herald

Sunday 21 September 2014

Gory and weird tales of old Dublin on tourist app

LUCKY stones, abused statues and flaming rivers of whiskey – this is the Dublin that tourists will get to experience in a new app.

Visitors to the capital will gain an insight into the murderers, rogues and dark tales that shaped the capital.

The hi-tech guide will bring tourists down Failte Ireland's 'Dubline' heritage walk through key landmarks and allow them to explore the city while watching or listening to stories about the hidden history, as told by Dubliners themselves.

Stories on the trail will include the Liberties Whiskey Fire, when the area was ravaged by a great flaming river of whiskey in the 1870s, and Sean Connolly's fight for City Hall in 1916.

The passionate final speech of Robert Emmet, spoken from his execution point on Thomas Street, and the 19th century murder of two policemen in Temple Bar will also be recounted.

At St Audeon's Church, tourists will be told about the story of the 'Lucky Stone', a stone long thought to possess supernatural powers of good luck, and the life of 15th century 'rogue among rogues' Roland Fitzeustace.

And on College Green, tourists will learn of 'Dutch Billy', the statue of William of Orange, which has been looted, muddied, attacked and blown up in its colourful life.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said that the trail will bring tourists along the line of important, but not well known, stories.

"The Dubline is all about telling the story of the city of Dublin," he said.

"Now visitors can also hear the stories along the trail as told by real Dubliners, focusing on the hidden history and secrets along the way.

"This is a great way of bringing history to life," he added.

The €4m Dubline project was launched in May and is hoped to boost tourism in Dublin, something currently worth €1.5bn to the capital.

The walk goes from College Green to Kilmainham. The app, which is available for free on iPhone and Android devices, presents the relevant story to listen to or watch in high definition video.

hnews@herald.ie

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