At Oscars International English School Dublin, we like to let our students know what’s going on in the great city of Dublin. Dublin is small but vibrant city with great galleries, wonderful parks and some of the best pubs in the world. This week we are staying close to the city centre and we are going to look at some art.
This is Ireland’s largest and longest running exhibition and this is its 189th year. Yes, the first of these took place back in 1830. The exhibition is open to the public, with free admission, and it runs right up to the August 10th. This year features work by over 400 artists working in paint, sculpture, drawing, print, photography and architecture. Well worth a visit any year but this year seems to be particularly strong with lots of challenging material for people to discuss.
Just down the road from the RHA is Merrion Square. In recent years, many of the trees that surrounded the park have been removed taking away some of its privacy and its hidden-garden charm. That said, it is still a pleasant spot and is of course home to the Oscars Wilde statue. From Merrion Square, you can take a stroll down to the so-called Pepper Canister and enjoy the clean lines and wonderful architecture of Georgian Dublin. A short stroll along the canal will bring you to the statue of poet Patrick Kavanagh. There is plenty of space for a weary walker to sit beside the great man and have a chat. As a result, this statue has probably heard more drunken secrets than any other statue in Dublin – quite ironic for a man who was notoriously grumpy.
There are lots of great pubs to choose from up around this part of Dublin but for us Toner’s stands out. Scenes from the Sergio Leone classic Giu La Testa were shot in the bar here way back in the seventies and little has changed since. Inside is small and cosy in the winter and in summer the beer garden out the back is second to none. They pour a nice pint and are usually very polite. Not every other pub in the area can say the same (and we don’t mean Doheny & Nesbitt – also a nice spot).