Dear Mammy

Postcards From Ireland

Postcards from a travelling photographer discovering Ireland and connecting with some truly wonderful people along the way.

The RMS Titanic was the pride of Belfast in the years leading up to (and including) 1911.

Malahide Seawall and Beach, DublinDear Mammy [or insert own name here]
Had a very quiet New Years as we spent the day relocating from Shankill to Sandymount and collecting belongings from Malahide.  It’s nice to have all our gear back in one place. 
It was a beautiful New Years day here with almost a cloudless day. The temperature was around 10 to 12 degrees, very crisp but fine and clear. We’ve hardly had any rain since we’ve arrived. The weather is so mild no-one can believe it!
It was such a grand day today we went for a walk from Sandymount to Sean Moore Park in Dublin Bay and around to Poolbeg Lighthouse and back. Such a lovely place to visit, and a great stroll by the sea. There is even a little coffee van that serves hot drinks to keep you warm and hydrated. 
After such a splendid walk we definitely deserved a whiskey and beer. 
Hope you get some fine summer weather soon.
Love John


Dublin Castle, Dublin

Dear Mammy [or insert own name here]
Another Irish breakfast to start the day, I could get used to them! 
The weather looked a bit chancy today first thing and sure enough it rained for a good portion of the afternoon. It was only light however and it was the first rain we’ve had since we arrived. 
Was on foot today around Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, St Patrick’s Cathedral and the medieval area which was neat to see. Then, we had a lovely meal out on South Great George’s Street and a few drinks afterwards with family in the evening to end the day. 
Hope all is well.
Love John


Aviva Stadium, Dublin

Dear Mammy [or insert own name here]
Today we went to the home of Irish rugby, Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road) and did a tour. It was hosted by Paddy ‘Rala’ O’Reilly, who was the bagman for the British and Irish Lions along with Ireland for 21 years. It really is a wonderful place and the stories Rala told were just fantastic. I didn’t realise that part of the stadium had to be built lower than the rest to allow light into the neighbouring houses. Or, that during the three year rebuild from 2007 to 2010 not one train was delayed. That’s an impressive achievement if you know how close the train runs to the ground. Throughout the tour he spoke a lot about the history of rugby, Irish rugby, the ground itself and a number world cups. He did apologize to me when he referred to the 1995 World Cup final which was rather amusing. 
The good weather has returned after yesterday’s rain with a fine clear day of about 8 degrees. On the move to Belfast on Sunday. 
Love John


Guinness, DublinDear Mammy [or insert own name here]
Quiet Saturday morning today but very busy afternoon so will write in stages on the move. Sorry in advance if it’s messy.
Jameson Distillery tour to start afternoon (1:30pm). 
Leinster v Connacht at RDS Arena at 5:30pm.  Leinster won 42 – 11.
Celebrating Leinster’s win and a bite to eat at Sandymount Pub.
Finishing this the morning after as it was a late night. I thought the picture of the Guinness Brewery reflecting in the River Liffey was appropriate.
Love John


Corn Market Square, Belfast

Dear Mammy [or insert own name here]
Caught the 10am train to Belfast this morning from Connelly station in Dublin. We are now in pounds sterling and not Enro.  It was really nice sitting on the train watching the countryside go past. It made us reflect on how sad it is that the train network in the South Island has virtually died. Had a friendly chat with a man from Sydney on the 2 hour journey as we travelled through the low mist that covered the towns of the north.
Despite what we had been told, our first impressions of Belfast were pleasantly surprising. We had a terrific walk around the city centre before stopping for a few night photos along Donegall Square North. Finished the night with a Chinese meal and a drink in the Crown Pub which was built in 1849. 
More adventures tomorrow no doubt.

Love John


Town Hall, Belfast

Dear Mammy [or insert own name here]
Belfast really seems like a city of regeneration. Everyone we have spoken to hear has a common view that the city has changed a lot in the last 5 years. We’ve certainly been pleasantly surprised by our walks through the city. It definitely appears to be a city that’s rebuilding, redeveloping and refinding its own identity. 
We went to the Titanic Centre today. It’s just as impressive as everyone has said it is very easy to see why it has won awards. We thought it was wonderful and tells the story beautifully of how important the ship was to the city, but also why. Not sure how long we spent looking around but it was easily a good few hours. 
Must dash as there’s lots more of Belfast to see.

Love John


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