A Guide to the Ireland Study Tour
March 9-18, 2017
THE IRISH IN AMERICA
The University of Cincinnati
Spring Semester, 2016-2017
For a PDF version of the itinerary, please click here.
- Why This Study Tour?
- Contact Numbers
- Pre-Departure Checklist
- The Itinerary
- Our Hotels
- Currency and Expenses
- Conduct and Safety
- Emergencies and the Necessary Numbers
- Maps and Tourism Links
- Etiquette, Tipping, and Conversation
- What to Pack
- Food and Dining
- Activities on Your Own
- Further Reading
Why This Study Tour?
Human culture is composed of the ideas, ideals, and artifacts of a group of people in order to sustain themselves and perpetuate their way of life for generations to follow. And in American culture, these elements are brought to and re-created as part of the national identity – how people relate to each other in terms of gender, religion, race, ethnicity, and nationality. Their cultural way of life beyond America’s shores is a way of interacting with the world, and, of contributing to our understanding of each other.
In order to discover and understand Irish culture in America, we must explore how and why the Irish left their native land, and what Ireland represents today to people in both countries. How accurate is the American view of Ireland? How do the Irish regard Americans? Is there a case of American Irish being at odds with true Irish identity and culture?
By taking an active ethnological approach, at the end of the study tour and the semester can we extrapolate the Irish American experience to that of other American ethnic groups and understand how similar circumstances take effect between nations in a contemporary global society?
Limerick, Cork, and Dublin have been chosen for this study tour because they provide the greatest exposure to the breadth of the Republic of Ireland in the time afforded us. You are strongly encouraged to look at the websites linked in the vade mecum and on the Canopy/Blackboard site in order to become fully engaged in the tour, and also to consider purchasing a travel guide such as the ones listed in the section on further reading. And remember that study tours sometimes take a wobble in schedules or arrangements or a thousand other little things, so be flexible if anything goes a bit whopperjawed.
Kevin Grace, Seminar Faculty. Head of the Archives & Rare Books Library, and Co-Study Tour Leader: email@example.com
Debbie Brawn. UC Honors Administrative Director, and Co-Study Tour Leader: firstname.lastname@example.org
Neil Choudhury, Assistant Director, UC Honors Study Abroad Programs: email@example.com
UC International Programs 513.556.4278
Note that you will need an international capability on your phone in order to call the United States. If you do not have one, you may always use Kevin’s or Debbie’s in an emergency.
o BE AT THE AIRPORT BY 11:30 AM!!!
o Within 24 hours of our flight, go online to United Airlines and print out your boarding passes
o Share the itinerary with your family and friends, and print a copy for yourself
o Photocopy of passport
o Insurance card(s)
o Notify your credit card carrier to put a travel alert on your account for New Jersey and Ireland from March 9-18
o Notify your cell provider to make sure you have access in Ireland for texting and calls
o Have some euros to start with or do a currency exchange in CVG, EWE or SHA. Plan on about $300-$350 for the time we are there
o Chargers for your various devices
o Electric current converter
o One carry-on bag and one suitcase
o Have a close look at the itinerary and plan some activities for your free time in Limerick, Cork, and Dublin
o Plan for the layover times between flights
o Pack any medications in your carry-on bag
Megan Dunlevy has prepared a spread sheet and assigned rides to and from CVG. Make sure you know the details. And make sure you have a place to spend the night on Saturday, March 18 when we return that evening. IMPORTANT: We move through airports as a group. Therefore in gathering at the gate for boarding in Cincinnati, in getting off the plane and going to the next gate in Newark, in boarding in Newark, in getting off the plane and going through customs in Shannon, in going through customs and boarding in Dublin, in getting off the plane and going to the next gate in Newark, we are all together. Once we get everyone off the plane back home in Cincinnati, we expect you’ll be dust in the wind though we will make sure everyone has a ride or a contact.
