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Thank You, Dublin!

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A belated thank you to BC’s hosts at the Aer Lingus College Football Classic

Aer Lingus College Football Classic Ireland 2016 Photo by Patrick Bolger/Getty Images

The Aer Lingus College Football Classic itself ended in heartbreak for Boston College, but for BC fans who made the trip, we’ll always carry with us warm memories of how we were welcomed by the City of Dublin, Trinity College, Guinness, other sponsors, and the people of Ireland.

My BCI compatriot Grant and I just returned to the U.S. after an extended trip after the game, hence why this post is coming a little belatedly. But I wanted to reach out and share my appreciation to those responsible for making this event special.

I’m not sure how big this game felt back in the US, but in Ireland, they truly rolled out the red carpet and made this feel like a major event. Signs of the game were everywhere in Dublin, and the local population really seemed to embrace hosting it (not surprising, giving the famous Irish hospitality, which is very much a real thing).

Trinity College was an incredible host to both BC and Georgia Tech fans. The school made full use of its gorgeous, historic campus, setting up a number of events, games, exhibitions, concession stands and bar areas that allowed fans to soak in the atmosphere of downtown Dublin. With their campus decked out in BC vs. GT paraphernalia, it was hard not to have a “big game” feel building up to it.

We’d like to give a special shoutout to the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, which winds its way through Trinity and other spots in the middle of the city; operating nightly, the literary pub crawl is “performed” by two actors, taking you in to the pubs that housed great Irish writers like Beckett and Yeats, acting out famous scenes before allowing you to go in and enjoy a pint. It was well worth the experience for anyone traveling to the city.

Additionally, the Guinness Storehouse was one of those rare tourist attractions that completely lives up to the hype. It’s part interactive exhibit, part industrial museum with some very cool history, and part, well, beer; the whole experience is truly a joy, and is capped off with a free drink on a top-floor bar surrounded by windows overlooking the city.

The people at Guinness were particularly welcoming to us at BCI, for which we are much appreciative; having reached out in advance, they helped arrange for us a tour of the facility and reservations in their 1837 Bar & Brasserie, a snazzy new dining spot that pairs Guinness with food in unique and delicious ways.

Aviva Stadium staff were also incredibly welcoming to BC and GT fans, and did a great job of both making the game feel huge and also making us feel at home with the game presentation. They also allowed you to bring beer from the concession stands in to the seats — traditionally, not something allowed at the stadium in that part of the world. Talk about adapting to your American audience! ;)

The Dublin experience was a truly memorable one for traveling fans, and I think I speak for most who made the trip in saying that I hope it happens again. Thanks, Dublin!