Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble!
The air is getting crisper, the leaves are getting crunchier, and pumpkin-spiced lattes are back in town. All of this means one important thing… Spooky Season is upon us! As the land of myths and legends, Halloween is a tradition that has been celebrated in Ireland for well over a thousand years.
Which got us wondering… what exactly are the origins of Halloween? Although wildly popular in America (as one of the best nights of the year), Halloween is filled with street decorations, on people’s houses and costumed kids running around. Some might think it came from Mexico’s Day of the Dead. However, the festival of Halloween actually originated in Ireland as a pagan festival called Samhain (pronounced saw-when). This was when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts before welcoming the darker months of the year.
In modern times though, Ireland is very similar to America in the tradition of good old trick or treating, not to mention the barmbrack tradition, bopping for apples and fireworks! Since this Halloween is the first without social distancing in two years, we imagine everyone will only be itching to get out and have some spooky-filled fun.
We’ve done you the favour of finding some of the best Halloween-themed events happening in Ireland over the next few weeks!
THE NIGHTMARE REALM – DUBLIN
At Number One is The Nightmare Realm, known for being the ‘Most Entertaining Horror Experience’ and even awarded ‘No.1 Haunt in the world!’
From humble beginningsin Tralee, Kerry, back in 2009, to now having its 7th year in the Big Smoke (Dublin City), The Nightmare Realm set out to terrorise the people of Ireland. Each year is different to the last as they redesign haunt themes and mazes, switch up characters and update their most infamous rooms! Nothing is ever the same as it once was. It’s innovative, entertaining and, most importantly.. absolutely terrifying!
Known for their infamous Halloween Parades, Macnas are up to something very different this year. Instead of roaming the streets of Galway, you can find them at Macnas HQ at Fisheries Field, Galway, where apparently an ancient giant named Con Mór lives! Professor Marjorie Morrigan, an expert in Giants & Where They Come From, has said – “This giant seems to have been here for centuries. There is a very large iron nose, so big and rusty, you could park a car in one of the nostrils.”
The word on the street is this big fella belongs to the legendary Tuatha De Danann tribe and comes from an ancient Island of Giants off the coast of Connaught. Con Mór was so famous across Ireland for his love of birds and nature that his friends called him The Bird King!
Perfect for the family and kids, or even those really big kids who just never knew how to grow up. You can see CON MÓR, The Giant, situated on the banks of the River Corrib from 12 noon on Saturday, 29th & Sunday, 30th October 2022. Keep an eye out and see if you catch the pop-up performances from the Macnas Drummers, Macnas Brass, Macnas Stilters and Macnas Youth Theatre across Galway city!
Travel from Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Ballinasloe, Athlone, Kinnegad and more! Check out our website for more details at citylink.ie
3. LIMERICK CIVID TRUST HAUNTED HALLOWEEN WALKING TOUR
This year, the Limerick Civic Trust offers the opportunity to take a walking tour of Limerick’s haunted medieval quarter in St. Munchin’s Graveyard and Bishop’s Palace, Church Street, Kings Island. Hear about all the tales of Limerick’s ghastly past with tales of ghosts that are said to haunt The Bishop’s Palace and the area of King’s Island to this very day!
You’ll get to hear first-hand about the haunting experiences that the Limerick Civic Trust staff and volunteers have experienced in the building. The tour takes you all around these areas where terrible murders took place. Where ghosts that warn of impending death live, such as the Delmedge ghost that is said to haunt the area.
Due to the scary nature of the tour, apparently, participants are even asked to sign a waiver before partaking in the tour! Saying all those who manage to complete the tour will receive a certificate of completion will show just how brave you are.
Tours run every day from Wednesday, 25th October to Tuesday, 31st October, inclusive at 5 pm & 6 pm.
This year marks the awakening of a giant and beautiful beast. Coming out of her slumber and calling out to her legion of otherworldly night creatures to celebrate Samhain. The moment when our human world and the other world, the unseen world of shadows, coexist freely.
Welcoming its 17th year, the Dragon of Shandon Parade is the highlight of CCAL’s annual arts calendar. Working with local artists to create a cultural hub and provide a friendly and carnival atmosphere within the entire city on Halloween night.
Some of the groups already involved in this year’s parade so far are the Cope Foundation, National Learning Network, YMCA, Aisling Cap, Joan Denise School of Dance, Cork City Samba, Circus Factory, The Tribe Dance Academy, UCC Film and Screen Media, Aatma Indian Dance Troupe and many more.
For a relatively small island, Ireland is blessed to have several airports for passengers to travel through. Each of the four provinces has at least one international airport, which makes Ireland a very well-connected country. In recent months, now that travel has returned to near normal, major airports across the world have seen delays and disruptions. However, cork Airport, Ireland’s second-largest airport, was ready to adapt and grow and is still expanding services, offering a lot of international routes.
