Lifetime Lessons and Lifelong Friends

“It’s been almost 6 months now that I’ve been living in Dublin as part of the Work in Ireland program. Time sure does fly by. So far, it has definitely had its ups and downs, but I always remind myself in the tougher times that this experience is once in a lifetime and there are so many life lessons I am learning while over here. Not to mention, the craic in Dublin is great!!

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After first getting here, I have to admit I was very overwhelmed, especially with finding housing and a job – the main priorities. I had a friend who was coming over to work in Ireland at the same time as me, so we decided to be roommates and at first, we were getting discouraged about finding an apartment. However, after sending plenty of emails on rent.ie and daft.ie, we finally found a suitable apartment in a suburb north of Dublin city centre. We have a nice little set up with a balcony and a lovely kitchen. Rent is a bit pricey, but we expected that when coming to live in the capital of Ireland.

As far as finding a job, it definitely was not the easiest task at first. I reached out to a few different recruitment agencies and spent the first week or two in the USIT office polishing up my CV and sending it off to employers. It would be discouraging after not hearing back or after getting rejected, but I tried to be positive and remember it would all work out one way or another.

I found an agency and they called me the day after receiving my CV. I had a good feeling about it and went in to interview the next day. I met with the manager there who told me that he would do his best to get me work as soon as possible. Well, turns out that he had work for me the very next day. He rang me in the morning to come in to the Bank to help out on the switchboard for the day. This assignment turned into an essentially full-time temporary role, and I have since got hired full-time through the Bank as a Business Services Assistant where I work in the reception department. I think my advice to anyone in this program would be to take advantage of agencies because they can be very helpful with finding work quickly for you, at least to start with when you first arrive.

As far as everything else, my experience has been great getting to travel around Ireland a bit as well as some of Europe. So far, I’ve been to Waterford, Belfast, and the Netherlands, and I have a few trips planned coming up including Barcelona, which I’m really looking forward to!

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Overall, Dublin is a lovely place to live with plenty to do and with friendly people all around. I really enjoy exploring all of the coastal villages along Dublin Bay as there are so extremely beautiful towns just waiting to be explored. I feel very content now that I am all settled and in my work routine. Surely there are some things I wish I did differently in the beginning, but life is about learning from your mistakes and moving on.

Cheers to an amazing city and cheers to the second half of my adventure on this side of the pond!”

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Blog Post & Photography by Valerie Stearns, a current Work in Ireland Participant.

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The Official Best Pubs in Ireland

The National Hospitality Awards are an annual event accrediting well deserved recognition across various topics within the booming hospitality industry in Ireland. This November marked the 11th year of the event with prestigious awards and recognition being granted across the board.

One of the most important categories (in our opinion anyway) was of course, The Best Pubs in Ireland. So without further ado we present you with your next pub crawl list!

  1. The Stag’s Head, Dame Lane, Dublin 2A deserving winner and a city treasure of Victorian origin, the Stag’s Head Dublin is one of the most characteristic pubs in the country. As well as an appealing interior the pub holds some of Dublin’s most popular social events. Monday night’s Comedy Crunch is a must visit, offering hilarious skits from some of the country’s most popular and up and coming comedians. Friday and Saturday nights host the best Trad Session in the capital. The last Wednesday of every month, experience an evening with a difference and attend ‘The Brown Bread Mixtape’ a delicate blend of Irish stories, music and poetry. Delicious food & beer on tap there really is no wonder why this is the BEST pub in the country.

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2. Lowry’s Irish Music & Whisky Bar, Market Street, Clifden, Co. Galway

Runner up and winner in 2015, Lowry’s is famous throughout Connemara as the best traditional Irish pub. Lowry’s provides live Irish trad sessions and craic 7 nights a week! Depending on the season, a variety of traditional Irish performers play on a weekly basis to tourists and locals alike from near and far. More than just your average bar Lowry’s offers over 100 different whisky’s and feature on the Irish Whisky Trail. The unique and welcoming atmosphere is an unquestionable stop for any west Ireland adventures.

