Thursday 12 August 2021

Caroline Jordan's #Dublin: Christ Church, Winetavern Street, Dame Street,

 When you meet Caroline Jordan, in The Body Politic, you are thrown right into the deep end - she lives and works in a particular world, one of politicians, socialites, chic restaurants, and modernity, all grafted onto an ancient and enduring city. Dublin, Ireland to many people might conjure up some old world charm with pubs and historical buildings and shops boasting handwoven sweaters (or as we say in Ireland, jumpers or geansaí.) But modern Dublin is a mix of old and new; a skyline that by law cannot rise above 60 metres (197 feet) and which is dominated as much by ancient spires and domes as new sharp-lined, chrome and glass boxes. A European city, with a vibrant muli-cultural feel, but with tradition and history on every street corner. 

The first part of Dublin we'll look at is the area in the city centre, on the south side of the River Liffey, where Jordan PR makes its home. The area is known as Christ Church, because it is home to the Viking era Cathedral  of the same name (now owned by the Church of Ireland.) It is bordered on one side by Dame Street, a long and historic boulevard home to Dublin Castle, the Olympia Theatre and a vast array of pubs, hotels, hostels, and restaurants. At one end of Dame Street, is Trinity College, and the bottom end of the city's famous shopping street, Grafton Street. At the other end, where our story is concerned, is the Cathedral, the well-known Drury's Hotel, and a group of new (for Dublin) office blocks and commercial buildings, which continue down the steep slope of Winetavern Street and onto the Quays. Incidentally, this includes the famous old pubs of The Brazen Head and O'Shea's Merchant Pub (known to generations of Dubliners as the Merchant O'Shea's.)

Caroline's office is a small unit in one of the buildings towards the top of the hill, near to Drury's Hotel and the Synod Hall side of Christ Church Cathedral.  It's an expensive enough area in which to rent space, but cheaper than the more exclusive areas such as Ballsbridge, Pembroke or Leeson Park. Jordan PR is just a fledgling company, and a modern office helps with the image. As Caroline's biggest client is a Government Minister, she would have liked to be closer to the the area around Merrion Square, but this is a good second, and handy for the myriad small events hosted in one or other of the vibrant pubs and clubs around Dame Street, Temple Bar, or Grafton Street. 

After work, Caroline and her friends/colleagues Paula Hughes and Stephen Walsh, might hit any number of cool and funky, or perhaps posh and fancy, places in the area. Gastro-Pubs, Restaurants, cafes, Dublin boasts a wonderful array of choice for any foodie. The greater Dame Street area alone has over 34 venues, with more again on the side streets, and in Temple Bar. Bison Bar and BBQ is a favourite with Jordan PR, as is the Vintage Cocktail Club. But when they want some comfort food they make the trek halfway down Dame St, turn right into Andrew's Lane, and find Red Torch Ginger. Many a client has been discussed (discreetly) while tackling the RTG menu.

Next time: Caroline's political life, Leinster House, The Offices of An Taoiseach and more

Winetavern St. In 1926, with P. Corvan Jewelers and Pawnbrokers Shop, on the left with a statue above holding the traditional balls symbol if the trade.


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