INVITATION TO DUBLIN 2020
On behalf of the Association of Embryo Technology in Europe, the local organizing committee, chaired by Pat Lonergan, is pleased to invite you to the 36th annual scientific meeting in Ireland’s capital city of Dublin, from the 10th to 11th of September 2020!
Match Day at the iconic Croke Park, home to the Gaelic Athletic Association
Located just north of Dublin city centre, only 15 minutes from Dublin Airport, the venue, Croke Park, is the home of Ireland's largest sporting and cultural organisation, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) which is celebrated as one of the great amateur sporting associations in the world. The GAA is part of the Irish
consciousness and plays an influential role in Irish society that extends far beyond the basic aim of promoting Gaelic games. With a capacity of 82,300, Croke Park is Europe’s third largest stadium after the Nou Camp in Barcelona and Wembley in London. It has played host to iconic moments in Irish sport & history and to major cultural and international events, not to mention international conferences.
Conference facilities high up in the stadium.
Every September, the GAA’s two annual marquee events - the GAA All-Ireland Football and Hurling Championship Finals – attract a capacity 82,300 fans, to witness the pinnacle of Gaelic games action in this world-renowned cathedral of sport. Note that this is a slight deviation next year from the traditional Friday/Saturday dates, which was necessary to secure the location, but we hope that it will give attendees an extra day to perhaps catch a game at this iconic venue and enjoy what Dublin has to offer
Hurling, one of the fastest (and perhaps most dangerous?) sports in the world
There is lots to see and do in Dublin. Don’t be alarmed if someone asks if there is ‘any craic?’ Craic (fun) is something that comes naturally to Irish people in general. Walk in to practically any one of the hundreds of great bars in the city and you’ll have a great night out. Just some of the things to see are listed below. And of course remember that Dublin is the gateway to exploring the rest of Ireland – only a few hours by car from Galway in the West, Cork in the South and Belfast in the North.
Trinity College Dublin is right in the centre of the city. One of the most famous universities in the world, take a stroll through this ancient seat of learning. Located in Trinity College, the Book of Kells Exhibition is a must-see on the itinerary of all visitors to Dublin. The Book of Kells, a 9th century manuscript that documents the four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ, is one of Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure and the world’s most famous medieval manuscript. The exhibition also features access to the Long Room, one of the world’s most beautiful libraries, that houses 250,000 of the college’s oldest books.
Trinity College Dublin
Dublin’s General Post Office or GPO, is a significant building on Dublin’s main street, O’Connell Street, because of its role in Irish history. In 1916, during the so-called Easter Rising, launched by Irish republicans to end British rule in Ireland and establish an independent Irish Republic, the GPO was the headquarters of the uprising’s leaders.
You may want to swing through some of Dublin’s oldest pubs, like the Brazen Head (dating to 1198!), which counted writer Jonathan Swift among its customers. The Stag’s Head was established in the late 18th century; James Joyce was one of the notables who stopped by.
Its hard to visit Ireland without coming in contact, at least once, with a pint of Guinness. The Guinness Storehouse is now the most popular attraction in Ireland in visitor numbers (the Cliffs of Moher on the west coast being second). Not only will you learn about how Guinness was originally discovered and how it has developed over the last 250 years, you’ll also get to pour your very own pint and then sample it. If beer is not your thing, fear not, the Jameson Distillery is located just across the river Liffey from the Guinness factory. This is where Ireland’s most famous whiskey was distilled since 1870 but today it is a museum and visitor’s centre which features guided tours, whiskey tasting, bars, restaurant and a gift shop.
Dublin has dozens of other general and specialist tours for you to take. From the Viking Splash Tour to Literary Pub Crawl to personalised walking tour podcasts.
Temple Bar on the banks of the Liffey is a hive of activity with many pubs and restaurants to suit
Other things worth visiting if time permits include:
- Dublin Castle, originally built to help defend the Norman city of Dublin, the castle was
the seat of the UK government’s administration in Ireland until 1922. Today it has
been completely restored and is a major Irish government complex where many official and important government events are held.
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral, dating back to 1191, is the tallest and largest
church in Ireland and one of the few buildings left from medieval Dublin.
- Temple Bar, with it’s narrow cobbled streets full of art spaces, restaurants and really good bars like the Palace Bar, the Temple Bar Pub, Oliver St. John Gogarty’s and The Auld Dubliner.
- Kilmainham Gaol, opened from 1796 to 1924 and now one of the biggest unoccupied gaols in Europe.
- St. Stephen’s Green, a focal point for hundreds of years, it was only formally laid out (in the current design) by in the 1870s.
- The Phoenix Park is the largest walled city park in Europe and is a treasure trove of parkland, woods, walks, lakes and home a large herd of wild Fallow deer and to Dublin Zoo, founded in 1831.
The Ha’penny Bridge, built in May 1816, is a pedestrian bridge across the Liffey river that splits Dublin into north and south. It was originally tolled, costing a half penny to use it.