Ireland is celebrating its centenary of the Rising which led to its independance this year so it is a good time to visit. Luckily for us, our hostels are conveniently located near many of the commemorative events that will happen throughout the country.
Not only that, but because some of our hostels are heritage buildings, some of them will have direct links to the Rising and its aftermath. In this article we turn our attention to our hostels which have rebel connections with that period of Irish history.
Rebel Hostels in Wicklow
Glenmalure Hostel in County Wicklow is in mountain country. It is the perfect place to hide away from people when you don’t want to be found. This made it the perfect place for rebels. The hills and valleys have been an outpost for rebels since the English first set their eyes on colonising Ireland. Our hostel has even stronger connections with rebels. The building was originally owned by Maud Gonne who married John MacBride. He was executed by British forces during the 1916 Rising. Ownership then passed to Kathleen Lynn who was one of the main female rebels during the Rising and was among the first combatants at City Hall. In the following years she liked to retreat to Glenmalure. She donated the building to us in 1955 and since then it has been popular amongst those who rebel against city life.
Rebel Hostels in Kerry
Killarney International Hostel is a fascinating property that has always drawn the interest of rebels if not always for the right reason. At a time when the local people were starving, the local lord built this neo classical Italian style mansion to show off his style. It was perhaps not the best way of getting attention but not as bad as the next owner, land agent Sam Hussey who was notorious for evicting tenants throughout the county. When the War of Independence kicked off, the local IRA used the house as a training ground for their forces. The house was then partially burned by the republican’s forces as an attack against the Pro Treaty army during the Civil War. After the building came into our hands it became much quieter apart from the paintball course in the woods outside.
Rebel Hostels in Cork
Our latest addition to the network is located in the heart of the rebel county itself, Cork. Sheila’s Hostel was originally a school. Scoil Íte was no ordinary school. It was opened in 1916 and inspired by the non-formal education of Padraig Pearse’s St Enda’s School in Dublin. It was the first non-Church run school in Cork and it emphasised Irish history, language and culture. The school was run by Ann and Mary MacSwiney, who were themselves no strangers to the rebel cause. They were sisters of Terence McSwiney the republican mayor of Cork who died of hunger strike during the War of Independence.
Of course, the whole country was affected by the turbulent rebellions, revolutions and wars in the 20th century. Our hostel network is perfect for exploring this rich heritage. Check out all our hostels to see which ones will bring you closest to the past.