This morning, Peggy and I awoke in Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland. I’m incredibly fortunate to have traveled extensively since I was a young kid (Army brats never really shake the wanderlust), but until yesterday, the Emerald Isle was an unchecked box on my list. I’ve been waiting decades for this, and it does not disappoint. We’re here not only to see the sights, but also to build relationships with colleagues who serve Irish defendants for my clients. It’s a great mix of business and leisure.
Throughout Dublin, there’s an undercurrent of revolutionary spirit, even a century after the Easter Rising and the subsequent advent of the Irish Free State. Homages to Daniel O’Connell and Michael Collins and Wolfe Tone are everywhere, much as Washington and Jefferson and Franklin abound in the District of Columbia. Atop the political history is a layer of culture and vibrancy– and even refinement– that make Dublin truly a world-class capital, even though it governs a country far smaller and less populated than my home state of Missouri.
On the downside, Dublin is expensive, it’s touristy, it’s aged, and it’s a bit grimy. Just like every other big city. Hard to criticize a major metro for any of those things when it has so much else to offer.
But the most striking thing I’ve noticed about Dublin is its distinct multicultural atmosphere. This is, as far as I can tell, among the most European of European cities, perhaps second only to Brussels. In a few hours’ time, I heard a dozen different languages and encountered people of every hue, faith, and economic class. It’s not a stretch to predict that, following Brexit, the Celtic Tiger will awaken once again and make Dublin the English-speaking capital of a renewed Europe.
That’ll be exciting to watch.
Aside: I highly recommend the concept of VRBO– Vacation Rental By Owner. It’s really a cross between AirBnB and a traditional hotel. For about the same cost as a standard double room in a Hilton or Intercontinental, we have an entire apartment in Smithfield, just steps away from the Jameson distillery (they don’t make whiskey there anymore, but that’s beside the point!). If you have occasion to visit Ireland’s capital, check out Dublin City Rentals. Ask for Séamus. He’s a good fellow. (And his name is Séamus— there is no name more Irish.)