As the men worked their way north, they preached in market squares and taught the Irish people. In Hillsborough in 1841, they established the first branch in Ireland, consisting of thirty-five members. Although most of the Church’s growth began in Northern Ireland, recent progress had been made in the Republic, specifically in Dublin. Dublin’s first branch was established in 1850. Throughout years of famine and national revolts, the branch experienced a period of alternating growth and recession. After being closed due to inactivity, the Irish Mission was reopened in 1884, bringing another branch in Belfast and annual Irish conferences. The members were scattered across the Irish states, but they remained righteous. After 1857, many of the Saints had emigrated, and so numbers remained low. In the 1900s, however, the missionaries began having luck with some Germans thanks to the influence of German LDS families who had settled there. The Dublin branch swelled slightly with the increase of German members and by 1920, the Dublin branch had grown to about sixty members. In 1976, the Ireland Dublin Mission was opened and the Dublin Stake organized in 1995. Currently, the LDS population in Ireland remains relatively low, though steadily increasing. There are about 2,300 members in meetinghouses all throughout the country. Despite their minority status, the Saints are active and devout followers of Christ. They come from many backgrounds and cultures; some members are from eastern Europe and even Africa. Although there is yet to be a temple in Ireland, the Saints in Dublin still hope and pray for that day. In the quaint yet modern Irish capital, approximately two hundred Saints meet together weekly to strengthen each other and have continued to do so despite any political or economic struggles they have faced or continue to face.
Despite its violent history, Dublin is relaxing and interesting. Irish magic twinkles in the lush hills, the beautiful coasts, and in the eyes of the Irish Latter-day Saints.
4 Places You Must See in Dublin 15a Wicklow Street
This address in Dublin is the sight of the first original branch in Dublin. A new hall here was opened for the members in 1912. The local men donated thirty-four pounds in order to finish the building before the local priesthood meeting. The Sunday School and the Relief Society were also established here, in 1903 and 1916 respectively. Wicklow Street is located near the Bank of Ireland and Trinity College.Trinity College
Just a quick walk from Wicklow Street is Trinity College. Trinity College was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592. Although it began as a Protestant college, Catholic students were admitted after 1970. Playwrights Oliver Goldsmith and Samuel Beckett, as well as political writer Edmund Burke attended Trinity. Located in the heart of Dublin, the college’s beautiful lawns and quads serve as a haven for much of the city’s population. Be sure to check out the Old Library, the Treasury, and the Campanile.
The Dublin Castle
Seven centuries after the Anglo-Normans built this fortress in 1204, the Dublin Castle served as a symbol of English Rule. Most of what remains has been modified. Throughout the years, the luxurious rooms were homes to the British-appointed Viceroys of Ireland. Be sure to see the Throne room (built in 1740) and St. Patrick’s Hall, which includes famous banners and ceiling paintings dedicated to the Knights of St. Patrick and the relationship between Britain and Ireland.
Talk a walk down O’Connell Street, which has a combination of historical and modern styles. Some venerable buildings you can see on your way are: the General Post Office (1818), Gresham Hotel (1817), Clery’s department store (1822), and the Royal Dublin Hotel. There are also many important monuments lining the street, including the statue dedicated to Daniel O’Connell. National GalleryThis gallery was opened to the public in 1864 and has been a popular attraction ever since. Recently, a new wing was added to the gallery, which now holds over seven hundred artistic masterpieces. When you visit the National Gallery, enjoy the emphasis on the Irish landscape, which is almost as beautiful on canvas. Also, take note of the Irish portraits and other major European art represented by the works of Goya, El Greco, Vermeer, Titian, and Monet. The highlights of this gallery include Jack Yeats’ “For the Road,” Caravaggio’s “The Taking of Christ,” and Juan Gris’ “Pierrot.”
Christ Church Cathedral
This church, once established by the Hiberno-Norse king of Dublin, is now the main cathedral for the Church of Ireland (Anglican) diocese of Dublin and Glendalough. Here you can admire the early Gothic arches of the Great Nave and the ornately carved Romanesque doorway. The features of this cathedral include the Strongbow Monument, the Medieval Lectern, and the twelfth century crypt.
National Botanical Gardens
Need a breath of fresh air? A little “R and R”? Take a side-trip out of Dublin to the National Botanical Gardens, Ireland’s center of botany and horticulture. It was opened in 1795 and still possesses an ancient feel due to the cast-iron Palm House and other beautiful greenhouses. This forty-nine-acre park contains over 20,000 species of plants. Be sure to see the collections of cacti and orchids, the rose garden, and the one-hundred-foot-high redwood tree.
Moore Street Market
On the northern side of Dublin, check out Moore Street Market, a bustling marketplace and one of the busiest streets off O'Connell. You'll be sure to hear the cries of the stall holders who offer a variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. If you're craving fresh produce, be sure to stop by on Mondays and Saturdays. If you're looking to buy anything and everything, Moore Street Market is a great palce to visit. This market creates a multicultural atmosphere where Dublin meets the rest of the world.
If you're crossing the Liffey River, take the famous Ha'Penny Bridge (now called the Liffey Bridge). The Ha'Penny Bridge was built in the Georgian style in 1816 and is the oldest bridge in Dublin. Until the Millennium Bridge was opened in 2000, it was the only option for pedestrians crossing the river. If you're heading north across the bridge, you'll reach Liffey Street; if you're heading south, you'll come to the Temple Bar arch and eventually the Meeting Place Square. This national symbol, once known as the Wellington Bridge, gets its nickname from the halfpenny toll levied on it until 1919. Recently restored in 2001, Ha'penny Bridge is as shiny and beautiful as the year it was built. And don't worry, now it's free!
Dun LaoghaireYou’re probably wondering how this one is pronounced. Say “dunleary” a few times over, and you’ll get it. Dun Laoghaire is Ireland’s major passenger ferry port and yachting center. Tourists flock to this area for the magnificent walks around the harbor and the lighthouse. Visit the Mariners’ Church and the National Maritime Museum in this quaint town. Ireland’s novelist, James Joyce, stayed here for a week and had many ties here. This is the ideal artist’s and sailor’s town for those with a meditative, yet adventurous side.
St. Patrick’s CathedralSt. Patrick’s Cathedral is Ireland’s largest cathedral, built next to a sacred well where St. Patrick is said to have baptized converts around 450 a.d. Archbishop John Comyn rebuilt the original wooden chapel with stone in 1192. Over the years, this cathedral was seen as the people’s church, contrasted with Christ Church Cathedral which was associated with Britain. Today, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the main church of the Protestants. Many tourists visit this church to see the memorials associated with Jonathan Swift, a satirical writer and the Dean of St. Patrick’s. Don’t worry, wearing green isn’t required for admission.