Dublin has produced some of the greatest writers, musicians and actors the world has ever known. Whether you want to find out more about some of the most famous Dubliners or keen to discover the next big thing, heading for a break in the Irish capital offers the chance to immerse yourself in fascinating culture that’s just dying to be explored.
You may be most interested in the city’s poets and novelists or want to learn about the bands and singers who have gone on to achieve global stardom. Whatever it is, choosing car hire in Dublin allows you to get around quickly and enables you to see the sights that inspired them to great things. So, who exactly are Dublin’s most famous sons and where can you find out more about them?
Today regarded as one of Ireland’s finest writers, James Joyce is best known for his epic novel Ulysses, which – like all his other novels – is set in Dublin.
However, Joyce spent the majority of his career working outside of Ireland in exile, with much of his work criticised for his unforgiving depiction of life in the city during the early 20th century. Following his death in 1941, Joyce emerged as one of the country’s most loved novelists and each June 16th – the day on which the events of Ulysses take place – Bloomsday celebrations are held across the city. This involves, among other things, readings of his work, music and walking tours, so a trip to Dublin in the middle of summer could prove really exciting.
Find out more about the author by visiting the James Joyce Centre in the city centre. Set in a restored 18th-century Georgian townhouse, the institution displays the writer’s belongings, as well as reproductions of his work and family photographs.
Oscar Wilde is another of Dublin’s most well-known writers, with his play The Importance of Being Earnest and novel The Picture of Dorian Gray the works he’s really famous for.
For much of his career, however, Wilde was based overseas and he died in Paris at the age of 46. Come to Dublin today and you can take in the sights that influenced his works. Head to Merrion Square Park – which stands opposite Wilde’s childhood home – and you’ll see a wonderful statue of the writer, which shows him reclining on a 35-tonne quartz rock.
Visit the Dublin Writers Museum at Parnell Square to see a range of Wilde’s belongings – in addition to items owned by other local writers including Joyce, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett.
Born in Dublin in 1909, Francis Bacon is known the world over for his paintings that feature graphic subjects and intense imagery. What may surprise you, however, is that he barely had any formal art training, despite his works going on to be shown in some of the UK’s most prestigious galleries.
Dying following a cardiac arrest in Madrid in 1992, Bacon’s estate was inherited by his friend John Edwards, who donated much of it to Dublin’s Hugh Lane Gallery.
Visiting the cultural institution also gives you the chance to see the painter’s studio – which was relocated piece-by-piece over from London in 2001 – and his various paintings and drawings, as well the letters, newspapers and records he kept.
These are just a few of the most famous Dubliners – award-winning actor Brendan Gleeson and U2 frontman Bono are just some of the other stars to come from here. Have you met any or know of any sights in the city related to them? Leave a comment below if you do!