THURSDAY, MARCH 9, 2017
Flight#1, Cincinnati to Newark. United Airlines UA3575 | Depart 125PM | Arrive 328PM
NOTE: BE SURE TO GET EXCUSED FROM YOUR THURSDAY AND FRIDAY CLASSES AND ARRIVE AT CVG NO LATER THAN 11:30 AM!
Flight#2, Newark to Shannon Airport/Limerick. United Airlines UA25 | Depart 750PM | Arrive 655AM on Friday, March 10.
A charter bus will take us from the airport to our hotel in Limerick. We are not able to check in at that time due to the early hour, but we will check our bags and get started on our activities.
SATURDAY, MARCH 18, 2017
Flight#1, Dublin to Newark. United Airlines UA22 | Depart 900AM | Arrive 1230PM
A charter bus will take us from the hotel in Dublin to the airport and the hotel will provide us with a box breakfast.
NOTE: BE IN THE HOTEL LOBBY AT 5:00 AM! We will go through American customs at the Dublin airport.
Flight#2, Newark to Cincinnati. United Airlines UA3851 | Depart 550PM | Arrive 805PM 3/18
FRIDAY, MARCH 10
Stretch your legs, walk around Limerick a bit. In the afternoon, after you check your bags and get settled in your rooms, we will walk to the Frank McCourt Museum: http://frankmccmuseum.wixsite.com/frankmccourtmuseum/about-us.
Evening on your own.
SATURDAY, MARCH 11
In the morning be in the hotel lobby ready to go at 8:00 am. We will walk to the main concourse of the Limerick train station to get our bus at 9:00 am for the day tour to Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle, The Burren and Galway Bay.
We’ll first visit Bunratty Castle and folk park: https://www.shannonheritage.com/BunrattyCastleAndFolkPark/. Then on to Cliffs of Moher: http://www.cliffs-moher.com/about.php, the Burren: http://www.cliffs-moher.com/burren.php and then Galway Bay.
After the castle, we’ll stop at O’Connor’s Pub in Doolin for lunch. Lunch is on your own here.
We’ll return to Limerick about 7:30 pm.
Evening on your own.
SUNDAY, MARCH 12
In the morning be in the hotel lobby ready to go at 11:00 am. A charter bus will take us to Cork and our hotel there, approximately a two-hour drive. Check into the hotel, get settled, and the rest of the day and evening are yours to explore Cork City.
MONDAY, MARCH 13
Morning departure by charter bus for Blarney Castle: tbd. http://www.blarneycastle.ie/.
Afternoon and evening on your own.
TUESDAY, MARCH 14
Late morning departure for Cobh, tbd. We will walk to the Cork train station and take the train to Cobh (“Cove”): http://www.visitcobh.com/, formerly called Queenstown in the days of emigration, and, the last stop of the Titanic (of course it’s real last stop was next to the iceberg). It’s a fairly short train ride. When we get there, we’ll visit the Cobh Heritage Centre about Irish emigration: http://www.visitcobh.com/index.php/about/994-2/. Lunch will be on your own, as well as plenty of time to explore Cobh. We will return by train to Cork whenever you’re ready.
Evening at 7:30: group dinner at Club Brasserie: http://www.theclubbrasserie.com/. There will be 23 of us for dinner.
The rest of the evening is on your own.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15
In the morning be in the lobby and ready to go at 8:30 am. A charter bus will pick us up to go to Dublin, about a three-hour trip. We’ll check into our hotel, you’ll have a little time to stretch your legs, and then at 2:00 pm a charter bus will take us into the city to EPICIreland, http://epicirelandchq.com/, an incredible new museum on Custom House Quay that is all about the Irish diaspora. Our tickets are for 3:00 pm. After that you can explore Dublin, have dinner on your own, and be back at the EPICIreland location at 7:30 pm for the bus back to the hotel.
THURSDAY, MARCH 16
Day tour to the Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough, and Kilkenny: https://wildrovertours.com/day-tours/kilkenny-wicklow-mountains-glendalough/.
