I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

The Reawakening


Slowly but surely – and barring sudden reverses in the progress we have made – Ireland will be returning to social and cultural life this month and next. From May 10th you can visit a bookshop and pick up a book you have previously ordered online (click and collect). From the following week you can actually visit the shop, browse and buy.

The cultural institutions, or most of them, are also opening next week. The National Museum’s branches at Collins Barracks (decorative arts and history) and Kildare Street (archaeology) in Dublin and the Castlebar museum of country life will be opening at 1 pm on Monday next, May 10th. The natural history museum at Merrion Street in Dublin will, however, remain closed until further notice to facilitate continuing works at the premises.

The National Gallery in Dublin will reopen on May 10th. Meanwhile, its series of online events continues: on May 13th the director, Sean Rainbird, will be talking about the gallery’s acquisitions over recent years (online via Zoom; free but must be booked on the website: nationalgallery.ie/whats-on/)

The Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin’s Parnell Square reopens on Tuesday, May 11th. The Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) on St Stephen’s Green reopens on Friday May 14th. Visits can be booked via the website: moli.ie
The café will also be open from May 14th, with the possibility of taking your coffee out to the very pleasant courtyard and garden, weather permitting.

The European language-teaching and cultural institutions, the Alliance Française, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Goethe-Institut and Instituto Cervantes, have been valiantly keeping things going during lockdown with a variety of imaginative online programmes and events. The Goethe-Institut library is due to partially reopen next week. For further developments and events up ahead consult the websites: alliance-francaise.ie, goethe.de/ins/ie, https://iicdublino.esteri.it/iic_dublino/en/, dublin.cervantes.es