Maitiú Ó Cribin

Our guide was Maitiú Ó Cribin, a wonderful combination of historian, teacher, and busker. He has a degree in history and teaches it so he knows what he is imparting. As for the busking, that is no small comment. He has a terrific voice and can dance! A highlight of the visit to Dublin.

Marshall D, Asheville, North Carolina, September 2016

Question & Answer with Maitiú

Why do you like being a tour guide?

I really enjoy being a tour guide. It gives me a chance to meet people and to show them my wonderful city. There is a huge amount to see in Dublin and it is a pleasure to get to show it off to people from all around the world. I believe I was built to do tours of Dublin. I am a native of the city and I love explaining the little quirks we have here. Some of those include phrases like “scarlet for yah”, which means “I am embarrassed” for you. Other little things unique to Dublin and Ireland are food styles ranging from battered sausages to Guinness stew.

What are your 3 favourite characteristics of Dublin/Ireland?

Sometimes I feel Dublin sells itself. It has a very vibrant nightlife with pubs full a musicians. Pubs from The Cobblestone to Darkey Kelly’s have their own unique style to them and i think people in those bars are so welcoming. Dublin is one of the friendliest cities in the world. Lonely Planet ranked Dublin as the fourth friendliest city in the world. This is a very true statement and Irish people can be so helpful. The humour is also incredible. This can be as a result of too many pints, but the Irish “craic” can break out anywhere.

What is your most satisfying aspect of being a tour guide?

Being a tour guide is an amazing experience. I love teaching people to sing Irish songs. Sometimes I may also get a song from wherever they are from and this has enabled me to learn songs from Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland, France and many other countries.

What is the 3 main feelings you want visitors to leave Ireland with?

I want people to leave Ireland knowing they have had the best experience possible. This includes having had a great meal, a great pint, and a good Irish sessions.

What do you think is the 1 main attraction that visitors neglect the most?

National Archaeology Museum in Dublin.

What do you think is the 1 main quality/aspect of Dublin /Ireland that visitors neglect the most?

In Dublin sometimes I feel visitors do not realise have much different bars there are with music. Many arrive and only go to Temple Bar. Temple Bar can be a good experience for many, however there are no Irish people here. There are great pubs like Cobblestone, O´Donogues, and Darkey Kelly’s who also have music every day and are much cheaper.

What’s your favourite demographic and why?

My favourite demographic is Swedish or German groups. They tend to have the most interesting questions.

What are your pet peeves, personally?

The toughest tours can be those where you have a big group. Many of my best tours have been big groups. However when you have 5-6 couples and they all have a different idea of what they want from the tour, it can be tough to manage.

What sight in Dublin is your favourite, and why?

Trinity College is where I tell the best stories because I studied there myself. However Molly Malone is where a tour really kicks off for me because it gives me a chance to sing with them.

Where in Dublin is overlooked by most visitors?

Croke Park, Smithfield and Glasnevin Cemetery are often overlooked by tourists.

What of your talents/skills do you demonstrate during your tours?

I demonstrate lots of talents. I always get a song out and ask visitors to join in. I have a great speech that I do at the monument of O’Donovan Rossa.

What do you most enjoy besides tour guiding?

I love singing in pubs or singing at sessions with my family. I am a massive music fan. I also like playing Football and Hurling. I am a big sports fan and try to get to as many matches as possible.

What has surprised you recently about Dublin? What have you learned recently or came across recently, strolling through a lane you’re never walked through, or a new cinema/art gallery/scene?

I have found a new theatre on the southside near Christ Church. Tivoli Theatre used to be a place that hosted boxing games. I have talked a bit about Irish boxing culture around here. I have also mentioned Conor McGregor the MMA star.

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