This is the thirtieth year of the Exchange Programme and we are proud to say the link is a strong as ever. At 7:00am on Friday 2nd December 2016 sixteen bleary eyed pupils and two even more bleary eyed staff set off for Dublin. A few hours later we were greeted by a very enthusiastic and excited group of Loreto pupils who had made enough cake and buns to feed an army. After refreshments and an opportunity to get to know each other a bit better we set off for Trinity College Dublin.
We made the short walk from the College on St Stephen’s Green and arrived at the University to find a Graduation Ceremony had happened that morning and we watched as the new graduates posed for the iconic photo of throwing their mortar boards in the air.
We then met our very charismatic and entertaining Tour Guide, Joseph, for a Walking Tour of the University. He explained the fascinating History and buildings of Trinity College right up to its most recent and rather controversial addition, the Berkeley Library. Following this we went to see the famous Book of Kells in the Library. We then saw the main chamber of the Old Library, the Long Room, with its 200,000 oldest books. Our guide informed us that the room had to be expanded as the shelves were filled due to the fact that the Library had been given permission to obtain a free copy of every book that had been published in Ireland and Britain.
Our Tour ended with a visit to the Gift Shop and at this point the pupils were given a short time for some retail therapy on Grafton Street.
Very quickly our time in Dublin had come to an end. However, we are very much looking forward to our Loreto friends coming to Bangor in January to allow us the opportunity to return the generosity and hospitality shown to us in Dublin.