Gathering of the Dublins: A Town Administrator’s Journey
Earlier this year, officials from every city and town named Dublin around the world were invited by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ireland, Naoise O Muiri, to be a part of the country's first ever Gathering of the Dublins. Five of the 17 Dublins accepted the invitation including California, Georgia, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Not knowing what to expect, my husband and I left straight from Dublin's Town Meeting for the airport for a 6 hour flight. We arrived in Dublin, Ireland on Sunday morning (St. Patrick's Day) at 5:30 a.m.
Our first order of business was to meet the other "Dubliners." We were also introduced to Michael Sands, Deputy Director International Relations, from Dublin, Ireland. Next we gathered on the bus that took our spouses to the grandstand to watch the parade while we were brought to the parade staging area. Each of us received a sash to wear that signified which state we were representing. We marched in the parade in front of the Lord Mayor of Dublin's coach. This was an amazing experience. There were well over 250,000 people lining the streets to watch the parade.
After marching in the parade we walked to the Grafton Hotel for a VIP lunch with the Lord Mayor. After lunch we took a guided walking tour of the city. The tour ended at the Lord Mayor's Mansion where we were honored as guests for dinner.
Along with the Lord Mayor of Dublin we took a trip to Belfast to meet the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Gavin Robinson. While in Belfast we were given a VIP tour of the Titanic Exhibition, which was unbelievable and something everyone should experience. We were allowed exclusive access to a special area to view a replica of the famous stairs where Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet first met in the Titanic movie. In addition we were given permission to walk down the stairs and even take a group photo. They also took a photo of just me and my husband which is a great memory.
Our next excursion was a tour of Armagh where we met the Lord Mayor of Armagh, Sharon Haughey. Both Lord Mayors were very welcoming. Lord Mayor of Armagh welcomed us with refreshments, a local Irish singer and young children who put on a short show of Irish dancing.
My husband and I spent our last two days exploring on our own. We took a journey to the edge of the Burren region in County Clare, Ireland to see the Cliffs of Moher. It was absolutely breathtaking.
I can't wait to go back. I wasn't sure what to expect on this trip to Dublin, Ireland., From the moment we arrived, we were given exceptional treatment. The experience is something I'll never forget.
Sherry Miller is the Town Administrator for the Town of Dublin. She may be contact at 603.563.8544 or by email.