We Went On The 1916 Freedom Tour And This Is What Happened
The city's newest Easter Rising accessory is all you could hope for, and more
So this weekend we decided to dip our toes into the centenary madness that's currently gripping the city and treat ourselves to some culture-strong goodness.
And where else would one start their educational excursion but on the 1916 Freedom Tour?
We stepped inside the single decker army green half-vehicle half-art piece, named The Long Fella, at the Oscar Wilde statue side of Merrion Square, and the tour started right away due to the tour guide's (and his trusty driver's, no less) detailed period uniforms and unrivalled sense of vigour.
Inside was dotted with military blankets, photos of the leaders and a mini TV screen for a well-thought out slide show, and although slide shows tend to put the fear of God into people via the thoughts of college presentations, this left us hanging on every slide.
Onwards we drove (at a slow pace, and stopping at every monument – of which there are loads) and got a full run down of the social, political and cultural state of the country at the time, and the general atmosphere of Ireland during 1916.
Our tour guide, who was 60+, was also a gas ticket, so along with the arduous task of relaying fine details of The Rising, we also got a good few laughs in too, which is always welcome.
The bus takes you through all the areas of the city you'd expect on a tour like this and some you wouldn't, pointing out the more established buildings associated with the time such as City Hall and Dublin Castle, as well as Peadar Kearney's pub and the building which now houses Abercrombie & Fitch.
The tour is about an hour long, and it shows you how the city is freckled with the bullets of the volunteers and gives you an in depth analysis of the events of 1916 – from the looting of Clery's to James Connolly's supposed last words.
The two lads guiding the bus also allow you to play with fake guns, grenades and period costumes for photos at the end – my own personal highlight of the trip.
So once you don't mind being the laughing stock of pointing passers-by and absolutely baffled cyclists, this is 100% the tour for you.
If for nothing else, go for the craic of driving around town in a military-style truck, when will you have the chance to do that again?