Blogs: Richard Weber

Monday, March 10, 2014

Breakfast was served at the River Court Hotel and included with the cost of the room. I had fried eggs sunny side up, Irish bacon – which is more like a thin sliced boneless pork chop, sausage links, baked beans, and fresh fruit salad, followed by a large glass of orange juice. After breakfast, it was onto our first scheduled event for the day.

We were visited at the hotel by a representative of ConnectIreland.com. Their mission is to use the network of disbursed citizens to drive foreign direct investment in Ireland and help build the Irish economy. The government of Ireland realizing the valuable efforts being made by this not for profit group has stepped –up and offers a 1500 Euro reward in two annual installments for each sustainable job. This money goes to the person or organization which refers the expanding business to ConnectIreland.com. Their goal is to generate 5000 jobs in 5years. Two years in to this project they have corrected slightly less than half their goal.

We then moved to our next experience of the day, which took us about three blocks from the hotel to the Kilkenny Design Workshop. This workshop program was developed to help restore the crafts of the Irish back to previous levels. To meet this task they employed a Scandinavian consulting firm to evaluate the then present craftsperson, develop and lead a training program for Irish artisans. Several of the course graduates now operate very success craft businesses in the area surrounding Kilkenny . Following this second activity we were released into town to explore and have lunch with a deadline to meet the bus at 1 p.m. so we could move to activity three- Intel Ireland.

After an enjoyable bus ride of about 90 minute which include approximately thirty minutes of sing-a-long to such popular hits as “Friends in Low Places”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Gangster’s Paradise”, “Piano Man”, “Jack and Diane”, “9 to 5”, and others we arrived at Intel’s Ireland location. Once we each received our visitor badges we were taken t a third floor classroom. We were given tea and biscuits to enjoy while listening to the operations overview given by a 10 year employee of Intel. She described the operations and explained quite nicely the way in which a 12 inch silicon wafer is converted into a collection of about 500 microprocessor chips. As the facility was undergoing substantial remodeling we were not able to see any of the production areas at work. After a brief question and answer session we returned to the bus to travel on to Dublin.

The bus ride took about an hour but had many interesting buildings and site for the group to see on the ride in. We checked into our rooms and were released for the evening. After calling home and talking with my family I went out for a walk around town to visit some of the local sights before stopping to have a sandwich and fries at a local eatery. I was able to walk dock side of and take a photo of a replica tall ship similar to the ones used by those escaping the famine in the 19th century. I also took pictures of several bridges as they all were variations on the drawbridge theme, some rotated while others lifted to allow for shipping traffic. I then walked back toward town from the water front and walk the beautiful campus of Trinity College. It has several large cut stone block buildings and several nice green spaces for students to enjoy while attending classes there. After my three hour self-guided walking tour of Dublin I returned to the hotel for the evening only to find the live band playing below my room does end their final set until after 2 a.m.