Varadkar planning 'Independence Trail' for capital


Who fears to speak of Easter Week? Not Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar who is planning an “Independence Trail” for visitors to Dublin, based on sites associated with the 1916 Rising. The concept is inspired by Boston’s “Freedom Trail” of locations from the American Revolution, such as the house where Paul Revere began his momentous horseback journey to warn fellow patriots that the Redcoats were coming.

“I was very impressed by the Freedom Trail when I visited Boston recently, and I’d like to see something similar in Dublin,” the Minister said.

“Although a lot has already been done to bring Irish history to life, there’s a clear gap in the market for a tourism trail to guide visitors around pivotal locations associated with 1916 and other key moments in our history.

“That’s why I have asked Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, to draw up plans for an Independence Trail,” he said.

As well as battle-sites and monuments associated with Easter Week, the route would include locations linked with the 1798 insurrection and Robert Emmet’s short-lived but dramatic 1803 rebellion.

Fáilte Ireland has been asked to look at the feasibility of a special smartphone/tablet app, to guide visitors along the trail.

For the less technologically minded there are plans for signposts and information boards at key locations as well as special maps for the tours.

These pictorial maps would give detailed explanations of Easter Week locations such as the GPO/Moore Street battlefield site, Boland’s Mill, Mount St Bridge, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin Castle and Kilmainham Gaol.

The rebellion routes would be part of a €4 million project being developed, telling the story of Dublin from its Viking beginnings up to recent times.

“Easter 1916 is widely understood within Ireland and abroad as a significant event on the country’s path to independence,” a spokesman said.