First Email- Hello From Dublin

Sent 11.9.05


This is the first of hopefully numerous emails I'll send out to keep you updated on my year abroad in Dublin. Let me first say that if you know anyone else that would like to be on this list that isn't, have them send me an email to with their name and email address, and I'll put them on the list. This applies especially to you people from Grand Rapids, I didn't try as hard to get a lot of people on the list, and I probably forgot a lot of you.

I got into Dublin on Thursday morning, and the weather wasn't too bad. Typical Dublin day of mostly cloudy, and the temperature somewhere in the 60's. I took a cab from the airport to my dorm which is actually in a 'suburb' south of the city, about a 20 minute bus ride out of the centre. I will end up attending classes north of where I am residing, at the main campus of UCD. This campus is still south of the city and about a 15 minute bus ride away. I also have 2 classes at the Keough Centre that Notre Dame runs in the city of Dublin right on Merrion Square, one of the two big green spaces south of the river. It is a beautiful building, and I should have some pictures eventually of it.

Speaking of pictures, I will try and get some online in the next week or two. I have taken some, it is just a matter of finding a way to get them to you guys out there.

The rest of my first day consisted of checking into the dorm, which is not quite what I had in mind (I thought it would be a little newer than it is). However, it is definitely nothing bad or something I'm going to dislike the entire year. The entire dorm consists of single rooms, and they are decently sized, so not too cramped. Not having a whole lot of stuff also helps keep the space seem large. For you guys at ND, the room is not a whole lot smaller than a Dillon double, but obviously without the second person. After checking in and starting to unpack, jet lag got the best of me (which wasn't helped by working my last night at the hospital just 2 nights before).

Something a little different than ND is the lack of a dining hall and meal plan. There are kitchens in the residence hall where we each have a cupboard and space in a fridge. In the town of Blackrock (about a 10 minute walk from the dorm) there are 2 grocery stores, where you can buy the food and ingredients you need to make your own meals in the kitchen. ND provides a food stipend, but Dublin is a more expensive city than what you would typically find in the US, so some of your own cash ends up having to cover your costs.

I finished unpacking on Friday, did some grocery shopping as I was starving, and took my first trip into 'downtown' Dublin with my next door neighbour, also from ND. We took the DART train into the city, visited the Keough ND Centre, and talked with some people there, and then walked around the city a bit before heading back to Blackrock. The city is awesome just to walk around, and the sights are still amazing to me. I saw the hotel that my parents stayed in on their trip to Ireland last year, and some other sights like Merrion Square and St. Stephens Green.

Saturday was spent in Dublin at the Keough Centre, for a meeting about 'academic stuff' (is that really what I'm here for?) and a walking tour of Dublin. The tour was nice, got to see such sights as Trinity College, Grafton Street, Temple Bar area, the Ha'penny Bridge, the Spire, etc. It was nice to have someone that has lived in Dublin give a bit of local insight on the area. Afterwards, we got a nice little treat in being able to see the game of American football on this side of the ocean. North American Sports Network was kind enough to air the Notre Dame-Michigan game for us at 5 PM (aka 12 eastern), so we got to see the game. Some from Grand Rapids may not agree with me, but I thought the outcome was a good one.

Classes start on Monday and I guess that is something to look forward to. It should be interesting, and everything here is much more laid back so I'm not too stressed out or worried about anything.

Of course, no email concerning Dublin is complete without mention of the pubs. It's hard to beat a pint of Guinness in Ireland, that's for sure. I enjoyed the first one, and I'm sure will enjoy many more to come (Mom, it was hard to keep a straight face whenever you made a comment about Guinness. I enjoy it, you were wrong). The pub atmosphere is pretty awesome as well. Today I just got back from watching the Irish national hurling championship game in downtown Blackrock at The Mad Hatter, one of many pubs around here. Hurling is quite the sport.

Feel free to send me and email with any questions and anything else you have and I'll answer them either in an email to you or one to everyone on the list.

Until my next email, go Irish, hopefully the Bears can pull out a win or two, and Charlie Weis, thanks for coming to Notre Dame.

Dan McGee

PS Like I said at the beginning, if you know anyone else that wants these emails, get me their email address somehow. And if for some reason you don't want them, you can let me know too.