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3. Doheny & Nesbitt, Baggot Street Lower, Dublin 2

Established in 1867 Doheny & Nesbitt is one of the oldest pubs in Ireland. In true Irish tradition it remains a family owned pub, adding to its charm. The unique history present is tastefully combined with a modern twist and makes this pub one of the most popular locations for sporting events. Delicious food is served on a daily menu and has attracted journalists and food experts wide and far.

Patrick Donald is an award winning fine art photographer living and working in Ireland.

 

Other worthy winners include the following;

BEST COCKTAIL BAR

  1. Vintage Cocktail Club, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
    An exclusive and intimate experience, VCC is a closed door portal to another time. Vintage surroundings and an extensive menu this is the ideal bar for group gatherings or date nights!
  1. Opium, Wexford Street, Dublin 2
    Split into two sections, a restaurant & cocktail lounge and a music venue & nightclub, Opium offers something for everyone. With unique dining and cocktail experiences combined with an ever changing music and entertainment scene, it is unsurprising that this bar features as a top spot in Ireland and one to check out on a buzzing Dublin weekend.
  2. 777, South Great Georges Street, Dublin 2
    A notorious city favourite exploring the best of Mexican culture to create a trendy dining experience and vibrant Tequila cocktails. With amazing food, award winning drinks and a vibrant funky atmosphere, 777 is ideal for food and cocktail lovers alike.

BEST NIGHTCLUB

  1. The Wright Venue, Airside, Swords, Co. Dublin
    Ireland’s largest and multi-award winning venue hosts a variety of music and entertainment gigs over 3 floors, 7 bars and 12 unique experiences ensuring a night you won’t want to forget! With superstar DJ’s every other week it is the perfect place for celeb-spotting!
  1. Lillie’s Bordello, Grafton Street, Dublin 2
    A renowned city hotspot that hosts a luxurious setting and overlooks the prestigious Trinity College, this club has tons to offer! With 4 bars, 3 rooms and Ireland’s only micro-distillery ‘Lillie’s Lab’, live music and an extensive drinks menu it’s no wonder Lillie’s is Dublin’s worst kept secret.

BEST SPORTING BAR

  1. The Back Page, Phibsboro, Dublin 7
    The Back Page offers something for everyone, whether sports fanatic or complete rookie. With a games room, rotating draught beers, over 10 LCD screens, unbelievable pizza and a brand new brunch menu, as well as monthly themed events the Back Page is way more than just a Sports Bar!
  1. Sinnotts Bar, South Kings Street, Dublin 2
    Found below Stephens Green Shopping centre, Sinnotts is inevitably buzzing with people throughout the week. The historic location is home to a collection of literary pieces from renowned Irish artists and writers. 14 dedicated sports screens allow the bar to show all sporting events required simultaneously. No matter the event, the atmosphere during game day is an experience on another level.  
  1. The Living Room, Cathal Brugha St, Rotunda, Dublin 1
    Home to Europe’s largest outdoor screen, the Living Room is a must visit destination on match day! Visitors from near and far stop in to witness live events, craft beer, cocktails and food and stay for the late night live music and DJ.

 BEST TRADITIONAL PUB

  1. Toner’s, Baggot Street lower, Dublin 2
    One of Dublin’s oldest pubs Toners is also notably one of the most famous. A cosy snug, the Toner’s Yard beer garden and one of the best pints of Guinness to be had in the country can guarantee a satisfied customer. 
  1. Kehoe’s, South Anne Street, Dublin 2
    A classic Victorian style pub with decorative stained glass doors provides the ideal cosy setting for a pint. Surrounded by history and an untouched interior, shoppers, tourists and locals alike are transported back 100 years upon entering this timeless bar. 
  1. Crotty’s Kilrush, Market Square, Drimna, Kilrush, Co. Clare
    The best Traditional Irish music in the West of Ireland, Crotty’s also offers a bed and breakfast experience making it an ideal stop on your west of Ireland adventures. 5 distinctive areas, all hosting the traditional design and structures provides something everyone and is not to be missed. Experiences the privacy of your own snug or jump into the live trad sessions that occur every weekend.

Blog Post by Martha Fallon, Work in Ireland  

A full list of categories and winners can be found through Hospitality Ireland; http://www.hospitalityireland.com/national-hospitality-awards-2016-winners-revealed/34588

 

 

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