Mount Abroad: Beannachtaí ó Éirinn (Greetings from Ireland)

Hello everyone! My name is Quinn Mahoney, I’m a senior at the Mount and currently studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland. Between the organized trips we have been on as a group and little ventures we did independently, my fellow travelers and I have packed so much fun into the three weeks we have been here! We went on a few walking tours but, so far, the thing that sticks out to me the most was the visit to Causey Farms!

While there, we made our own bread, met some friendly farm animals and went bog jumping, which was by far the highlight of the day. For those who do not know what a bog is (don’t worry, I was clueless too), it’s a wetland made up of dead plant matter, such as moss, that resembles a thick muddy area.

Back in the days, people would dig deep into the bog and collect the terf, which they would set out to dry for weeks and later use it in their fireplace as a replacement for wood. Ever since Ireland was graced with the gift of electrical heating, these bogs are now not only used to educate people on what life was like, but for the hilarious fun of jumping into the pit and trying to crawl your way out. I know this might not sound like too much fun, but just imagine trying to race your friends from one side of the bog to the other as fast as you can even though you are waist deep in this thick mud and tell me you would not laugh at just how ridiculous all your friends look.

        This past weekend, some of my classmates went on an optional trip to Belfast where they visited the Titanic Museum, (I bet you did not know it was build in Belfast) and went on a tour seeing some of the beautiful places the HBO show Game of Thrones was shot. However, I decided to stay behind and took a bus tour with some of my friends to see Glendalough.

While in Glendalough, we visited St. Kevin’s Church and a nearby lake that made me feel like I stepped into a postcard when I looked at it. We also saw what is called the ‘Deer Stone,’ which is a rock that has a large indent in the middle that looks like a perfect bowl, often filled with rainwater.  Legend has it that if you can sit on the rock next to the Deer Stone with your right-hand placed next to you and can touch the water with your left hand, you are destined to visit Glendalough again sometime in the future. I was so excited to see that my hand reached over, I’m just crossing my fingers that legend is true.

        Ireland is beautiful and I am having so much fun taking in the sights, however, the real take away from this trip is everything I’m learning about culture, both in and out of the classroom.

On one of our first days here we did a scavenger hunt to help familiarize ourselves with the city and see some of Dublin’s famous landmarks. Looking at all the various kinds of monuments and statues told me about the history of their government and types of people they look up to.

One that really stood out to me was the statue of Jim Larkin, nicknamed “Big Jim.” With his arms out stretched to the people and the inscription underneath reading: “The great appear great because we are on our knees: Let us rise,” tells the story of how the Irish people have been oppressed for so long and had to fight to take their culture back. I never realized everything the Irish went through, but this trip has really opened my eyes to the struggles these people had to face in the past and helps me further understand how they came to be so proud of their country and culture.

I look forward to exploring more of Ireland and Europe and filling you all in along the way! If you just cannot wait another two weeks to read about how the trip is going, feel free to follow our Instagram account @Mount_Dub for more frequent updates and pictures posted by myself and your fellow Mounties!

As we say in Ireland to cheers to good health, “Sláinte!”

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