Friday, June 24, 2011


So CNN have compiled a list of 10 things NOT to do in Dublin when visiting Dublin. It has caused quite a little bit of controversy on the emerald isle. For those looking for a Dubliner's opinion on CNN's verdict read on!!!
1. Don't get lit in Temple Bar
Ollie says - There a many reasons not to visit Temple Bar. The fact that a pint of Guinness still costs €150 and may even increase further if the pub you are in has a late licence or that you'd be hard pressed to find an Irish person among the throngs of tourists sort of back up the argument...but it is still worth the visit. Beautiful coble stone streets, nick nack shops, the best buffalo wings (the Elephant and the Castle), buskers and the atmosphere make it a must see when visiting Dublin. Just don't over stay you're welcome or you'll find you may need to hit the IMF for a loan.
2. - Do not expect to drink all night
Ollie says - While we can't condone drinking to excess there are always places in Dublin where you can drink all night. Late bars, Leeson Street and hotel resident bars all offer plenty of opportunities for late drinks. My advise - don't. Too much Guinness will mean that the following day the hotel toilet is where you'll be spending most of your time...not a pleasant experience.
3. Don't... try to get inside Oscar Wilde's birthplace
Ollie says - Never tried it myself but I'd always advise against trying to break into someone's property.
4. Never call an Irishman (or Irishwoman) British
Ollie says - goes without saying!!! Same could be said for calling a Canadian an American, a New Zealander an Australian or a Corkman a Dub...particularly after 10 €150 pints of Guinness in Temple Bar:)
5. Don't dismiss the food
Ollie says - couldn't agree more. Did you ever try the meat balls in Gasworks Bar?
6. Don't... stick to British Colonial and Irish Civil War historical sights
Ollie says - very good point. Although it could be handy for understanding why to avoid number 4!!!
7. Don't.... attend the St. Patrick's Day Parade
Ollie says - Once again CNN are on the ball. Have attended the parade many times and each time I ask "why am I here again". You can barely see a thing, it moves at -8 kilometres per hour and it nearly always rains. I'd suggest hitting the normally busy tourist sites while the rest of the tourists get cold, wet and board. Sky Plus the parade.
8. Don't order a Murphy's
Ollie says - The guys from CNN suggest this on the basis that Murphy's is from Cork, but there are many pluses for the tourist trying Murphy's. Firstly its cheaper, but more importantly if you're not used to drinking stout then you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between Murphys and Guinness anyway. While I'm a big Guinness fan...a nice pint of Irish stout is...a nice pint of Irish stout.
9. Don't... expect an "authentic" trad music session
Ollie says - they have a point again. While there are some genuine trad nights in Dublin, indeed it is becoming more common as people have more time on their hands, most of the trad nights advertised for tourists in Dublin are very staged. That said they are still a great experience and certainly not worth avoiding. If you're intending on catching one drop us a line and we'll tell you where to go.
10. Don't... take a photo next to Molly Malone
Ollie says - Ah poor Molly. She never gets a moment of peace. Try getting the picture on the way back from Temple Bar...there shouldn't be too many people around at that stage. But CNN have it right there are plenty of sculptures to get you're picture taken with in Dublin.

So there you have it. CNN's 10 things not to do in Dublin. The one thing it says about Dublin is that if they are the best/worst things to do in Dublin you can't really go wrong.

Check out the CNN article here. If you want to book a room in Dublin to avail of some of Ollie's 10 best things to do in Dublin then click here.


Ollie McGrath.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


We know that Dublin taxi drivers are some of the most friendly and indeed talkative on the planet but they are about to add "most green" to their growing repertoire.

Two electric taxis have hit the streets of Dublin, offering Irish customers a chance to travel the city under electric power for the first time. The new taxi's, which can comfortably achieve 100 mile range between charges, will easily fit the Dublin taxi drivers programme which currently averages 74 miles per day.

The service is offered jointly by Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board (ESB) and National Radio Cabs (NRC), with two vehicles available for general hire – a Nissan LEAF and a wheelchair-accessible Peugeot Expert.

The Dublin service is one of the first working electric taxi schemes in Europe and is part of a wider EU research programme that includes gathering data on the performance of electric transport in an urban setting.

Dublin currently has just five on-street charging points, but 30 fast-charging points, which can recharge a car to 80% capacity in 30 minutes, are due to be installed along inter-urban motorways by the end of the year.

Well done lads. I wonder though, will these new cars reduce the cost of getting a taxi. They'll be saving on the extortionate diesel and petrol prices.

The Grand Canal Hotel are offering a shuttle service to the airport hourly between 6am and 12pm daily. Alternatively Aircoach stops outside the Schoolhouse Hotel which is located just a minutes stroll from the hotel.

Talk soon,


Thursday, June 2, 2011


Summer has finally arrived and the numbers are coming back to the beautiful city of Dublin in there droves.

