amorous, ireful, sufferable of infinite paines, very glorious, manie sorcerers, excellent horsemen, delighted with wars, great almsgivers, passing in hospitalitie"...written about Ireland by Richard Stanyhurst in 1577.

Cheers! George
Old Mar 9th, 2001, 06:07 PM
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We were there in April last year. The rain is a mist. I had my umbrella open once or twice and that was for only a short period of time. I usually just pulled the hood of my coat up and that was sufficient.

The trademark American white sneakers are not accepted attire in the pubs at night. Plan to bring some dark shoes.

We used a Cyber cafe on Grafton St. to touch base at home every day for less than the equivalent of $2.

Before you come home, you can get rid of a lot of your change at Thomas Cook when you have even dollar amounts. The banks wouldn't touch it.

Oh, they don't sell Pepto Bismol, so remember to bring your own! (They do have something similar, though.) In Dublin, a late night pharmacy is one that closes at 8 p.m.

The best place for candy is BUTLERS, not Bewley's.

Need lots of inexpensive or "token" souvenirs to bring back home? Hit the the tourist office for a great selection and spend more of your time seeing Ireland.

In Dublin, the shopping day was over at 5:00 except for just one or two stores that stayed open until 6:00 p.m.! On Thursdays, most stores stayed open a little later, til 6 or maybe 7 p.m.

Remember to bring your own washcloth if you want one - you won't be provided with one there.

Visit Belfast if you can (remember to exchange some punts for pounds) & see what the TV news in the states doesn't show you. Yes, there are problems, but there is more to Belfast than the figthing. Clothing was cheaper in Dublin so many women hopped the train in the morning from Belfast to shop in Dublin and then returned home on the evening train. When we were there, the gasoline was even bootlegged up to Northern Ireland because it was cheaper from the Dublin area.

Use the hair dryer provided in your room. At least the place where we stayed had one that was much more powerful than the ones I have used in the states. My hair was dry in a fraction of the usual time. Maybe the voltage difference. Could have probably dried a load of laundry with it.

Off and should season - don't plan to see exactly the same sights on the day tours. If you go to the Cliffs of Mohr and they have substituted Ailee cave for the castle stop you might as well stay on the bus. The Cliffs are breathtaking. It was so clear the day we went that we could see the Aran Islands from the bus windows.

The country roads are very narrow. In one spot to pass a truck, both our bus driver and the truck driver flipped their mirrors down and crept past each other, that's just how close we were to each other!

I hope to go back someday. There is so much to see! You will have a wonderful time.
Old Mar 10th, 2001, 05:21 AM
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i can't believe no one has mentioned this.
the flight attendants on Aer Lingus are possibly the most obnoxious people i have ever encountered.
after hearing so much about the friendliness of the people, i was shocked by my first encounter with them.
and i am a new yorker, so therefore used to abrupt service, but they take the cake.
Old Mar 11th, 2001, 04:55 AM
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Loved Ireland and am looking forward to taking my wife there.

Only really bad thing was the number of beggars in Dublin. I guess in Phoenix they just sit on the sidewalk with a hat for you to throw money into rather than agressively approach you as they did in Dublin.

Country roads are narrow, but I didn't have much trouble with them. The Irish didn't seem to drive on them as agressively as the English do.

With all the construction going on, some towns are quite a mess. When we visited Lisdoonvarna, the street (only really one in the town) was torn up, the buildings all needed paint, and it would be a little depressing if you lived there. As a tourist, it was merely 'picturesque'.

