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Fáilte roimh Éirinn! (Welcome to Ireland!)

We arrived in Ireland on schedule and were immediately treated to “Irish summer” as we walked through the drizzling rain from the airport bus to our accommodations at University College Dublin. But everyone remained in good spirits and the weather has been fair and sunny since. On Sunday evening we enjoyed a group meal in downtown Dublin at the famous O’Neill’s and began class on Monday.

On Tuesday, our first field trip took us into the middle of the country to Strokestown Park House. Strokestown offered the students a great opportunity to see the stark contrast between the lives of the Anglo-Irish elite and the tenant farmers in 1700s and 1800s.

Ireland 2019 Study Abroad students arrive
Ireland 2019 Study Abroad students visit Strokestown


The oldest part of the house at Strokestown dates from the mid-1600s, although most of what can be seen today is from the 1700s. Our guide gave students interesting insights into the “lifestyles of the rich and famous” when England ruled Ireland. Two of the favorite spots were the kitchen, where the lady of the house dropped down written menus from a gallery so that she didn’t have to mingle with the kitchen workers, and a tunnel that led to the servants’ quarters. This was so servants did not intrude on the view from the main house. Here are some students emerging from the tunnel and the view from the house.

Ireland 2019 Study Abroad students
Ireland 2019 Study Abroad students


The National Famine Museum is located in the former stables of Strokestown House, and students paired up looking for information about the Irish Famine, or as the Irish call it, “The Great Hunger” (An Gorta Mór).

Ireland 2019 Study Abroad students
Ireland 2019 Study Abroad students


We have a busy week ahead, with a visit to the Abbey Theatre on Thursday and a tour of Kilmainham Gaol (that’s “Jail” for we Americans) on Friday. We’ll keep you posted.

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