Citylink proudly serves Cork Airport as part of the 251 Galway-Limerick-Cork Route, offering times to compliment outgoing and incoming flights. Our team recently took a trip down to Cork Airport to see how handy it is to get through the airport – From Door to Departures.
Citylink services pull up right outside the terminal building of Cork Airport. If the bus was any closer, it’d be on the tarmac with the plane! When you disembark the bus, you’re just a few metres away from the entrance to the building. Cork Airport is pretty compact. Everything is there for you as you walk through the main doors. You have your check-in desks in front of you, cafes and shops to the left, seating areas dotted along the building, and cool displays showing local bars and restaurants.
When you start making your way through the airport and get through security, it will literally take a couple of minutes to get from the front door to your departure gate (not including a stop in Duty-Free, mind you).
A trip through the airport is not complete until you spend some time in Duty-Free. When you get through security, you’ll find yourself in “The Loop.” Alcohol, perfumes, chocolates, and Clonakilty sausages and rashers are the perfect items to be shopping for before boarding your plane.
On our trip through the airport, we were amazed at how quick and convenient the airport was and how easy it was to navigate, which, for any traveler, is very reassuring.
The same can be said for inbound passengers to Cork Airport. You disembark the aircraft, and you’re nearly immediately at passport control. Once you’ve finished up there, you simply turn around the corner, and you’re at baggage claim! Before you know it, you’re passing through the doors to the arrivals lounge – back to where your journey through Cork Airport began.
Citylink offers 8 daily services to and 8 daily services from Cork Airport, bringing you to/from the airport’s front door.
Now that Cork Airport is adding more departures – including new routes to Rome and Newcastle, maybe a winter break is on the cards? We sure are tempted anyways!
If you are a regular user of air travel, you are well accustomed to flight delays & cancellations. We here at Citylink completely understand that this can be a stressful situation for our customers coming from the airport.
So, if you book a seat with us and your flight is delayed, we will honour your ticket and put you on the next available service at no extra cost.
I’m concerned it will be busy and I won’t get a seat on the next service; what do I do?
We hear you! This is where our Manage My Booking feature comes to the rescue.
To help our customers have more flexibility and control over their travel plans, customers can now amend their booking up to 3 times prior to the scheduled service departure time.
You can amend your booking with Citylink up to 30 minutes before a service departs its first stop
We are happy to change the time and date of your booking, but we cannot change the destination.
If you need help amending your ticket, please click here.
Important to note:
• If you book another ticket with Citylink to guarantee your seat, the unused ticket is non-refundable. • If you book another ticket with another provider, your Citylink ticket is non-refundable.
Galway is one of those places that when the sun starts to shine, you just don’t want to be at home. You’d much rather be out and about, taking in the sights and sounds of everyone enjoying the summer sun. Galway has some iconic places to spend a summer evening like Spanish Arch, Eyre Square and Woodquay – all with stunning views and perfect for a cheeky drink.
Summers in Galway can be electric. You’ll see tourists and locals mixing with culture and music and there’s always so much to do. We’ve decided to give you guys an idea of how to best spend a summer night in Galway and make the most of the upcoming warm and sunny days.
Dinner in the Dean
The Dean, a recently opened hotspot, is one of those iconic landmarks in Galway. Situated just off of Eyre Square, sitting on their rooftop terrace on a warm day while you eat is idyllic. Acknowledged as “a slice of boutique bliss in the heart of Galway, one of Europe’s friendliest cities”, The Dean and their rooftop restaurant, Sophie’s will offer any visitor a high-class, spectacular dining experience while you take in the view of Galway City.
Swan Out To Salthill
It’s almost criminal to be in Galway on a warm summer day or evening and not venture out to Salthill. Salthill on a warm day is world-class – you may even think you were in Spain. Taking the 401 city bus from Galway and getting off near the church in Salthill, you’re only a stones throw away from the beach. There’s a lot of cool places to stop and grab a bite, a drink or a coffee in Salthill. O’Reilly’s Bar has a stunning rooftop veranda where you can have a chilled drink and look out to the ocean.
Head down towards Blackrock Diving Tower and you’ll arrive upon up to Jungle Café where you can get delicious coffee and treats which are just perfect for a warm summers evening while listening to the waves.
Booze in the Blue Note
Galway’s Westend is where it happens. There are so many cool bars, restaurants and cafes. The Blue Note is a staple of the Westend’s bar scene. Just on the corner of William Street, the Blue Note is a perfect place to continue your day out in Galway in the sunshine. Sit in their beer garden, which is a hub of activity in the evenings and weekends and listen to some great local music – we can’t think of a better way to chill out!
According to galwaywestend.ie, the philosophy of the Blue Note is “drinks are something to enjoy while you talk to friends, not something you talk about.”