Be in the hotel lobby at 6:30 am for the charter bus that will take us to the Gresham Hotel in Dublin where we will meet our tour bus. We stop first at Kilkenny City and the castle and explore the village, then into the Wicklow Mountains. From there, to the monastic settlement and beautiful scenery of Glendalough.
We will return to Dublin around 6:30 to Eden Quay, where a charter bus will take us back to our hotel.
FRIDAY, MARCH 17
In the morning, be in the hotel lobby at 8:00 am. A charter bus will take us into Dublin and drop us off at the Gresham Hotel on the north side of the LIffey River (this will be our meeting place) where you may spend the day on your own enjoying the St. Patrick’s Day festivities and other sights of the city. We will meet again at the Gresham at 8:00 pm when the bus will take us back to our hotel. Debbie and Kevin will make sure everyone has a good list of possible things to do and people that want to do different things on your own or with them.
SATURDAY, MARCH 18
We return to Cincinnati! See the flight information above.
The Strand Hotel, Limerick: http://www.strandhotellimerick.ie/
Jury’s Inn on Anderson Quay, Cork: https://www.jurysinns.com/hotels/cork.
Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Dublin: http://www.louisfitzgeraldhotel.com/.
Our expectation is that you are ready to go each day: To Be Early Is To Be On Time!! We may meet in the hotel at the end of every day to debrief and talk about the next day before you have the afternoon/evening on your own.
Along with the scheduled activities, you will also be doing the Photovoice project as designated in the syllabus.
We will be using a modified approach to Photovoice. Basically, Photovoice is a concept that uses photography to illustrate grassroots action. Here is the standard Wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photovoice. In our usage of it, you will take a photograph in Ireland during the study tour that in some way illuminates the themes of immigration, migration, identification of expatriates with Ireland (or those several generations removed), hyphenation, or cultural maintenance in a world of constant change.
For the class meeting on Wednesday, March 29, each of you will show your photograph and provide a brief explication of the image not only in terms of one of the above criteria, but relate it as well on a global scale for other ethnic and culture groups.
And completely voluntary, but a fun activity, is a “quest” or scavenger hunt. Upon arrival in Ireland, you will be given a list of things to see, do, find, or accomplish, with points for each quest. The winner will be awarded a special prize and, of course, everyone’s awe and respect. We’ll also do a round robin story on an Irish shanachie.
Currency and Expenses
Ireland uses the euro. To convert from dollars to euro, you can go to: http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/convert/?Amount=1&From=GBP&To=USD.
Plan on bringing the equivalent of around $300.00, which would take care of meals, incidentals, and other things you may wish to buy.
Ireland can be somewhat expensive, so bear that in mind when shopping or dining.
You can obtain euros before you leave by going to the downtown branch of Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, or to the PNC branch on campus in TUC (you may need to be a customer of PNC in order to do this. The Newark airport may also have a currency exchange, as will the Shannon Airport. While in Ireland, the best exchange rates will be in banks. DO NOT do a currency exchange in hotels, stores, or on-street currency exchanges because the rates are very high. A piece of advice: obtain some euros before you leave home and ask for some of them in small bills or change so you can use it for snacks and other small expenses.
Another excellent way to use money is to have a credit card. While there will be an international exchange fee at ATMs, they are still your best bet and they are available throughout Ireland, as they are here.. Withdraw enough cash that you will not have to incur multiple fees for multiple ATM visits. Bear in mind that many ATMs may not have alphanumeric keypads, so if your PIN features letters, memorize the numeric equivalent before you leave home. NOTIFY your card carrier before you leave about your travel destinations (New Jersey and Ireland) so a travel alert can be placed on your card.
ALWAYS take care of shielding your ATM visits, and please do it with someone else in the seminar rather than on your own. ALWAYS check your receipt from a store or restaurant.
