We crossed the border into the Republic of Ireland stopping there briefly as well as the site of the Battle of Boyne.
It was interesting to hear how the then recently deposed King of England, James, battled the recently anointed King of England, William, in Ireland in really a clash of Catholic supporters vs. Protestant. We enjoyed the garden and lunch as well as the history.
We also took a walking tour of Dublin, learning some of the history of the Republic and the early 20th century Irish rebellion. Still incredibly sad to hear that 10% of the population died of famine during the potato blight while another 10% immigrated. Many of our Irish roots in Kentucky (and the US) are attributed to this period (as well as earlier immigration in the 1700’s). Students learned some of the history while starting to learn the very busy city.
The Republic will be voting on a Constitutional amendment on Friday; the Yes vote would legalize abortion in Ireland. Posters and promotions are inescapable; while in the Liberty University district, there were people on both sides seeking votes. We’ll be leaving the day the vote occurs; clearly the vote will not end the debate though, given the passion we witnessed.
Students found the political debate interesting; we will take note of the outcome once back home.