Dublin (from the Irish Gaelic An Dubh Linn meaning ‘the black pool’) is widely acknowledged as one of Europe’s loveliest and liveliest capital cities. Established as a Viking settlement on the River Liffey over 1,000 years ago, it gradually became an important commercial and cultural centre, a status confirmed by the Anglo-Norman invasions, which began with the arrival of Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, nicknamed Strongbow, in 1169, and lasted until Ireland achieved independence in 1922. This rich and unpredictable history has left an indelible mark on this colourful and atmospheric city.
Today, Dublin is a bustling metropolis with a population of over 1.7 million. Home to over 100 different nationalities, it has a genuinely cosmopolitan feel and yet retains its own distinct culture, which is expressed in a love of literature, drama and traditional music.
The city has a world-famous literary pedigree, having produced many prominent literary figures. Indeed, as birthplace of William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett, Dublin has produced three winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature – more than any other city in the world. Other notable writers and playwrights from Dublin include Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and the creator of Dracula, Bram Stoker. It is arguably most famous, however, as the town of James Joyce. Dubliners is a collection of short stories by Joyce about incidents and characters typical of residents of the city in the early part of the 20th century. His most celebrated work, Ulysses, is also set in Dublin. Additional widely celebrated writers from the city include JM Synge, Seán O’Casey, Brendan Behan, Maeve Binchy, and Roddy Doyle. Ireland’s biggest libraries and literary museums are found in Dublin, including the National Print Museum of Ireland and the National Library of Ireland.
Other cultural jewels located in the capital include the world-famous Abbey Theatre, The Book of Kells – the monastic masterpiece to be found at Trinity College – and the elegant squares of Georgian Dublin. Add to these its famous, pubs, top-class restaurants and fantastic shopping all concentrated within a latticework of historic streets, and it’s no wonder Dublin is one of Europe’s top five city-break destinations and an up-and-coming location for major international conferences.
Dublin is also the European headquarters for many major ICT, financial, manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies which makes it a very active business travel hub. Some of those major organisations are Google, Face book, Mercke Sharpe & Dohme, Intel, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, FI-Tech, HVB Bank, Populis, DEPVA Bank, DTS, Kelloggs and Aviva. Other companies with a strong presence in Dublin and its environs include Pfizer, Astrazenica, United Drug, Ernst & Young, Accenture, Citi, Glaxosmithkline to name but a few.