Conduct and Safety
The University of Cincinnati Student Code of Conduct strictly applies at all times. It is listed in the “Know Before You Go” booklet that was distributed to you at the pre-departure orientation.
In terms of drinking, the official policy for this study tour is NO ALCOHOL. If any situation arises that compromises your safety and security, the first priority is to make you safe. However, intoxication will not be tolerated at any time and if it occurs, the student will be dismissed from both the study tour as well as the remainder of the seminar, resulting in both a failing grade and UC disciplinary action. Hotel room minibars, if present, are not to be stocked.
Keep a photocopy of your passport with you at all times, but you may wish to put your passport and any cash you do not immediately need in your room safe.
Please review carefully the parts of the “Know Before You Go” booklet in terms of personal safety and behavior in public places. While you will have free time, at no time should anyone venture out on his or her own. Preferably go about in groups of 3, 4, or 5.
For reasons of safety and in order to be rested for the study tour activities, it is recommended that everyone be in the hotel every night no later than 2:30 AM.
We will be in Ireland in March – that means it could be cold, rainy, chilly, and windy. Or it could be sunny and chilly. Or it could be sunny and warm. Pack and dress accordingly. Ponchos or macs are preferable over umbrellas, but pack for your own comfort. Dress in layers. Bring a lined jacket, hat, and gloves. It is HIGHLY suggested you only bring one suitcase along with whatever you carry on the plane in order to mitigate luggage fees and loss. After all, we’re only there for a week. Casual/everyday clothing is acceptable wherever we will go. For international flights, the first suitcase is not charged.
Please note that in Ireland, traffic goes the opposite way as America – look carefully before crossing the streets!
And in terms of your plug-ins, the electrical current in Ireland is 230v 50hz. The plugs and sockets are different from the USA involving a three-pronged formation, the same as those used in the United Kingdom. If your appliances operate on a different current (such as those from North America) you will need a power converter and plug adapter.
HAIR DRYERS: ALWAYS A PAIN wherever you travel, SO EITHER CONTACT THE HOTEL TO SEE IF THEY ARE INCLUDED IN THE ROOM OR IF YOU BRING YOUR OWN, WHAT REQUIRED CONVERTERS ARE NEEDED. Kevin, of course, does not require a hair dryer.
Emergencies and Other Necessary Numbers and Places
Our #1 priority at all times is your safety so you must feel absolutely free to contact Kevin or Debbie any time of the day or night by our cell phones or our hotel rooms if you need help. It doesn’t matter what the situation is – we will make sure you are safe.
American Embassy – 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Phone: +353 1 668-8777.
Hospital information: Limerick: University Hospital Limerick, Dooradoyle Co. Limerick, P:+353 61 301111.
Hospital information: Cork: Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork, T12 DFK4, Ireland, P:+353 21 492 2000.
Hospital information: Dublin: Baggot Street Hospital, 18 Baggot Street Upper, Dublin 4, Ireland, P:+353 1 668 1577.
In an emergency – unconsciousness, serious bleeding, difficulty breathing – do not spend time trying to contact a doctor. CALL and ask for an ambulance for transport you to the nearest hospital.
EMERGENCY PLAN: Debbie and Kevin have developed this with UC Honors and UC International. We are on call and at your disposal 24 hours a day from the time we depart CVG to the time we come back home – do not hesitate to contact us at any time for any reason. If there is an emergency, the first place to gather is at our hotels. In Dublin during the 17th, the Gresham Hotel where we are dropped off and picked up for the day. If for any reason we can’t gather at our hotels, the next place will be Garda (police) stations in each city: Limerick: Henry Street Station, (061) 212400; Cork: Anglesea Street Garda Station, +353 21 4522000; Dublin: Pearse Street Garda Station, +353 1 666 9000. The emergency numbers in Ireland are 112 or 999.
Map of Limerick and Tourism Office
Map of Cork and Tourism Office
Map of Dublin and Tourism Office
The offices can provide you with maps, directions, suggestions, and any other details. You’ll find a lot of ideas here for things to do on your free time.
