Book of Life: Ireland’s treasure

by | 15 Nov 2018

Long before he became faculty, Joseph O’Gorman was a student at Trinity College. He loves welcoming Insight’s guests to the 400-year-old university and sharing his own knowledge about the remarkable Book of Kells. The illuminated gospels date back to A.D. 800 and may be the top tourist attraction in Dublin. With Joseph and his students, Insight visitors get to skip the long line for a very personal glimpse of the most famous book in Ireland.

Joseph O’Gorman.

What is the significance of Trinity College?

Throughout the history of the Irish Kingdom, the university has been a hotbed of new ideas and dissent. That tradition carries on today with students from all over the world. It’s also this island within Dublin.

What do you want Insight visitors to know about the Book of Kells?

That it’s not just a relic of the church, but a relic of all humanity. As a cultural artefact, it’s a tangible way of reaching back through history to an alien world—a way of contacting the past.

How does visiting Trinity College with you differ from the average tourist experience?

Insight guests have prioritised entry, which strips away any stress and saves time. Generally, tourists get a few facts and dates, but with Insight, we offer a true sense of belonging based on our own lived experience in the college. I can even tell you what it was like to pass my exams here!

What do visitors of Irish heritage gain by visiting Ireland?

There is more to being Irish than leprechauns. With Insight, travelers get to see past the Hollywood version of Irish culture—they understand themselves better and deepen their own sense of personal history.

Joseph O’Gorman shows Insight Vacations guests around Trinity College.

Insight Experiences, beyond sightseeing

The Book of Kells may be the most popular attraction in Ireland, which explains the lines of daily visitors that get funnelled past the famous manuscript. With Insight Vacations, travellers skip the line and visit Ireland’s historic treasure with a university professor or student. Wherever we go, we reach beyond mere sightseeing and seek a deeper level of engagement and understanding for our guests.

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We are curious about the world, and we know you are too. And it’s that curiosity and sense of adventure we aim to spark through our Insightful blog. Each month we bring you stories, interviews, awe-inspiring photography and videos from around the world – always threaded through with our expert insights and destination knowledge.