An Irish Perspective on Public Broadcasting

Public broadcasting in the United States and in Ireland is vastly different. While the Corporation for Public Broadcasting gets just a small fraction of a percent (around .014%) of the national budget, public broadcasting in Ireland is heavily funded through the government and directly by a licensing fee for televisions. Irish citizens have mixed opinions about Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) which facilitates important conversations about what really is the best way for a country to operate a public media organization.


The first interview above gives a perspective from an Irish woman about how she feels she benefits from RTE. She explains some of her issues with the public broadcaster that seem to be felt throughout the country.



In the second video we get a unique perspective from a woman who was born and lived in Ireland, then moved to the US for 40 years. She’s moved back to Ireland and was visiting the Aran Islands with her best friend. In the interview she talks about how different television is in the US, especially when it comes to the public broadcasting in Ireland. She didn’t have anything to say about PBS which shows how little it crosses minds when searching for information in the US.

The River Corrib: Wildcard Post

Bridges in Galway city provide ample viewing spots for the river Corrib. In the evening, one can find many people stopping while strolling into town to snap a picture.

Starting from Lough Corrib and flowing through the heart of Galway, the river Corrib is an essential part of the city. It not only provides a great view, but entertainment and necessity (such as the famous Irish salmon). The river reaches to the Atlantic by way of Galway Bay, ending up one of Europe’s shortest rivers at 6 kilometers.


Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas, also known as Galway Cathedral, was built right along the river Corrib. This green-domed, Roman Catholic, Cathedral is one of largest buildings in the city.

The river is also an essential part of campus life at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Running right along the campus, there is easy access to the river and all it’s benefits.

The NUI Galway Quadrangle was opened in 1849. Despite all the changes the university has seen since, it has remained an icon, showcased in their logo.
NUI Galway’s Martin Ryan Institute, a state-of-the-art Marine Science building, can be seen from the River Corrib.

Different kinds of boats often glide along the surface of the river Corrib, including those of NUI Galway students on the rowing team, small ships for dinner cruises, and boats for sport like in the video below.


The Galway weir, used to control the water levels, makes Galway a popular spot for in-river fishing. Fishermen reserve spots to stand in the Corrib and try their luck at catching some salmon. Fly fishing is the most popular method here.

Fishermen stand tall in the River Corrib with the Galway weir closeby. The weir contains 16 hydraulic gates.
Fishermen stand tall in the River Corrib with the Galway weir close by. The weir contains 16 hydraulic gates.




Art in Ireland: Food and Music

No matter what country one visits, a look at the art that fills the streets gives a good insight into the culture and history. Art comes in many forms, I decided to look at two of the most prominent in Ireland: food and music.


When most non-Irish think of Irish food they think potatoes. This is mostly due to how big of a part potatoes were in the Irish diet, especially the lower-income rural Irish diet, at the time of the potato famine. During the period between 1845-1849 over a million Irish died of starvation and related diseases and about the same left Ireland to live elsewhere. This is why there are more people outside of Ireland who claim Irish decent than actual Irish living in Ireland today.

Drinking is another big influence of Irish food culture. It is noticeable when going into Irish pubs in Dublin that most everyone orders a beer or wine with dinner. This isn’t nearly as prominent in America.

Asking for water with a meal in Ireland is pretty unusual. Only one restaurant so far has asked if I wanted water most ask if you want a beer first. This really shows how big of a part alcohol plays in food culture in Ireland.
Due to an ever-growing global presence, a Coke is just as easy to find in Ireland as beer.


In our ever globalizing world, Irish cuisine is influenced heavily by geography and other cultures. This is explained more in the video Inside The Irish Food & Drinking Culture.

Overall, the traditional Irish stew reigns king as the staple, go-to Irish Dish.

Our first night in Ireland we went to O’Neill’s Pub in Dublin City. This is their traditional Irish lamb stew with plenty of extra toppings.


American and Irish food culture are both majorly influenced by other nearby countries. Ireland is a short trip from most all other European countries. Also, being a big city, Dublin has people from all over the world living and working here.

II Caffee de Napoli is an authentic Italian restaurant in Dublin. It makes sense that the best Italian food I’ve had is in the city that is the closest to Italy I’ve ever been.


French pastries are big for breakfast or snack time in Ireland. Both French and Italian bakeries can be found on the streets of Dublin.


Fish and chips is a dish that can be found at any traditional Irish pub. It does originally come from Ireland’s former ruler, England however.


Similar to Ireland, near by countries have had a huge influence on American food culture. This is especially true for the recent boom of Mexican food in America. In an AirTalk radio show, How Mexican food conquered America, a book by Gustavo Arellano that tackles this subject is discussed. “”The mixing not just within Mexico, of the Spanish and Indian, and also, to a lesser extent, the Chinese and Arab traditions, but once you’re up here in the United States, you have all sorts of amalgamations of Mexican food.” Arellano argues in his book that the American-Mexican foods that have come out of this such as the Mexican Burger popular in Colorado, aren’t inauthentic but part of the “Mexican Family.”


In Dublin City, Irish music is everywhere, even right on the buildings. This pub is a hot spot for drinking, eating, and listening to traditional Irish music.

Ireland has music so unique and entwined with it’s culture that there’s nothing quite like it anywhere else, especially in America. Irish music’s “origins can be traced back to almost two thousand years ago when the Celts arrived in Ireland.”

