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Dublin's Cache

The Irish republic's young are leaving the countryside behind and flocking to Dublin. Drawn by hi-tech and other jobs created as part of a robust Irish economy, itself primed with hefty infusions of European Union cash, they also want to be part of Dublin's cachet as one of Europe's hippest capitals. According to recent figures, an estimated 50 percent of Dublin's 1.5 million population is now made up of those under the age of 25.

Smart, Dublin has become. In the past several years, chic new hotels like The Merrion (www.merrionhotel.com), with Patrick Guilbaud's two-star Michelin-rated restaurant and lovely Georgian townhouse facades sitting opposite the Irish Parliament, and The Clarence (www.theclarence.ie), owned by the rock band U2 and situated in the trendy Temple Bar quarter, have been joined by a string of new shops, bars and restaurants.

Even if you have no interest in downing a pint or two, a good start to any visit may be to check out the Guinness Storehouse (St. James's Gate; 353.1.408.4800; www.guinness-storehouse.com) which opened last December following an outlay of 30 million Irish pounds. It's a six-floor extravaganza contained in a 1904 listed building where the story of one of the world's most famous beers (and brewing families) unfolds. The circular rooftop Gravity Bar offers an eye-catching view of the Dublin skyline.

For a glimpse of Dublin's fabled literary tradition, the James Joyce Centre (35 North Great George's St.; 353.1.878.8547; www.jamesjoyce.ie) is a museum and cultural centre housed in a meticulously restored Georgian house. And at Trinity College's Old Library (Fellows Square; open daily June through September from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; closed Sundays from October through May), the famous Book of Kells and Book of Durrow are part of the extensive horde of priceless illuminated manuscripts. Elsewhere, fine Irish paintings can be viewed at the National Gallery in Merrion Square (www.nationalgallery.ie). The museum's new permanent exhibition highlights the work of Jack B. Yeats, whose expressionist landscapes have made him Ireland's best-known painter.

If you can lure yourself away from Grafton Street's splendid shops, a stroll through beautiful Phoenix Park where the impressive residence of Ireland's president has a pride of place, offers a prime example of Dublin's charm. A more sobering (and essential) experience is Kilmainham Goal (Ichicore Rd., 353.1.453.5984; www.kilmainham-gaol.com), a museum and former prison where nationalist heroes such as James Connolly and Charles Parnell were incarcerated. Kilmainham really should not be missed for the perspective it gives on Ireland's tumultuous past and robust present.

Weather

January 46° Rainy
February 47° Rainy
March 51° F Cloudy
April 55° F Cloudy
May 60° F Mixed sun
June 65° F Mixed sun
July 67° F Mixed clouds
August 67° F Rainy
September 63° F Rainy
October 57° F Mixed clouds
November 51° F Cloudy
December 47° F Cloudy

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Contact Information

Irish Tourist Board
345 Park Ave., 17th Floor
New York, NY 10154
Tel: (212) 418-0800
Fax: (212) 371-9052

www.discoverireland.com

Additional Resources

www.ireland.ie
www.goireland.com

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