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22nd Yeats' Winter School by Emily Dauer

April 29, 2015Laura Conlon

By Emily Dauer

One weekend in late, drizzly January myself and the other members of Declan Kiberd’s Modern Irish Writing class (along with Declan himself) packed into a charter bus and headed across the country to the deep west of Sligo, Ireland to participate in the 22nd Annual Yeats Winter School. Armed with our textbook for the weekend (a small yet comprehensive compilation of W. B. Yeats’ poetry), notebooks, writing utensils, and the youngest minds at the school, we stepped off the bus at the Sligo Park Hotel and were immediately embraced in a bright, slightly eccentric whirlwind of Yeats enthusiasts and scholars from all over Ireland (if not the world). The weekend consisted of readings by and discussions with notable poets Paula Meehan and Theo Dorgan, conversations with other members of the school over generous amounts of tea and other more loquacious liquids, trips into the sloping town and the windy sea/countryside, and master lectures from the keynote speaker of the event—our Declan Kiberd himself. His deeply-considered and provocative insights on Yeats’ life and poetry were met with some surprisingly heated questions, which he answered with the artistic balance of thorough knowledge and sharp wit—a quality particular to those scholars not only trained as critics in the sphere of academia but as professors seasoned in the intellectual trenches of undergraduate classrooms. Read More

Introduction to Hurling by Mitchell Patin

April 22, 2015Laura Conlon

By Mitchell Patin

On a cloudy St. Patrick’s Day Eve, the undergraduate students met on the UCD Sport pitches to learn the art of hurling from Wexford GAA stars Jack Guiney and Conor McDonald. After a short demonstration of the sport’s basic passes, the students spread across the field to try for themselves. As the Americans swung their hurley’s with all their might, it became clear that the objective should not be to pass the sliotar accurately but rather just make contact with it. Once everyone was thoroughly warn out from chasing down their partners’ sliotars, the students gathered around the goal to take their chance at a penalty shot. Although it took a few attempts, the students quickly adjusted to the lift and strike method required. In a surprisingly short span of time, shots we’re flying past the goalie and into the net. The training session ended with a contest to see who could smack the sliotar through the goalposts from the greatest distance. Read More

St. Patrick's Day by Casey O'Donnell

April 17, 2015Laura Conlon

By Casey O’Donnell

This St. Patrick’s Day, the students of the Dublin Program lit the town—and the Notre Dame Centre—a vibrant shade of green over three days of celebration. The build-up to the big day—a program mass in Newman Chapel, brunch with members of the Nanovic Institute, a hurling lesson from two county players, a distinguished guest lecturer, and the ‘greening’ of O’Connell House—was almost as fast-paced as St. Patrick’s Day itself. But nothing could quite match the spirit that fills Dublin every year on March 17. Read More

A Day In The (Croke) Park By Andrew Ledley

April 16, 2015Laura Conlon

When I first heard that our group was going to Croke park on St. Patrick’s Day to watch the All-Ireland Club Championships I was giddy, I could not keep my mind off the subject. I could not have thought of anything more fitting than to spend my St. Patrick’s Day watching Ireland’s native sports at the historic Croke Park. While I had had some exposure to both Hurling and Gaelic football before coming to Ireland, that afternoon I was completely awestruck. Not only did I get to experience these games first hand, but also I got to do so with people I am ever so grateful to call friends. Read More

Day Of Reflection In Glendalough by Sarah Calahan

April 16, 2015Laura Conlon

By Sarah Calahan

In March, the Dublin Programme campus ministry team led students from Dublin and beyond to Glendalough for a Lenten day of reflection. Notre Dame students studying throughout Europe were invited to join the retreat, and we welcomed a group of thirty-five participants from Dublin, London, and even Copenhagen. Read More

A Trip To God's Country by Gerard Ledley

April 16, 2015Laura Conlon

By Gerard Ledley

The first weekend in March, the Notre Dame Dublin Program had the good fortune of visiting County Kerry, in the west of Ireland. The trip took place over an extended weekend (Saturday the 7th through Monday the 9th) and it was filled with many memorable experiences, history lessons, bus rides, and one boating excursion. Read More

Reflection on Belfast by Jonathan Whitcomb

April 16, 2015Laura Conlon

By Jonathan Whitcomb

During our February trip to Northern Ireland, we spent an afternoon touring Belfast with Peter Maguire and Noel Large, both of whom lived in the city during the worst years of The Troubles. Of all the trips and activities included within our semester programme, this tour is in my opinion the most educational and most memorable. Listening to the stories told by Peter and Noel, you are reminded of the terrible violence which ravaged this island and haunts it still. You see that Ireland is not just a place of romance and beauty, but also a place of real human conflict and struggle. Read More