CULTURE CLUB • March 2019
Ronan Keating has been a 1990s heart-throb, a solo artist with 20 million records’ worth of success, and is now filling arenas across the UK with Boyzone, the band that started it all. But, first and foremost, he’s an Irishman – and proud of it, too. Ahead of this month’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations, the Dublin native raises a pint to the land he calls home
Summer is definitely the best time to visit Ireland. You all know the grass is a beautiful green on our island, but on a clear summer’s day, especially over on the West Coast, there really is no finer place on earth.
You have to go to Davy Byrnes for a pint of Guinness, then buy yourself some takeaway fish and chips and eat them on the Hill of Howth looking back at the city. Dublin is compact and full of beauty, especially around Trinity College, Grafton Street and St Stephen’s Green, so I suggest getting your comfortable shoes on and exploring the city on foot.
… let it be to eat fish on a Friday. With all the amazing fresh seafood available in Dublin, it’s one you should definitely honour while you’re there.
The way we Irish communicate with each other, and the bluntness the Irish can have, is just a part of who we all are. We’re good at cutting straight to the chase and getting past all the nonsense. The good thing is, with an Irish person you’ll always know where you stand.
Tayto potato crisps, Kerrygold Butter and Guinness. To enjoy the latter properly, get yourself to Moran’s Oyster Cottage (or Moran’s on the Weir, as we locals call it) towards the West Coast. There, order some oysters along with your pint.
I once walked from the top of Ireland to the bottom for charity and, as well as raising money, it gave me a chance to see my country in all its glory. One place that I was particularly struck by was the Giant’s Causeway in Antrim – it is utterly spectacular, and only a three-hour drive from Dublin.
… at the contrasts of Ireland. When you visit Dublin now, it’s a cosmopolitan city like Paris or New York, and is fantastically multicultural and fast-paced. But as soon as you leave the city, everything slows down, and you can see the Ireland of old.
… make sure it’s the West Coast. This dramatic stretch of coastline is as rugged as it is breathtaking, and well worth a road trip if you’re on the island.