Two Cities in the Republic of Ireland:  Dun Laoghaire and Cobh

2023 HAL World Cruise

Sunday & Monday, April 30-May 1, 2023

Ireland is the second largest island of the British Isles.  It is the third largest in Europe; and the twentieth largest in the world.  The North Channel, St. George’s Channel and the Irish Sea separate the island from Great Britain.  The island is shared by the Republic of Ireland which occupies about 5/6 of the island at the south and Northern Ireland which remains a part of Great Britain.  Precursor to the “Republic of Ireland” was the “Irish Free State” created in 1922 with “Dominion” status.  Then in 1937, it became “Ireland” when a new constitution was adopted.  After passage of the Republic of Ireland Act of 1948, it was officially declared a “republic” in 1949; and became a member of the United Nations in 1955.  There were no formal relations between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland throughout most of the 20th century.  But in the 1980s and 1990s, the British government and the 2 Irish governments worked together to reach resolution to “The Troubles.”  The Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998 and the North/South Ministerial Council was created.  Co-operation and coexistence have reigned ever since.      

On this trip, starting with Dun Laoghaire and followed by Cobh, we visited the Republic of Ireland.

Here are the photos: 

Dun Laoghaire (which is pronounced “dun LEER-ee”)

We had never been to Dun Laoghaire. It is an alternate port for Dublin; but we don’t know what criteria will put a ship into this port rather than going straight into Dublin.
This is also a tender port.
But it is an easy walk up the ramp and directly to the Metro station!!!
Interestingly, this is Ireland’s very first railway!!! It was built in 1834, connecting Dun Laoghaire with Dublin, 8 miles away. The railway made Dun Laoghaire a suburb of Dublin. Naturally, that created a residential boom!!!
The houses and neighborhoods are nice.
Many of the original neighborhoods from the 1800s are now gone, but a few still flourish!!!
Quite a charming town!!!
And tucked away in the middle of a residential neighborhood is the Oratory!!!. Now this is unique–certainly something new to us!!!
This structure is, in reality, an “Outer Protective Shell” wrapped around the original building that was constructed as an oratory to the fallen soldiers of WWI.
An oratory is defined as a structure other than a parish church, set aside by ecclesiastical authority for prayer. This one was constructed in 1919.
It is now famous for the artwork of Sister Concepta Lynch. The walls are completely covered in brightly colored Celtic motifs–all hand pained by Sister Concepta over a span of 16 years–until her death in 1939.
The detail of Sister Concepta’s art is amazing!!!
Near the Oratory, we came to the Carnegie Library. It was funded and built by Andrew Carnegie in 1912 and closed in 2014. Someday, we will do a deep dive into the Carnegie library system.
A total of 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929. 1,689 were built in the United States, 660 in the United Kingdom and Ireland, 125 in Canada, and others in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Serbia, Belgium, France, the Caribbean, Mauritius, Malaysia, and Fiji. Whew!!! What an accomplishment!!!
(Andrew Carnegie in 1905, National Portrait Gallery, public domain)
Continuing our walkabout…..
…..we checked out the street food…..
…..but decided to enjoy our afternoon libation at Hartley’s.
Hartley’s restaurant was established in 2007, converting the old ticket hall of the railway station, which was built by William Dargan…..
…..who also built the Royal Marine Hotel……
all located at the bustling waterfront…..
…..into a beautiful…..
…..and refreshing…..
afternoon interlude!!!
And then we returned to the ship for the sail-away to our next port: Cobh.


And then Cobh (pronounced “Cove”)

We have been to Cobh many times and always enjoy the visit.
The dock is right in town, adjacent to the Cobh Heritage Center.
It’s a short walk to the Heritage Center and to the center of town.
At the entrance to the Heritage Center, a statue of Annie Moore and her brothers commemorates their journey to America. Annie was the first immigrant to enter the U.S. at the newly completed Ellis Island on January 1, 1892.
Once inside the Heritage Center, a multi-media exhibition traces the emigration story from the 1600s to the 1850’s from this historic port town: emigration to the colonies; transport of convicts to Australia; and emigration to the U.S. following the Great Famine.
But that is not all that is commemorated here in Cobh…..
This is the Peace Memorial in Casement Square. It is dedicated to the memory of the Lusitania, sunk by a German U-boat in 1915. The attack occurred off the coast of Ireland and many of the survivors, as well as 169 casualties, were brought to Cobh.
Now known as the Heartbreak Pier, this deteriorating pier is all that’s left of the tender dock behind the former White Star Lines headquarters in Cobh.
Rumor has it the rotting pier is scheduled for a renovation. But it’s been a ruin for decades and still attracts packs of tourists to come and view. Well, hey!!! There’s a restaurant right there!!!
Back in the day, passengers passed through these halls and took either the tender PS Ireland or PS America to their anchored ship in the harbor. Today, it is the Titanic Museum. And quite a good one at that. The facility also has a gift shop and restaurant.
It’s called Heartbreak Pier for so many reasons. From here, Over 1 million people emigrated to the U.S., Canada, or Australia. And from here, 123 passengers, on April 11, 1912, tendered to the SS Titanic, moored and awaiting them at Roche’s Point for departure to New York.
What you see here in the background is St Coleman’s Cathedral, completed in 1919 after 68 years of construction.
The tower, at 91.4 meters, is the tallest in Ireland and contains a 49-bell carillon–they say it’s the only carillon in Ireland.
The cathedral is beautiful!!!
Near the cathedral is the neighborhood called “Deck of Cards.” These homes are simply built next to each other on a hillside. But they look like a fanned deck of cards, don’t they?!?
After visiting the Titanic Museum…..
We stopped in at the local Fair to shop the craft market and enjoy a little street food!!!
Ahhh, but there is nothing like a local Irish Pub for good drink…..
…..that offers a refreshing break……
…..great camaraderie..
…..and authentic music and humor (This is JuBilly singing from their album, “Heart Calling Cobh”). We enjoyed our afternoon libation at Kelly’s Bar. And thus ended a terrific day in Ireland.
We returned to the ship.

Our final ports-of-call are in the Azores before we embark on the 6-day Atlantic transit to Florida.

Join us, soon, for the final post!!!