It’s two years almost to the day since I was last in Dublin Town. I love the feeling of knowing my way around a little bit, at least once I’m at Bachelor’s Walk or O’Connell Street. Being back with Jack and Joanne is fun, their love of this city is infectious, and they show me how to see it and feel it below the surface of the ‘dirty ole town’.
Joanne is away to her dear friend Helen, soaking up her company. Meanwhile Jack and I have business to attend to. Tuesday is our first work day here and we have important people to see.
Claire Doohan is an Archivist at the Irish Folklore centre at University College Dublin, she is a Donegal native and could not have been more delightful. From one random email sent across the world we have connected over our shared passion for saving the heritage for those to come.
Claire had laid out lots of archive materials for us to enjoy; some with Donegal connections, others to do specifically with Dohertys. We spent a wonderful two hours together, talking about Walking to Donegal and archives and Co Donegal and all sorts of stories and storytelling.
I gave her a couple of our business cards, and then handed her the whole pile when she said she knows lots of Dohertys, thinking to myself “Of course you do!” We exchanged gifts, it was really touching and then we were off out to the sunshine.
The weather was beautiful, and Jack and I picnicked by the lake among the sculptures with the new students in week two of their academic year. A fossick about the bookshop yielded plenty, that will be my hardest discipline while we are here in Ireland. I love to see and touch the books that aren’t easily available in NZ, if at all.
I met with another colleague/friend who is a professor at UCD and Jack read the Irish Times and caught up on Brexit.
All day everything went smoothly and exactly to time. The public transport system of Dublin City was our best friend as we went about our adventures.
It’s exciting and heartening to see others get as excited about Walking to Donegal as we are.
We had a good and productive day, there are doors open and imaginations sparked, and we feel pleased and supported. No blisters or trip-ups to report to date as we press on with the Walk.
If you are interested to know more about Irish Folklore check out the National Folklore Collection; Claire co-hosts a really great podcast called Blúríní Béaloidis.