Éire & Baile Átha Cliath

Fr. Kerry and I flew out of Norfolk to JFK into Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath) and arrived on Tuesday. It was a sunny day, despite what some people were telling us … We stayed at O’Callaghan’s at St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin, a couple of blocks from Grafton Street and the Temple Bar District. So that first evening, we found our way back to the Old Storehouse, where we had dinner on our last trip to Ireland (Éire).

The next day, after some more sightseeing, St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Church of Ireland) and Dublin Castle, we bought tickets to see “Once,” the musical at the Olympia Theatre on Dame Street.

Although St. Patrick is reputed to have baptized a great multitude of the Irish at a site on the cathedral grounds, his remains are buried in Northern Ireland, not in Dublin, but in the Cathedral at County Down (Church of Ireland). One thing I noticed about this cathedral (St. Patrick in Dublin) is its multi-purpose use–tourist site (complete with gift shop and tour guides in many languages), reception venue (probably after an art exhibit), and worship space (schedule of services posted outside). But the feel of the interior was unsettling to me, probably because they’ve done a better job than us Catholics at turning a holy site into a place of commerce and secular pursuit. The grounds outside were more conducive to prayer and reflection. But we didn’t stay long anyway … and made our way to Dublin Castle by way of Christchurch Cathedral (Church of Ireland).

Then dinner at O’Shea’s in the Temple Bar District on our way to the Olympia Theatre.

The musical at the Olympia Theatre–Once–is an adaptation from a film of the same title (2007) that made its way to Broadway and won best musical (2013). The movie is based on a book. I remember the opening sequence of the 2013 Tony Awards from a YouTube clip whose setting was inspired by this play. Didn’t know it at the time, but it became quite evident when the play started. Interesting excerpt from the Wikipedia entry “In the musical, the cast also serves as the orchestra. [The] set … includes a bar in center stage with chairs lining stage left and right. Exiting cast members simply step to the side of the stage and sit down. They serve as the orchestra from these chairs. The bar is used before the show and at intermission as a working bar for theater patrons.”

The musical is set in Dublin with a London cast, and this is their first run in Ireland, truly historic. Too bad the CD is from the Broadway cast. I thought the Olympia Theatre cast rocked!

Now off to Waterford and Kilkenny.

Rolo B Castillo © 2015