Association of Open University Graduates



Artefacts from Ulster Museum
taken by Mary Niblett

The Guildhall Londonderry
taken by Mary Niblett

Croke Park
taken by Mary Niblett

Fireside in Clare Museum
taken by Mary Niblett



Castle Coole in County Fermanagh

Photo taken by Mary Niblett



News of AOUG in Ireland (12)

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News of visits in Ireland

Belfast Area:
A visit to Ulster Museum was well supported locally. The many features of the museum provided areas of interest whatever ones taste. The three themes which provided windows on the world covered history, nature and art. In the history section you could be a forensic archaeologist, try on corselets and crinolines or discover more about Belfast’s Victorian industries. In discovering nature, one could touch a real elephant skull, look at the world under a microscope or investigate a collection of exotic insects. In the art section one had an opportunity to create one’s own work of art.

A very popular attraction was the Game of Thrones Tapestry which has been created to celebrate the series becoming part of Northern Ireland’s culture and heritage. The day was rounded off with a visit to the Botanic Gardens, the main attraction being the Palm House which contains a range of tropical plants, seasonal displays and birds of paradise. The building was designed by Sir Charles Lanyon, shaped by curved iron and glass. The gardens also contain a Tropical Ravine containing some of the oldest seed plants around today as well as cinnamon, bromeliad and orchid plants.






A short visit to Derry-Londonderry only provided a brief insight to the heritage and culture of the city. Its history dates back to 546 A D when St. Colmcille founded his first abbey. A walk of the Walls provided a unique experience to view the layout of the original town with its renaissance style street plan. In 2013 the City became the first UK City of Culture recognising its aim to become a home for the arts and education. To learn more about the City there are excellent museums to explore.







Dublin Area:
In April I was pleased to take part in the Open University’s Degree Ceremony in Dublin. It was interesting to meet co-processors from various areas of the OU. The Honorary Graduate was Phil Coulter who is an Irish musician, songwriter and record producer. The ceremony took place in Croke park which has been the home of Irish sporting life for over 100 years.










Munster Area:
A recent visit to Ennis in County Clare proved to be a both interesting and enjoyable. We met for coffee in the Old Ground Hotel which is an historic Manor House that first opened in 1895. Ennis still retains its Gaelic medieval streets. Overlooking the Square is a monument to Daniel O’Connell who is known as ‘the Liberator’ die to his dedication to Catholic Emancipation. We visited Clare Museum, and in the evening enjoyed a concert of traditional Irish music.

Mary Niblett












Visit to Castle Coole in County Fermanagh

On a recent visit to the North West of Ireland, we visited Castle Coole in County Fermanagh. This is an 18th Century ‘Mansion in a Meadow’ which was built for the first Earl of Belmory. The title originates from the original landscaping overlooking Lough Coole. The Castle stands as one of the finest examples of neo-classical architecture in Ireland. The visit comprised of a conducted tour which introduced us to the craftsmanship of the early 1800s. For example, the symmetry and mathematical precision of design, to the degree of false doors being built into the walls.

A model of the Ospey was on display, which was the sailing ship used by the family for a grand tour of the Mediterranean. We were conducted through each of the living areas down to the basement to the servant quarters which were very removed from the lavish style of upstairs living.

Mary Niblett






Executive Representative
– Mary Niblett 00353 (0)52 61 85480

North West Area - Vicky Gilfillan -