The hotels can also provide some tourism information and they often have convenient street maps at the front desk.
Etiquette, Tipping, and Conversation
In general, the Irish are friendly and welcoming but somewhat reserved in front of visitors. Bear in mind, though, that you are strangers and you are guests in their country. If you follow these simple advices, you’ll be in good form:
- When disembarking from a bus or cab, always thank the driver.
- Listen for a bit before beginning a conversation with anyone. Do not address people by their first names unless invited to do so.
- And by all means, engage in conversation. Speak in normal tones – loud conversation at any time is rude, especially when standing in a queue.
- Do not mimic the accent – it is considered extremely rude.
- Do not be pushy, and do not insert everywhere that you are an “Irish American” – they have heard it all before and it gets wearing very fast.
- Do not assume that all Irish are drinkers, no more than you should in the United States. It is a stereotype.
- Restrooms are called “toilets.”
- Ireland is five hours ahead of Cincinnati. Bear this in mind when texting or making phone calls back home!
- Smoking – as in Ohio – is banned in public places.
- For tipping, 15% is good for taxi drivers, restaurant servers, and hotel staff. If you have housekeeping in your hotel room during our stay, be sure to leave a tip of 3-4 euro, with a note thanking them.
- If you are so inclined, take pictures of buskers, but give some money to them and then indicate you would like to take a photograph – they are performers and this is income for them. And do take plenty of pictures, but do not get so engrossed in recording your experiences that you lose sight of actually engaging in them. Always ask permission before taking photos of people or inside buildings.
- Acceptable topics of conversation: American politics, Brexit, music in America and Ireland, art, books, travel in Ireland, social services in Ireland, gender roles, and always food. Avoid topics such as Ireland economy and politicians, tourism problems, the international refugee situation, religion, and North-South unification – UNLESS the subjects come up in conversation.
- Read a daily newspaper or watch daily news if you can. You’re there – find out what is going on around you.
What to Pack
- Pack as lightly as you possibly can.
- Check the hotel website to see what amenities are included in your room – toiletries, hair dryer, etc.
- ONE checked bag for the flights.
- ONE carry-on bag, but make sure it conforms to the airline’s size requirements.
- Hat and gloves.
- Sturdy hiking boots or walking shoes, adequate for a variable terrain as well as city streets.
- Sweater or sweatshirt.
- Underarmour shirt – just a suggestion – one of those that turns you into a thermos – keeps you warm when it is cold; cool when it is warm.
- Other than that – just casual everyday clothes, jeans, etc. Nothing dressy will be needed. And, be able to dress in layers.
- Notebook and pen/pencil.
- Undoubtedly, some you will also bring laptops or Ipads, cameras, etc. That’s fine. All of that is up to you. ABSOLUTELY NO SELFIE STICKS.
There will be shopping opportunities all around you. Most of the places we visit will have gift shops. However, don’t forget the hidden pleasures of the side streets as well. The best way to shop is to simply walk about and enjoy the serendipity of finding an interesting store. Popular souvenirs include Irish woolen goods like sweaters, hats, and gloves, jewelry, t-shirts and scarves, pennywhistles, CDs, art, crafts, and books (bookstores generally carry a nice Irish selection of history and fiction as well as wonderful photo books). An Ireland guidebook such as Frommer’s or Lonely Planet can give you specific store names and locations.
Food and Dining
It is a good idea to bring some food along with you – granola bars, power bars, and similar items. Breakfast will be provided in the hotels, and lunches & dinners will be on your own, with the exception of group dinners on Tuesday evening, March 14 and Thursday evening, March 16.
Though dining in Ireland sometimes be expensive, there are affordable lunches and dinners available. Cafes usually offer the best deals, and many restaurants offer “early bird” deals that can get you a wonderful meal at a great price.
