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This is an online diary of my latest trip to Ireland.
Dennis J. Ahern

Saturday, March 5th

Saturday morning I headed off the National Library, aiming to get there when they opened at 10:00. I ended up coming down Molesworth St. just as the minivans were disgorging the TIARA research group on the steps of Buswell's Hotel so I stopped in to make sure Mary Ellen [Grogan] got the brochures and material I picked up at the Gilbert Library. I had no fear of beating the crowd to the Library. After an Irish breakfast I think they all crashed in their rooms to recover from the jet-lag. At least I never did see any of them show up before the NLI closed at 1:00.

The nice thing about Saturday is the sound of jackhammers is replaced by the call of seagulls cruising about. I don't know what they're working on but it seems like every time I have been there in the past few years there is a constant drilling and banging going on.

I still had half an hour before the doors opened so I went down around the corner to the Kilkenny Dept. Store on Nassau St. They have a nice cafeteria on the 1st (USA read "2nd") floor and I had a nice buttered scone and a pot of tea as I watched the people going by across the street. There was a bus waiting to board some orchestral group and two girls with enormous cellos or something strapped to their backs had the appearance of strange insects struggling along bringing some prize food back to the nest.

As I was getting ready to leave the Library at the end of the day a young woman noticed the name on the reader's ticket hanging around my neck and asked if I was "THE" Dennis Ahern. She turned out to be from the States and was familiar with the TIARA website. In fact, she has some websites of her own that she runs, including, which I'm relieved to see I have a link to on the links.html page. She joined me for lunch at the Kilkenny cafeteria and we talked shop for a good bit. It turns out she will be going to the Galway conference where I am speaking. And it turns out we're booked into the same hostel in Galway for that Sunday night so that means we can maybe share a ride back from Oranmore.
Saturday afternoon I went to the Irish Film Center and saw a new Australian film called "Somersault". Then back to the hostel where later that night I ended up hanging out in the TV room, which was pretty uncrowded it being a Saturday night. There was only one other guy there at one point, a German of middle age, and as we watched a BBC documentary on the D-Day landings at Normandy it occurred to me that he might have a different perspective when they showed dead bodies in German uniforms. I though it worth discussing and we had a lengthy conversation on the nature of wars then and now. Irish Film Centre
Irish Film Centre

For the first time since I settled into my room at the hostel I had a roommate. But all I saw were a pair of shoes and the body that went with them didn't turn in until after I had gone to sleep.


When I met Mary Ellen at the Library Wednesday night she informed me that TIARA did not "crash" at the hotel on Saturday. The reason I did not see them was that the NLI had a reception for them in another part of the Library so they could all get their reader's tickets so as to be ready to go on Monday. A well-thought out plan, I would say.
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