Old Mar 11th, 2001, 08:17 PM
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Old Mar 11th, 2001, 10:16 PM
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Thanks again, everyone. To Phyllis--I check your thread everyday! Thank you for starting it.
Old Mar 13th, 2001, 06:20 AM
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Dear Erin: There is Ireland (The Republic Of) and there is Northern Ireland. We just returned from a group trip to Belfast from Baltimore, Maryland, USA, where we had a great time and met great people but also encountered simmering hatred from both Protestants and Catholics. Two Catholic girls, guests of young couples in our group, were denied service at the hotel bar late at night. True, the hotel policy is clear that nonguests cannot be served after 11:30 but we watched exceptions made all week. When two gentlemen in our group started crooning beautiful Irish melodies in one "Protestant" bar we (12 of us) were told if they didn't stop we would be kicked out. The bartender was overheard bragging in the men's room that he had shut down the "f'ing Americans." I was delayed on one village stop by a Catholic shopowner that went on and on angrily about all the Catholic strife, making it clear that his bigotry was no better than "theirs."
I am of the opinion that that Northern Ireland is "not ready for prime time" and American money should not be spent there until they have worked out their bigotry on the grass roots level.
Old Mar 13th, 2001, 01:21 PM
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Georgia--you really have no idea what you're talking about, do you? I grew up in Northern Ireland, and came to American when I was 23, and I'm Catholic, and what you've written just pisses me off. Yes, hotels can only serve residents after a certain hour. The "exceptions" you saw probably knew the bartender. Did the girls walk up to the bartender and say "I'm Catholic."? Yes, if he knew their names, then he could most likely tell their religion, but otherwise, how would he know??????

Also, the bartender didn't tell your friends to stop singing because you were singing Irish songs, he told you to stop singing because you were annoying Americans (my wife's American, so I'm aware that there are many non-annoying Americans) who for some reason started singing in the pub. I would have shut you up, too.

You are as small and narrow-minded as many of the people in the country you spent about 10 minutes in. Yes, the is biogtry in N. Ireland, but if anything, it's 20 times better than what I witness in the U.S. Also, the vast majority of people in the North could care less about religion. As long as they can go to work or school, spend time with their friends and family, go to the pub, have a holiday or two a year, they couldn't care LESS what religion everyone else is.

Like everything else, there is the extremely vocal and violent minority who make everything out to be much worse than it is.

Before you pass judgement on a country and its people, try spending more than one vacation there. I've accompanied more than 40 American friends and family on vacation in Northern Ireland, and I've never heard one negative comment. They were all amazed at how peaceful the country was, and how friendly and accommodating the people were.

Georgia, maybe think for a minute before you open your mouth again.
Old Mar 13th, 2001, 01:37 PM
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Paul has a point. I've never encountered one iota of bigotry or prejudice in Northern Ireland. I love the North AND the Republic. The friends I have in the North just want to live in peace like all of us. PLEASE try to be more tolerant. Hopefully those of us who travel learn tolerance as a by-product.
Old Mar 13th, 2001, 01:41 PM
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I would suggest you take your own advice Paul - close your mouth for a few minutes before letting the toxic bile spew forth from your mouth.
Old Mar 13th, 2001, 02:42 PM
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"I am of the opinion that that Northern Ireland is "not ready for prime time" and American money should not be spent there until they have worked out their bigotry on the grass roots level." well Georgia, if every American takes your advice then I should think the Irish will be "counting their lucky stars"
Old Mar 13th, 2001, 03:02 PM
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I like to go the controversial places to see for myself what its like and make up my own mind. Been to Isreal, Syria, Lebanon, North Africa, Eastern Europe when the wall was still up. Many other "hot spots" as well. (None of them were ready for prime time.) I find it both exciting and educational--mind expanding and eye opening. If I want peace and serenity, I go to the mountains or Hawaii.
Old Mar 13th, 2001, 04:10 PM
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I did a driving tour with my 2 sisters and a friend some years ago around Eire, we didn't venture over into Northern Ireland. The only things that were bad were some of the roads, very pothold and badly signposted. Most of the food and people were great! Re Lisdoonvarna mentioned by a previous poster, I recall the public toilet there being the worst I'd ever encountered - the only time I held on rather than 'go'.
Old Mar 13th, 2001, 04:12 PM
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Sorry, meant 'potholed' - I don't know what pothold is !
Old Mar 13th, 2001, 05:15 PM
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Regarding Georgia's comments ...

I am from the South of Ireland, live in North America and have visited the North of Ireland many times.

"They" hear my accent, "they" know where I am from and I have NEVER, in the past 15 years, encountered anything but kindness and good humour in the North and I can't tell if teh person being nice to me is a Catholic or a Protestant !

