A Travellerspoint blog

Day 44 - The long goodbye

Sailing for Australia

overcast 19 °C
View Following in the Family Footsteps on Neileeann's travel map.

The long goodbye was a term often used by the Irish when they went to see off their relatives from the port, who were leaving for distant countries in the knowledge that they will never return. Another expression used was the “American wake” where instead of gathering at the home of a recently departed for a wake, they gathered at the home of a person intending to travel to America for a better life.

All my Irish ancestors would have left Ireland via the Dun Laoghaire port just south of Dublin city. While the port has changed somewhat since 1825 it was somewhat reflective to look at the old stone steps leading down to the embankment bank and think of what young Michael might have felt at that time. A young lad of 14 shackled to a bunch of other convicts, not knowing what was to become him, knowing that he will never see his ma and pa and brother again. Then to sail out that port with the last glimpses of the green fields of Ireland slowing slipping away. A tough beginning.

From here we drove the short distance to Dublin. There was some delays and inconveniences in getting into our hotel room and the red mist gradually came down over my leprechaun travelling partner. So I knew it was time to bail out and go elsewhere for a few hours, while she cast spells over those who made her life just that little bit inconvenient.

Not a lot that I intend to do in Dublin. So I just took off for a walk. Headed for the Temple Bar district and it was crawling with tourists and locals alike all looking for a drink and a good time.

After that I went to the National Library and they had genealogists on board who would give some free advice. So I thought I would take the opportunity to see if they could put me onto anything new. Nothing much more they could offer, so I walked away knowing I have covered their lives as best as I could.

Got back to the hotel room 5 hours later and the little leprechaun was still fuming, but less so. I think we will both be pleased to get back to Oz and have some space to ourselves.

Posted by Neileeann 03:24 Archived in Ireland

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