Guinness and St Patrick’s keep the tourists coming

Tourist attractions are a way to increase employment and revenue in areas like the Liberties.  

The Liberty looked into two of the top things to do in the Liberties both for tourists and locals alike to explore and some of the history behind these attractions. 

St James’s Gate, The Guinness Storehouse, Dublin. Credit: Kelsey Doogan

“The Liberties is a great place. There is plenty to do and see here. I’ve had plenty of people tell me how lucky I am to live here over the years,’ said Nicole Kieran, a resident of the Liberties.

The Guinness Storehouse 

Known as one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland, The Guinness Storehouse is a seven-story museum located in the heart of Dublin’s St. James’s Gate Brewery.  

The building in which the Storehouse is located was constructed in 1902 as a fermentation plant for the St. James’s Gate Brewery. It was designed in the style of the Chicago School of Architecture and was the first multi-storey steel-framed building to be constructed in Ireland 

Since it opened its doors in 2000 it has had over 20 million visitors which is a huge revenue generator for the local community in jobs. 

It is owned by Diageo, which is a British multinational alcoholic beverage company. It operates 132 sites around the world including the Guinness Storehouse. 

It tells the story of Ireland’s most famous export and beverage, the Guinness beer, from its humble beginnings in 1759 to its global recognition today. The Storehouse is not only the home of Guinness but also a celebration of Irish culture, creativity, and entrepreneurship. 

A lesser-known fact about the Guinness Storehouse is that it is kid friendly. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult aged 18 or above whilst visiting the Guinness Storehouse. Throughout the 7 floors, there are many interactive activities to keep the little, and not-so-little ones, entertained, from the brewing process to the advertising of the famous black and white drink. 

“We didn’t think it would be the type of place to bring the kids, but they were just as interested to go as we were,” Melissa Gartlan, a tourist from Cavan, said when asked about her experience taking her kids to the Guinness Storehouse. 

Guinness recommends allowing at least 90 minutes to explore the Guinness Storehouse with the self-guided experience. However, you can take it at your own pace and spend as much time as you wish. 

The fact that the tours are self guided means that there is no tour guides employed there to bring you around and provide you with the information you would need or want to know about the building. 

But they make up for that in the employment end by employing people to work in their iconic Gravity Bar which rests on top of the Guinness Storehouse where people can enjoy a beverage after their tour. 

St. Patrick’s Cathedral 

St Patrick’s Cathedral, St Patrick’s Close, Dublin. Credit: Kelsey Doogan

St Patrick’s Cathedral is in St Patrick’s Close, Patrick Street in Dublin 8. It was founded in 1191 as a Roman Catholic cathedral, it is currently the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland. 

Now it welcomes hundreds of visitors daily at a fee of €10 for an adult and €9 for a student or over 60s. 

The admission fees go towards the upkeep of the Cathedral. There is a small gift shop located within the Cathedral where visitors can help to support the mission of the Cathedral by purchasing souvenirs for their visit. 

The cathedral plays host to several public national ceremonies. Ireland’s Remembrance Day ceremonies, hosted by the Royal British Legion and attended by the President of Ireland, takes place there every November. Its carol service, celebrated twice in December, including every 24 December, is a colourful feature of Dublin life. 

On Saturdays in autumn, the cathedral plays host to the graduation ceremonies of TU Dublin. 

In 2006, the cathedral’s national prominence was used by a group of 18 Afghan migrants seeking asylum, who occupied it for several days before being persuaded to leave without trouble. 

The cathedral, which receives no State funding, welcomes all, with a chapel for those who come simply to pray and a small fee for those who wish to sight-see. The cathedral website mentioned in 2006 that visitor numbers had reached around 300,000 a year. 

The cathedral is supported by a volunteer organisation, with both subscribing and life members, who perform various tasks and contribute materially to the work and fabric of the cathedral. In addition, there is a range of voluntary groups performing specific tasks, such as bellringing, welcoming guests, and cleaning. 

“St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a beautiful building, and the park is too. I love getting a coffee and walking my dog here, when the weather permits it that is,” said Nuala McAree, a resident in the Liberties. 

Overall, there are many different things to see and do in the Liberties that help to generate revenue for the community even ones smaller than the Guinness Storehouse and St Patrick’s Cathedral.  

There is history all around us and when it is right on our doorstep we should go out and explore it. 

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