A woman serenading a busy street corner in front of Trinity college Dublin. The harp is arguably one of the most difficult instruments to master.

One of the most important instruments not only to Irish music but Irish culture as a whole is the harp. It was one of many brought over by the Celts. Today, it is still an integral part of the music while also a national symbol for the country.

Christ Church Cathedral located in Dublin city is home to many musical performances for mass.
Christ Church Cathedral located in Dublin city is home to many musical performances for mass.

In the Irish Catholic Church, music is sometimes just as important as the readings themselves. Mostly sung by choruses or performed on organs music is a part of every mass. With Ireland historically having to fight for religious freedom, Catholicism is not only important religiously but culturally.

The choir at Christ Church Cathedral resting after singing while the leader critiques the practice.
The choir at Christ Church Cathedral resting after singing while the leader critiques the practice.


In an interview, Liam Lawton, a composer explained “It is a symbol of unity in a worshiping community between the people and their God and also among people themselves.”

At Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday both the choir and the organ player practiced their music for upcoming masses and concerts.


Dublin Windows

Windows are one of the most important parts of a building. They don’t hold it up, true, but most buildings without them are bleak. While serving a purpose, windows also showcase the character and architectural craft of a structure.

The Regent House at Trinity College Dublin holds the main entrance to the campus below these windows. Trinity has unmistakable design that is easily spotted when walking around Dublin city.


This blooming window belongs to the Old Storehouse. Located on Crown Alley in Dublin city, the Old Storehouse is known as a classic Irish bar.


Construction on the 1937 Postgraduate Reading Room was finished in 1933. Located at Trinity College Dublin it serves as a study room for only current students who are registered for postgraduate degrees. It was designed by Sir Thomas Manley Deane and later completed by Richard Caulfield Orpen.


Surrounded by activity from restaurants and shops, this building’s style stands out. It’s located on Cope Street in Dublin City.


At Trinity College Dublin, the Old Library is one of the main attractions. Located inside is an exhibit that contains the Book of Kells. Because of the damp climate of Dublin, the ground floor windows were originally arches. This made it so visitors could actually walk under the building. This protected the books inside by keeping them farther away from the wet ground. Over time, the River Liffey moved farther from campus, making the soil safe enough to build the extra floor.
Located on Anglesea Street in Dublin city, this window is part of a building that has a section that reads “Rebvilt A.D 1895.”


Eating at Trinity College Dublin’s dining hall is a unique privilege. Students who score the highest on complicated exams are awarded the title “scholar” and can eat meals here daily for free. Only about 50 students in a class of 3,000 are awarded this honor.



Along “The Narrows” at Trinity College Dublin is where many buildings with students apartments lie. These grey stone buildings with climbing ivy aren’t the average college dorm.


The Pen Corner wraps around the corner of College Green and Trinity Street in Dublin City. It’s a specialty shop for fountain pens open since 1927.


The museum building at Trinity College Dublin features designs dedicated to different fields of study. The four medallions pictured represent geology and feature the three different colors of marble that can be harvested in Ireland.


In Dublin, many tours groups gather in front of the Central Bank of Ireland.

Hello…it’s me

Hi everyone! My name is Claire and I’m a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University planning on graduating in Spring 2017. I have a double major here, Mass Communications concentrating in Public Relations and Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s studies. I also added a Business minor recently, you know, just for the fun of it. Similar to most Mass Communications majors I’m a pretty big social media nerd. I’m on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat the most frequently.

I took this picture of my best friend, Jenny, while we were at our favorite coffee shop, White Hart, talking about how we’re both going abroad this summer. She’s the person who gave me the push I needed to decide to go on this trip. Real friends are for helping you to be the best person you can be and embrace life’s adventures!

Outside of class work my passions lie in photography, volunteering in the community, and going on adventures with my dog. I first got into photography with a tiny film camera I used to take with me everywhere as a kid. Once I got my first digital camera I started to realize I could take pictures that actually looked good (!!!) by playing with settings and point of view. After taking a dark room class and then buying my first DSLR the rest was history. Now, I do some paid photo shoots here and there and I bring my camera to most cool places I go but am thankful for phone cameras getting better to fill in the gaps.

The journal I bought for this trip sitting on the front steps of my childhood home. Where I started and where I'm going.
The journal I bought for this trip sitting on the front steps of my childhood home.

I’m living off campus for the first time next year because I recently completed the VCU ASPiRE program. I made sure the place I’m living is animal friendly and decided to adopt my own dog this summer. I grew up with dogs so the day I adopted my very own was always something I thought about. My dog’s name is Hobie, he’s about a year old and I’ve had him for a little over a month. He doesn’t know it yet based on this cute face but he’s going to be really sad when I disappear for two weeks to go to Ireland.


Even as I’m preparing for this trip it still doesn’t feel real! The farthest I’ve ever been from Virginia is Wisconson. One of the coolest parts about getting ready for this trip is talking to my grandma about it. She’s so incredibly excited for me because I have this opportunity that she never did. She knows that all of her grandparents were from Ireland and specifically that one of her grandfathers was moved to England during the potato famine. He eventually came to the United States seeking religious freedom, being Irish Catholics. My grandma, still a devout Irish Catholic, was never able to visit Ireland and now at 85 is able to see it through my pictures, video, and personal experience. She’ll surely be reading this blog! Hi Nana! Here’s a video of me talking to her about her Irish roots.