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River Liffey: the Great Divide

Posted by: Joseph Kelly | September 26, 2017 | No Comment |

by Abrie Richison

The River Liffey is a river in middle of Dublin, Ireland that flows through the center of the city, separating the Northside and the Southside. This river is significant because of its attraction, placement, and references in books and films.

One of the first sights I saw when first exploring Dublin was the River Liffey. It is a beautiful river with eclectic buildings and streets tracing both of its sides. People are often seen taking pictures of the river and pictures of themselves in front of the river. Because of its attraction, it has become an important sight to see when visiting Ireland.
Along with its attraction, the River Liffey is mentioned in many pieces of Irish literature. One of these is Dubliners by James Joyce. Within Dubliners there is a short story titled “An Encounter” which follows two thrill-seeking boys on their journey for adventure. In this story, the boys cross the river in a ferry boat, moving from north to south. Their adventure consists of ditching school, crossing the river, and ultimately experiencing culture shock, explaining the true division that the River Liffey provides.

While Dubliners mentions the river, films do as well. One film that features the river is Michael Collins (1996) directed by Neil Jordan. This film follows Michael Collins (Liam Neeson), the famous Irish revolutionary. Also, featured in the film is a man named Harry Boland (Adrian Quinn) who is killed while trying to swim across the River Liffey.
While traveling around Ireland and seeing all of the beautiful sights, I have come to understand the importance behind many of these attractions. The River Liffey is more than just a beautiful river running through the city; it has deeper meanings and significance to the people living in Ireland.

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