Get A Load of GIAF
July in Galway is massive. From mid to end July, you’ll meet some of the finest talent and artists both local and international under the roof of Galway International Arts Festival. GIAF 2022 kicks off on July 11th and is the first full programmed festival since 2019. Have a pint and ice-cream at the Festival Garden in Eyre Square, take in a world-class music act at the Heineken Big Top or see one of the street acts – there’ll be plenty of music, art, theatre and performances for everyone to go and see.
As proud Friends of the Festival, Citylink will be giving away tickets to shows during the festival so be sure to check out @citylinkireland on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for your chance to win!
With the acquisition of GoBus, Irish Citylink will become one of the largest private land transport companies in Ireland.
Irish Citylink, a wholly owned subsidiary of ComfortDelGro group headquartered in Singapore, has successfully completed the purchase of GoBus from its present owners. The acquisition marks a significant step forward for the company in expanding its network throughout Ireland.
On reviewing the market to identify companies that offer an excellent level of service, it was imperative to choose a company whose values and reputation aligned with the core values and level of service Citylink is known for. GoBus epitomizes these values that are important to our company and passengers.
David Conway, Regional Director of Irish Citylink, commented, “Having navigated the challenges of COVID-19 and as we are rebuilding and expanding the range of services we offer to the traveling public, the addition of the GoBus network will enable us to provide significantly more options to both Citylink and GoBus customers. This enhanced network of services will encourage more people to travel via public transport and support our greater green agenda of moving towards a sustainable public transport network”.
The acquisition of GoBus fits into Citylink’s strategy to become the largest operator of intercity coach services in Ireland. GoBus’ convenient services and fleet of modern and comfortable coaches, alongside Citylink’s premium and reliable services, provide major opportunities for the company to become the largest intercity coach operator in Ireland.
When asked about the acquisition, Frances Cahill, General Manager of Irish Citylink, commented, “This is just the beginning – The acquisition of GoBus brings so many new opportunities to the business in terms of employment, funding for local sponsorships, and the services we can provide for our passengers. We are absolutely delighted to bring two reputable transport providers together to provide an expanded network of routes and an even better customer experience for our current and future passengers!”
The stories behind Irish Citylink and GoBus
Irish Citylink first began right in the heart of Galway almost 20 years ago. The company’s distinctive blue and yellow coaches have become synonymous with high-quality, reliable, and affordable coach travel. In the beginning, Citylink ran up to 12 daily services between Galway and Dublin. Since then, they have expanded their business and network of routes to over 100 daily direct, express, and multi-stop services across all routes. Over 150 people are employed in the provision of Irish Citylink’s services in Galway, Dublin, Limerick, and Cork.
GoBus was established in 2009 and operates frequent and flexible coach services across three main routes serving Galway, Dublin, Cork, and Ballina. GoBus prides itself on offering flexibility and the best in comfort and safety on board.
Pairing GoBus with Citylink’s mission to connect Ireland’s towns, cities, villages, and airports across the nation by providing reliable travel is both ambitious and vital. Particularly as the need for public transport increases each year.
Irish Citylink operates a range of services in Galway, Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Clifden, Loughrea, Athlone, Ballinasloe, and more. The company currently carry over 28,000 passengers per week across all routes which is forecasted to surpass 35,000 later this year. With these numbers in mind, it is clear that transport is an essential and vital service in today’s society. With this acquisition, Irish Citylink is determined to create a reality where transport is more accessible in Ireland than ever before!
For more information on how this acquisition will affect Irish Citylink and GoBus’ customers, please click here.
At Citylink, we are proud to serve the city of Limerick. Limerick is a jewel along the Wild Atlantic Way and offers visitors some of the most scenic views and landmarks you can find across Ireland. Like King Johns Castle, St. Mary’s Cathedral, and some quality stores to do some shopping!
Citylink provides frequent services from Galway, Cork, and Dublin to Limerick, which gives a great opportunity to explore the Treaty City. Exploring any city cannot be done without sampling the local food offerings. So, we’ve created a list of our team’s favourite places to get some grub!
1. Freddys Bistro
This restaurant is located in a restored 19th-century building with a charming ambiance. The menu of Freddy’s bistro has a lot of delicate offerings. Still, their braised beef cheek and pork belly are mouth-wateringly good. All dishes are cooked to order, and the restaurant has a dedicated Coeliac and Vegan Menu. Bellissimo!
2. Café Rose
Café Rose in Limerick has something for everyone! They have a range of delicious light salads and meals to choose from, serving them in a casual dining atmosphere. They cater very well to vegan and vegetarian diners and have a delightful selection of cakes. Their macaroons are to die for!
A top quality food production company based in Shannon with locations in the area, i.e., Limerick and Ennis, Zest! Provide excellent food items, including cakes, salads, and sandwiches. Located near People’s Park, this café is in a prime location for people touring around to get a sweet treat before having a nice walk in the nearby parks.
