Photos by: Philip Galvin


Ireland, Cities (Belfast and Dublin) 



The first city we visited was the capital and largest city in Northern Ireland, Belfast. It is a city that had suffered for so many years from the battle of those who wanted to separate from England and those who wished to stay. Northern Ireland is still part of the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, the division was also along the lines of religion. During this time, Belfast experienced severe violence (bombings and murders) which lasted for 30 years (1969-1998).  Parts of the city remain segregated by the “peace wall” between Catholic neighborhoods and Protestant neighborhoods.

The most memorable sight of downtown Belfast was pots of red flowers hung by the windows along the street - whether it was sunny or a rainy day they brightened up the street.  The stone paving takes us back to an earlier time.


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Colorfully painted stores stand along the stone paved paths.  No matter where you look, you find tastefully decorated signs in red, green, and blue. It is a sight you don’t generally see in North America, especially in Western Canada.  It made us feel that we were truly in Europe.

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We saw the traditional stone walls we were expecting to see. Below is the oldest building in Belfast built in the 1680's. 


We continued to walk into the heart of downtown; there, we saw so many displays of interesting art on the walls that were quite impressive.

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One clear day, we walked toward the shipyard where the famous ship “Titanic” along with the “Olympic” were built.

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Titanic Belfast

Titanic Belfast is a museum opened in 2012, to mark the centenary of Titanic’s maiden voyage and sinking which occurred in 1912.  The replica of the Titanic’s staircase was a focal point of the museum.  Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos inside.

The most impressive part of the museum was the second gallery called “The Shipyard”.  There we took a mini car up and around a replica of Titanic’s rudder. The different stages of the shipbuilding were displayed through audio and images which were quite impressive.  

Another memorable display was “The fourth gallery” which presented a model of the Titanic. There, we could see three classes of cabins. There were so many displays of memorabilia from the sunken ship, it took us more than a couple of hours to see everything.

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We walked around the modern part of Belfast and visited a shopping mall. Inside, we saw many contemporary shops and restaurants which were like the ones in Canada.

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After we left the shopping mall, we saw a church and another traditional building. 




Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland. It is located at the mouth of the River Liffey on Ireland’s east coast.  The first thing we noticed was the number of bridges which cross the river Liffey.  There are a total of 24 bridges.  We bought day passes for the Big Bus Dublin, Hop on Hop off Bus Tour. This pass allows you to get on and off the bus to see the sights you wish to see.  


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Samuel Beckett Bridge


The “Ha’penny” Bridge

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 National Conference Centre     


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              Custom House                                                                                  

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The Famine Memorial

The memorial, in remembrance of the Great Famine (1845-1849) stands on Customs House Quay. The population of the country was halved through death and emigration during this time.


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The expression of each statue was somewhat eerie. 



 Christ Church Cathedral




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Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)

This museum is located on 48 acres of land in the heart of Dublin 8. Again, we were not allowed to take photos inside but were able to walk around the enormous grounds that were maintained immaculately.  


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The building was built in the 17th century, inspired by Les Invalides in Paris.  For almost 250 years, it was used as a home for pensioner soldiers.

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Quick historical references of Ireland.


400 BC Celtic tribes invaded Ireland

432  Christianity was brought to Ireland by St. Patrick 

795  Vikings began to raid Ireland

1014 At Clontarf, Brian Boru defeated the Vikings  

1541 Ireland's Parliament was forced to declare Henry VII to be a king

1603  Elizabeth I ended revolts in Ulster

1649  Oliver Cromwell crushed an Irish revolt against England. He took

          many political rights and land away from Irish Catholics 

1690  In the Battle of the Boyne, The English defeated James II and 

         Irish forces. 

1801 Ireland became part of the UK of Great Britain and Ireland

1845-1847 About 750,000 people were killed by a potato famine 

1916  In Dublin, the Easter Rebellion against British rule broke out.

1921  It became a dominion of Great Britain called the Irish Free State

1949 Ireland declared itself a republic

1955 Ireland joined the United Nations

1973 Ireland became a member of the European Community 

You can find this info. in the bottom of every document as reference.