Laura was born and raised in Dublin’s North inner city. Widely known as the more working class area of the city, she has seen Dublin transform from the poverty ridden 60’s to the height of the economic boom in the 90’s better known as ‘The Celtic Tiger’. Her father was one of the last coopers in Ireland, making traditional barrels for the ever present Guinness Brewery. As the oldest of five children, she took on the responsibility of helping her mother raise the younger siblings whilst attending catholic school. “It was nice, I liked it. I went to a good school and I was happy. I really had a good childhood.”
Laura worked as an air hostess for Aer Lingus before she eventually settled down with her husband and became a mum to three boys. They moved out of Dublin City and built a house on the outskirts near the Dublin Mountains. When the boys were grown up, Laura decided to pursue something she had missed out on when she was younger: attending university. She enrolled in University College Dublin and excelled in English and Art History. Enticed by her love of history, she began to buy and sell antiques. She attended markets weekly as a punter and eventually set up her own stall.
“I sell my antiques at markets, and predominately the Dublin Flea Market, which is on Sundays. It’s over in the Liberties in a place called New Market Square. There are about 100 traders and there is a variety for sale, old things, some new things, some craft things… I specialise in china, and I also have some antique, retro and vintage pieces. There is always a great buzz, you get to meet lots of interesting people. That is a good place to go to get that feeling of old Dublin, of people getting together. It is a really positive, happy vibe, and everybody’s in good humour, because we’re all making money!”
Laura’s Dublin Tips
The Best Street
Grafton Street – walking along Grafton street you get a great feeling, it’s a happy street. But it’s also nice around Fitzwilliam Square, when you look down at the Georgian facades of the houses.
The Best Restaurant
Rolys in Ballsbridge – consistently good restaurant. A little bit of fuss, a little bit of occasion, but still not hugely expensive.
The Perfect Night
That would be around Dame Street, just off from Trinity. The pubs around Trinity College have a good student atmosphere. When I go into town with my husband, we go to Nico’s, its an old Italian restaurant, we’ve gone there for years and we still love it. Afterwards, we might go into the Shelborne Hotel for a drink!
The Place to meet Locals
At the Flea market, that’s where I meet most Dublin people. Also, Bewleys has now reopened in Dublin, which is a famous coffee shop on Grafton street. You can go and chat to the waitresses and even the people next to you at the tables, its that kind of place.
The Art Hotspot
I would recommend to go to the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barricks, which is like the V&A Museum in London and they have a wide spectrum of Irish items and foreign items. It’s a great museum and its free. And I love the James Joyce Museum, which is in Dalkey!
My Dublin Song
Phil Lynott – ‘Old Town’
Listen to Laura’s favourite Dublin song on our TakeOffTalk Dublin Playlist!