Ireland, North & South, have spent many years bridging the gap between North and South, both Catholic & Protestant, ... it does not help when a casual observer from a different society provides specious commentary on a very complex and painful situation.

The barman's comment simply means that he was p***** off that you kept the bar open late at night ... he might have been protestant/catholic/jew/buddist and he would not have cared if your party were from Maryland, Lebanon, India ...he just wanted to get home! Perhaps your "crooners" were singing off-key, perhaps, even worse, they were singing sentimental Irish-American drivel (like "When Irish eyes are smiling" - justification for deportation!) If they were singing "rebel" songs in (what you think was) a "protestant" bar (how they hell could you tell?), while peace talks are in progress, then they are insensitive to the situation, to say the very least!

Perhaps the barman just felt insulted that a group of foreigners had the nerve to come into his bar and assume they could understand and provide a solution to 800 years of history.

Northern Ireland is a very beautiful region, whose tourist industry is booming. It is well worth a visit and I believe you will not find a warmer welcome anywhere regardless of your religion, race, colour, whatever. It is very much ready and able for "prime-time" .
Old Mar 14th, 2001, 06:02 AM
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Well said Paul and others. As an Englishman, I've had no trouble at all in Northern Ireland and love the place. Of course I may be a bit prejudiced as I'm engaged to a girl from County Down! I've been told that an Englishman quietly drinking his pint is far more welcome than some loud yank claining to be Irish.
Old Mar 14th, 2001, 06:36 AM
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Georgia said she honestly thought that Catholics were treated differently.
Many have posted basically inferring that she is lying.They werent there, she was.
I believe her.
It sounds typical, I could tell many similar stories.
There are many bars which you CANNOT go into & sing certain songs.A tourist would be told to be quiet.A local would be taken outside & have the **** kicked out of him.Anyone who denies this is a fool or lying.
Of course these places are in the minority, but in some areas they are common.
I cannot understand those saying they found "not one iota of bigotry in NI".
Did you not see the graffitti?
Did you try going into a Catolic/Protestant club where "professionals" entertain with songs of glorious bombings etc???
Have ever seen an Orange walk?Close-up?
Obviously not
The tourist NI is very different from the real one.You are treated as a non - combatant & won't see the probs unless you look.
FACT : recently a NI footballer who plays for his country joined a Scottish team with Irish links.(Celtic)
The immediate pressure from his FELLOW COUNTRYMEN (booing at games, death threats to his family ) has made him reconsider whether he should ever play for his country again.
The truth is that while most people in NI arent bigoted, there is a large minority who are big style bigots.
Note that the schools are still segregated.Until this stops the bigotry will probably go on.
Yes it is a beatiful country,go there & enjoy it, but it is being ruined by these lunatics.Pretending they arent there doesnt help.
Old Mar 14th, 2001, 07:53 AM
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Egg--good man! I'm also from County Down.

I don't think anyone insinuated that Georgia was lying, only that she didn't bother to think about the situation before she opened her mouth.

One of the things that really confirmed for me that my American wife was "the one" for me was the way she tried to learn everything possible about N.Ireland after we met. She's read dozens of books on the topic, and as we're both Catholic, always looked for books written by both sides of the argument, so she could put together a more balanced picture. She also asked me and my family a lot of intelligent questions, so that she wouldn't do stupid things like start singing "beautiful Irish ballads" in a pub!

Also, I certainly don't ignore the problems of N. Ireland. They are very real and troubling. However, everyday life in the province is very much the same as it is everywhere else in the world for most of the people, particularly in the last several years. Yes, I have seen racism, and been a victim of it. But I see far more many instances of Catholics and Protestants working and playing together quite happily.

The Neil Lennon thing (the Celtic footballer who was booed by supposed N. Ireland fans during the thrashing they received from Norway in a World Cup qualifier) really upset me, but unfortunately it wasn't unexpected. I played football with Neil when we were young, and I've witnessed first-hand how upset he and his family was by this. As I said before, there is a very vocal and violent minority who impose their will on others.

Another nice thing about the North is that it's not so commercialized, like the south, and there aren't all those buses full of American tourists trying to negotiate the roads!

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