Following on from the recent successful trip to Croke Park, Avondhu Blackwater Partnership had an outing to Dublin where the men of the Community Connect scheme were treated to a visit to Kilmainham Gaol and the Guinness Brewery.
The prison, which was in use from 1796 and had incarcerated almost every noteworthy nationalist leader until it closed in 1924, was of great interest to the men from Cork. The tour began with a video about the prison shown in the chapel where Joseph Mary Plunkett and Grace Gifford were married just hours before he faced the firing squad. They learned of the many stories of Robert Emmet, O’Donovan Rossa, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Davitt, Pádraig Pearse, James Connolly, Countess Markievicz, Éamon de Valera, Joseph Plunkett, Thomas MacDonagh and many other prominent names from Ireland’s fight for independence.
The tour guide was a busy man answering the many questions from the men on various stories they had heard about the different prisoners as well as life within the prison walls. Many of the visiting men were honoured and humbled to stand at the spot in the Stonebreaker’s Yard where fourteen leaders of the Easter Rising were shot. The museum houses exhibits, weapons, Irish independence medals, paintings, photographs documents and personal letters from those executed in 1916.
Following an excellent meal at the Ashling Hotel in Parkgate Street it was off to the Guinness Storehouse to lighten the atmosphere where the group learned how the pint of Guinness was brewed. There was an opportunity for visitors to learn how to ‘pull a perfect pint’ as well as take in the interactive displays, recorded videos and remember some of the oldest Guinness adverts that made it on to our TV’s. Then it was away to the top floor to relax in the Gravity Bar with a complimentary pint of the ‘black stuff’ as they took in the panoramic view of Dublin city.
Avondhu Blackwater Partnership’s Community Connect befriending service is intended to tackle the feelings of isolation often felt by the older members of our society, especially rural dwellers who may have lost partners or family down the years and now face life alone. In recent times they have held video showings of old GAA finals and have had numerous day trips, such as the Kilmainham trip. Men’s retirement groups will again be organised throughout the Avondhu Blackwater area in the coming weeks and if you are interested in attending then contact Mary at 025/33411 or email email@example.com
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