And while undoubtedly you will see Starbucks everywhere, the main chain of coffee shops in Ireland is Costa, with many locations, and independent coffee shops everywhere. Here’s the thing: when you travel, dive in and strive for something you do not have at home. Butler’s Chocolates are the Irish chocolate of choice, rather like Cincinnati’s Graeter’s, and Butler’s makes a nice gift to bring home.
All this being said, you will find a number of wonderful restaurants in various price ranges, and with menus posted outside. Ireland is quickly becoming known throughout the food world for its excellent cuisine and its farm-to-plate approach. Of food items you will want to take note are fresh salmon and other seafood, a wide variety of lamb and beef, and cheeses, soups, and sausages, but in fact, food in Ireland will be what you are used to here in America..
For fresh fruit, soft drinks, meals, and other items you might want during the day or to have in your hotel rooms, there are a couple of small food markets right near the hotels:
Strand Hotel Limerick
- Dunnes Stores – 10 minute walk, on Henry Street
- More options in city centre – 5 minute walk
Jury’s Inn Cork
- Dunnes Stores – 5 minute walk, vai Anderson’s Quay and Merchant’s Quay
- SuperValue Merchants – 5 minute walk, Anderson’s Quay and Merchant’s Quay
Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Dublin
- ALDI Market Newlands Cross – 10 min walk
- Close to Clondalkin village where you can find local grocery shops
Also look for SPAR, Londis, and Tesco stores.
Activities On Your Own
During your free time, you may enjoy the following museums/sights, etc. Most museums charge a reduced rate or are free for students so be sure to have your i.d.
King John’s Castle: http://www.heritageisland.com/attractions/king-john-s-castle/.
Hunt Museum: http://www.huntmuseum.com/.
St. Mary’s Cathedral: https://www.limerick.ie/St-Marys-Cathedral.
St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral: http://corkcathedral.webs.com/.
Church of St. Anne: http://www.shandonbells.ie/
Crawford Art Gallery: http://www.crawfordartgallery.ie/.
Cork Butter Museum: http://www.corkbutter.museum/.
Lewis Glucksman Gallery (on the UCC campus): http://www.glucksman.org/.
English Market: http://www.englishmarket.ie/.
Chester Beatty Library: http://www.cbl.ie/. Inside the grounds of Dublin Castle, it is a remarkable collection of rare books, particularly illuminated manuscripts and Qu’rans, as well as icons. The Beatty may have the best collection of Qu’rans in the world.
Dublin Castle: http://www.dublincastle.ie/.
National Museum of Ireland: http://www.museum.ie/Home.
National Gallery of Ireland: http://www.nationalgallery.ie/.
Dublin Writers’s Museum: http://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/dublin-writers-museum#53.354366|-6.263985|16. A great little museum to see artifacts of Yeats, the Abbey Theatre, Joyce, Behan, Beckett, and others. A bit of a walk to 18-19 Parnell Square on the north side of the Liffey, but worth it.
Grafton Street: http://graftonstreet.ie/.
St. Stephen’s Green: http://ststephensgreenpark.ie/.
Traditional Music: The Auld Dubliner: 24-25 Temple Bar, http://www.aulddubliner.ie/ or The Stag’s Head: http://www.louisfitzgerald.com/stagshead or O’Donoghue’s,15 Merrion Row, near St. Stephen’s Green, http://www.odonoghues.ie/. Somewhat touristy, but still good music.
If you have a smart phone, you may also wish to see what apps are available for Limerick, Cork, and Dublin, particularly for St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin – maps, sights, and the like. And, most travel guides are available as ebooks or have excellent websites.
Davenport, Fionn, et.al. Lonely Planet Ireland. New York, NY: Lonely Planet Publications, 2016.
Insight Guides: Ireland. London, England: Insight Guides, 2017.
Jewers, Jack. Frommer’s EasyGuide to Ireland 2017. New York, NY: FrommerMedia, 2016.
McDonald, Ferdie, ed. DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Ireland. New York, NY: Penguin Random House, 2016.