4. Fika Coffee
A multi-roasting coffee specialist based on Catherine Street in Limerick, which serves delicious coffee, including roasts by West Cork Coffee and Burren Coffee. This gem serves some top-quality coffees and pastries, which are perfect for anyone who wants a treat as they walk through the streets of Limerick. For non-coffee lovers, their iced tea is definitely worth the visit.
5. The Locke Bar
The Locke Bar is an award-winning eatery in the middle of Limerick’s Medieval Quarter. Open 7 days a week, The Locke Bar is known for its fresh daily special offerings and picturesque views of Limerick Harbour. Their website states, “It can be found on the original site of one of Limerick City’s oldest pubs dating back to 1724. Nearby are some of the city’s most historical landmarks such as St. Mary’s Cathedral, King John’s Castle & the Hunt Museum.”
A beautiful structure with years of history lies just outside our Citylink office in Aston Quay: The Ha’penny Bridge. The Ha’penny Bridge which is the best known and most beloved of Dublin’s bridges, was the first iron pedestrian bridge in Ireland. The bridge was built in 1816 across the River Liffey in Dublin. The Ha’penny Bridge remained the city’s only pedestrian bridge over the Liffey for over 180 years until it was joined by the Millennium Bridge in 1999. The official name of the Ha’penny Bridge is the Liffey Bridge, however the nickname of the Ha’penny Bridge stuck because of the history. Keep reading to find out more.
The History of the Ha’penny Bridge
Originally called the Wellington Bridge (after the Dublin-born Duke of Wellington), the name of the bridge changed to Liffey Bridge in 1922 when Ireland gained independence. The Liffey Bridge remains the bridge’s official name to this day, although it is most commonly referred to as the Ha’penny Bridge.
Before the Ha’penny Bridge was built there were seven ferries, operated by William Walsh, across the Liffey. The ferries were in bad condition and Walsh was informed that he had to either fix them or build a bridge. The bridge was the idea of the Dublin Corporations’ s John C. Beresford. Despite the £3,000 cost, Walsh chose to construct a bridge.
Initially the toll charge was based not on the cost of construction, but to match the charges levied by the ferries it replaced. Each pedestrian who crossed paid a ha’penny, which is where the bridge got its famous nickname. A further condition of construction was that, if the citizens of Dublin found the bridge and toll to be “objectionable” within its first year of operation, it was to be removed at no cost to the city.
The toll was increased for a time to a penny-ha’penny (1½ pence), but was eventually dropped in 1919. While the toll was in operation, there were turnstiles at either end of the bridge. When the bridge opened in 1816 it was reported that an average of between 400-500 paying pedestrians crossed every day. Fast forward to now, approximately 30,000 pedestrians are crossing the bridge daily.
The Ha’penny Bridge celebrated its 200th birthday in 2016. However, it nearly did not reach 100 because in 1913, Dublin Corporation adopted plans to demolish the beloved Ha’penny Bridge and replace it with an art gallery over the river. The proposed gallery would showcase the work of Hugh Lane. The plans to build the gallery bridge were later scrapped, leaving the Ha’penny Bridge in place.
Construction & Renovation
The Ha’penny Bridge is a single elliptical iron arch rising over three metres above high water at its peak. The bridge is 43 metres long and 3.66 metres wide. The ribs of the bridge were individually cast in 18 separate pieces by the Coalbrookdale Company and then shipped to Dublin. Once in Dublin, John Windsor – one of the company’s head foremen – oversaw construction.
The superstructure is reported to have remained remarkably sound since then, but when a survey revealed that work was needed on the railings and deck due to wear and tear, it was closed for a few months of renovation in 2001. 85% percent of the original cast iron was re-used in the renovation project.
Romance on the Ha’penny Bridge
The Ha’penny saw a spell of having its famous white railings decorated with ‘love locks’, or padlocks with lovers’ names on them. After an initial attempt to discourage couples from the practise in 2012 proved unsuccessful, 300 kilograms of locks were removed from the bridge in 2013 over concerns about damage to this protected Dublin structure.
To conclude, there is a significant amount of history revolving around the Ha’penny Bridge. The bridge was build in 1816, over 200 years ago and was the only pedestrian bridge in Dublin for over 180 years until the Millennium Bridge was built in 1999. The original name was the Wellington Bridge, which was changed to the Liffey Bridge in 1922 when Ireland gained independence. This is still the official name, however, it is more commonly known as the Ha’penny Bridge due to the ha’penny toll charge for pedestrians crossing until 1919. The bridge was renovated in 2001 and the current bridge is 85% original cast iron. Don’t forget to like this blog if you enjoyed reading. You can also share this blog on Facebook or Twitter.