Monday, 18 November 2013

Historic walking tour of Dublin

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Historic walking tour of Dublin, a set on Flickr. Photographs by Claire Pryet.

On Saturday 16th November, the Society organised a walking tour of historic Dublin, led by Dr. Franc Myles from the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland. Here is a small report by Emmet Fennelly, our trip officer.

"A group of us met up with Franc Myles outside the GPO in the morning. The first half of the tour was on the 1916 Easter Rising. Franc Began by telling us about the historical background and significance of the Rising focusing on the GPO. We then went around the corner and onto Moore's Street. There, Franc told us in great detail about an attempted sortie out of the GPO. Using archaeological methods Franc was able to determine the pathway taken by the insurgents through the buildings on Moore Street as they attempted to flee the GPO. This was a fascinating story rarely told in the history books.

Franc went on to discuss the archaeological significance of the buildings on Moore's Street and the lack of preservation of these buildings. He explained that there are plans to construct a new shopping center on the site and mentioned the pros and cons of allowing this to occur.

We eventually move on to Smithfield for the second part of the tour. This shorter tour was about the site of Smithfield during the Medieval and Early Modern periods. Franc detailed the archaeological sites found in the area, including one of the first markets in Dublin during the early Medieval period, the unmarked burials of executed people and the remains of a prestigious glass manufacturer during the Industrial Age. After saying goodbye to Franc we made our way down to the NMI event just in time to hear the talks being given by the students there."

And here are the words of Claire Pryet, a French Erasmus student currently studying at UCD and a member of the Archaeology Society.

"....despite the little crowd we were and the cool air, we had a wonderful time with  Frank Myles. We learnt so much about contemporary Dublin and the two main spots we visited: around the GPO about the 1916 Easter rising, and Smithfield about the history of this place (1660 onwards).
But what was very nice as well is that discussions come up about how archaeologists could be involved in developing contemporary landscapes/ city urban planning, and about preservation/conservation. Frank Miles is very passionate about his job and he had us discover more about the job of an archaeologist working on "contemporary" and modern period."

A huge thank you to Dr. Franc Myles for giving this tour !

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