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National Museum of Ireland
Collins Barracks could be said to be the National Museum of Ireland's largest artifact, having had a unique history all of its own in another life.
It now completes the picture for the National Museum in Dublin and joins the two already famous buildings in the possession of the Museum.
Collins Barracks has been completely renovated and restored to become the National Museum of Decorative Arts and History - charting Ireland's economic, social, political and military progress through the ages.
Artifacts on display range from silver, ceramic and glassware pieces to weaponry, furniture, examples of folk life and costume. All of these are displayed with imagination in innovative and contemporary galleries, which entice you to go further, look harder and examine more closely.
Dear Tony ~
Thank you for your Note. We arrived back in California last Friday evening and are now emerging from the jet lag fog. Thank you for checking in to be certain that all was going well while we were in Ireland. I appreciate your asking for feedback. I was planning to write to you.
First let me mention that John Fleming, our driver/guide, was superb. We thoroughly enjoyed his company throughout the week. He was consistently punctual, flexible and unfailingly courteous. He offered wonderful suggestions about places we might like to see. When he offered suggestions he never pressed us to follow his recommendations. But he was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable that we quickly discovered we especially enjoyed all that he suggested. Since John is from County Kerry he gave us a wonderful perspective, from many points of view, about the area. Also, we never had concern about his driving skills. We feel ourselves very fortunate to have made John's acquaintance and to have been in his very capable hands for seven days.
We so enjoyed the variety of accommodations you arranged for us, Tony. Hayfield Manor, Loch Lein Country Hotel and Ballynahinch Castle all were superb and their staffs welcoming, friendly, and helpful. Each property was furnished beautifully and we felt well cared for and relaxed at each place. The one disappointment was Hotel Gresham in Dublin. This hotel was so far below the caliber of the others that we were happy we had only one night there. I assure you that the staff at Hotel Gresham were very nice and helpful, but our room was totally lackluster. David looked at some of the other vacant rooms on the floor and noted that at least our room was larger than others. The furnishings were 1960's utilitarian, non-distinctive (think Soviet era blockhouse architectural style). We overlooked the roof and ventilation system of the building next door. The bathroom was big enough for one only. After our experience at Ballynahinch and other places this accommodation was a low point. I would not recommend that you reserve at this hotel for others.
Believe me, Tony, our disappointment with the Dublin hotel in no way affected our overall experience of the tour you arranged. Thank you very much for all the effort you put into making certain that we were pleased with your arrangements. I will mention your request for photos/videos to David to see if he has something to contribute to your website. Also, I am willing to be a "solid reference" for you and Irish Tourism if someone who is thinking of booking with you would like to talk with a person who has experienced your service.
Thank you again, Tony. You and John made our visit to Ireland a truly memorable experience.
David Sachs, Palo Alto, CA