Theatre, gigs, museums, festivals, comedy and attractions...there is no shortage of things to do in Dublin. With so many things to do I've decided to put together a top 10 things that you can't miss this summer.

1. Failte Dublin Horse Show at the RDS - the country's premier horse event takes place in the RDS from the 3rd to the 7th of August. A celebration of Ireland's affinity with the horse, from the best show horses to the best international show jumpers. It is one of Ireland's largest events, a highlight of the summer, each year welcoming tens of thousands of people from Ireland and all over the world. Special discounted offers are available, with up to 20% discount on longer stays.

2. Riverdance - one of Ireland's greatest exports, Riverdance, kicks off its annual residency at the Gaiety Theatre on the 28th of June and runs till the 28th of August. This show has evolved over the years so even if you've seen it years ago it is probably very different. The hotel are offering theatre packages to include pre-show meal, ticket to show, night's accommodation and full Irish breakfast from just €109ppps.

3. Bloomsday - a celebration of one of world's greatest writers, James Joyce, Bloomsday, runs from June 16th - 19th in various part of Dublin city. June 16th is BLOOMSDAY, the day in 1904 on which all the action of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses takes place. It is celebrated every year on 16th June by Joyceans all over the world. In Dublin, where the novel is set, Bloomsday celebrations go on for a week from the 16th to the 19th June, with most of the attention on the day itself. It is traditional to dress up and go out for the day, visiting the locations of the book and taking part in readings, walks and convivial activities of all sorts which in some way connect with Ulysses, its author and its world.

4. The Script - Ireland's golden boy's of pop-rock RnB return to their home town for the biggest show of their impressive career. The Dubliners are set to grace Aviva Stadium on the 2nd of July for a once off show. The "Breakeven" stars have had a remarkable career thus far but this will surely be the highlight.

5. Rugby Internationals - After a very mixed autumn series and start to the Six Nations Irish rugby finally found its voice with a stunning victory over England at the Aviva Stadium. The provinces maintained the momentum with Leinsters' amazing Heinekin Cup victory in Cardiff and then Munster's Magners League triumph in Thomond Park. Now we are all excited about our prospects in September's World Cup in New Zealand...the dream is still alive. Brian O'Driscoll, Paul O'Connell and the lads have two warm up games in August with France (27th) and England (20th) both visiting the Aviva Stadium.

6. Dublin Super Cup - Without meaning to offend any of our Portuguese friends out there we were all a little dissapointed with the finalists of the Europa Cup Final in May...or at least all the Manchester City and Liverpool fans were. But there is light at the end of the tunnel with a new two day international club tourmanent taking place at the Lansdowne Road venue at the end of July. Inter Milan, Manchester City, Celtic and an Airtricity League Selection will all battle it out for the Dublin Super Cup on July 30/31.

7. Dublin Zoo - It is one of the oldest and most visited Zoos in Europe and for good reason. Located in the largest city centre park in Europe this zoo is a stunning site. Every kind of animal imaginable, bar the dinosaurs, are in here and there is plenty of picnic areas and things to keep the children, and adults, busy. Well worth the visit.

8. Grease - Dust off your leather jackets, pull on your bobby-socks and take a trip to a simpler time as "bad boy" Danny and "the girl next door" Sandy fall in love all over again. It’s the original High-School musical, featuring all the unforgettable songs from the hit movie including You’re The One That I Want, Grease Is The Word, Summer Nights, Hopelessly Devoted To You, Sandy, Greased Lightnin’ and many more. So throw your mittens around your kittens and Hand Jive the night away with the show that’ll make you want to stand up and shout, “A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop A-wop-bam-boom!” Package includes pre-show meal, ticket in teh Upper Circle, night's accommodation at the Grand Canal Hotel and Full Irish Breakfast from just €119pps. The show runs from August 9th - 27th in the Grand Canal Theatre.

9. Cricket International August 25th - Ireland v England. After the heroics of the world cup the star studded English cricket team come to Dublin to play their Irish counterparts. Cricket is not exactly a major sport in this country but if we were to put Ireland's victory over the English into context it would be like Andorra beating Ireland in Gaelic football. Interest in the sport is on the rise and over 2000 people attended the recent clash with Pakistan. The game takes place in Clontarf. If the weather holds up this could be a very enjoyable occasion.

10. All Ireland Hurling Final Croke Park, September 4th - Concluding on another sporting theme this really should be the first thing on the list to do this summer. Having attended the 2010 final between Kilkenny and Tipperary I can attest to the awe inspiring site of 30 amateur sports men slamming a tennis ball sized sliotar around the hallowed turf of Croke Park in front of 82,000 people. There are not too many places in the world where you would see such an event. The Hurling Final really epitomises what it is to be Irish...and you don't have to be Irish to appreciate it.

Feel free to let me know what I've left out.

Enjoy the sun.


Ollie (OMG).