Sixth Form students soak up Dublin during half term trip
25 Feb 2020
Wendy Hau and Nicole Tan (both Lower Sixth) share an insight into the English department trip to Dublin.
Over half term, a group of Sixth Form students took off on a literary-orientated trip to Dublin. Despite the stormy and rainy weather, spirits were high as the schedule was packed with many unique experiences. From a coastal trip to the setting of the first chapter of Joyce’s Ulysses, to a performance of traditional Irish music at Sweeny’s, the memories made were vivid ones. During the trip two contemporary plays were viewed, a version of Medea and the shocking Lieutenant of Inishmore.
An early flight saw everyone arrive for a 5am start, but by the time we landed at Dublin excitement was in the air and Storm Dennis could do nothing to dampen our spirits. A hop on, hop off tour followed our first lunch in the city and then we returned to the hotel, where we all had a chance to dry off and eat before heading back out to watch a modern interpretation of the Greek play Medea, where a wife’s need for revenge led to a tragic and haunting end for the children in the play.
On Sunday, a local Dubliner called Trish, took us on a walking tour of the city, showing us the Oscar Wilde statue (amongst many other famous spots) and leaving us at Dublin castle where we were then treated to a guided tour of the Chester Beatty Library, home to a tiny proportion of the true collection held by the philanthropist Beatty. Despite it being a sunny morning, Dennis made a return during the afternoon with an unexpected and sudden hail barrage and storm as we put the Irish rail system to the test. The strong wind and harsh rain, however, did little to deter us as we each enjoyed seaside Mr Whippy’s in Sandycove.
Trinity College was a fascinating mix of old and new architecture, allowing us to see the Brian Boru harp, whose shape undoubtedly comes to mind when thinking of Ireland, along with the famous Guinness drink. We were privileged to be shown around by the University’s development fellow. A guided tour of the National Gallery of Ireland was stunning and was followed by the culturally insightful Lieutenant of Inishmore set in the 1990s amid a time of turmoil in Ireland.
We could not leave Ireland, however, without visiting the National Library of Ireland, where we visited the Yeats exhibition, dedicated to one of the four Irish Nobel prize-winners for literature. The Museum of Literature Ireland was new even for the teachers, bringing together both modern and historic authors and was a memorable final destination. After some free time to buy those all-important souvenirs we departed Dublin having thoroughly enjoyed our time there.