☘️ 🇮🇪 Exploring Cork City from your Cruise Ship; the Stress-Free Guide.

Arriving in Cork by cruise ship and wish to get out and explore everything Cork city has to offer?

Cork is a wonderful walking city. It’d be a shame to see it from the back of a bus. However, the question remains; how do you have a stress-free visit to Cork City from your cruise ship and get back on-time?

Whether you wish to take the TripAdvisor 5-star rated Rebel City Tour of Cork or not. You can use this guide to experience everything this city has to offer.

Staying connected on your phone in Cork

First, you’ll need a data plan in Ireland in order to access these online directions, hail a cab in an emergency, communicate over WhatsApp etc. The best solution is to spend $5 on an eSIM data plan that is easy to use and great value for money.

For more information on this offer, check out our article…

Fool-proof step-by-step directions to the city center on your phone

NB: Google Map directions can get a little erratic – especially around water. So as you approach the River Lee, expect some jumpiness in terms of location tracking. Cross the river, head into the City.

OK. So you have a data plan for Cork, Ireland. Next simply follow these simple directions when you depart your cruise ship in the port village of Cobh (pronounced Cove).

  1. The train station in Cobh is a 3 min walk away from the Port. Walk to the train station.

    Directions from Cruise Port Terminal to Train Station
  2. Take the train station straight into Cork main station (Kent Station). The train usually departs every 30 mins or so but on weekends this can be less regular. The journey usually lasts 28 mins. Follow this link on your phone when you arrive in Cork and you’re departing your ship.

    Google Map directions to Cork City center

    Double check the train timetable using the official train company’s online timetable beforehand just to be sure…

    Rail Company’s Timetable (up to date)
  3. Once you arrive in Cork station, follow the step-by-step directions (above) via Google Maps to the center of Cork City (and the Rebel City Tour starting point). This leg of the journey by foot takes around 18 mins (however leave at least an extra 20 mins just in case).

    The Rebel walking tour of Cork takes around 80 mins and ends near the starting point. You can find a description of the tour here.

    Rebel City Walking Tour of Cork
  4. Explore Cork city using our Rebel’s Guide to Cork after or before the tour.

    Local’s Guide to Cork City
  5. Simply press this link to take you back to Cobh station and your cruise ship.

    Directions from Cork City back to Cobh Cruise Terminal

That’s it guys! Stress free directions to and from Cork city so you can explore Cork and get the absolute most from your time in this wonderful city.

Back up plan?

When it comes to something as important as making your cruise ship. You’ll need a backup plan just in case something goes wrong, right?

Don’t worry, we have you covered. If you are running short on time, you wish to spend more time at a particular attraction or something else happens. Use this cab hailing app to hail an app in Cork city or beyond.

Install Ireland’s most popular Cab Hailing App

The cab journey should take less than 30mins depending on traffic. You can pay using the app online.


We hope you enjoy your time in Cork city – Ireland’s Rebel City. We’d also love to see you on our fun and exciting Rebel City Walking Tour of Cork.

If you follow these directions, you’ll be able to find your way no problem. Save this page in your browser or just get in touch and we’ll WhatsApp and/or SMS you the details in this guide so you’ll definitely have them on your phone.

We’re always looking to make things easier for our guests, so please let us know in the comments whether this guide helped you in Cork?

☘️ 🇮🇪 Irish Language (Gaelic) Flashcards

Sample Irish flashcards. Free to download and use…

These flashcards have been compiled by Dara at Rebel City Tours. I hope they help you in learning Gaelic Irish.

1: Hello – dia ghuit (Irish language spelling)

2: Cheers – slainte

3: Welcome – céad míle fáilte

4: Fun – craic

5: Fun and music – craic agus ceoil

6: Good Night – oíche mhaith

7: Goodbye – slán

8: How are you? – conas atá tú?

9: Please – le du hoil

9: Thank You – go raibh maith agat

10:Irish-language Region – gaeltacht

11: Kiss my ass – póg mo thóin

☘️ 🇮🇪 Why is Cork called the ‘Rebel City’?

Cork City, located in the south of Ireland, is often referred to as the “rebel city.” The nickname is rooted in the city’s long and storied history of rebellion and resistance against British rule.

We talk about Cork’s ‘Rebel City’ status in length on the Rebel City Walking Tour of Cork. This article merely serves as an introduction. Enjoy

Perkin Warbeck

One of the most famous episodes in Cork’s rebellious history took place in the late 15th century, when a man named Perkin Warbeck arrived in Ireland claiming to be Richard, Duke of York, the younger of the two “Princes in the Tower” who were famously murdered in the 15th century. Warbeck was supported by several Irish nobles, who saw him as a potential ally against the English monarch, King Henry VII.

Hear about Perkin Warbeck on the Rebel City Tour

Cork becomes the ‘Rebel City’

Warbeck made his way to Cork City, where he was received with open arms by the city’s citizens. He was welcomed as a prince and was given a royal reception, complete with parades, feasts, and gifts. The people of Cork saw Warbeck as a symbol of hope and a chance to throw off the yoke of English rule.

Despite their support, Warbeck’s campaign ultimately failed, and he was captured by the English and executed in 1499. But the episode left a lasting impression on the people of Cork, who saw themselves as a city that was willing to stand up against English tyranny.

Over the centuries, Cork has continued to be associated with rebellion and resistance. During the Irish War of Independence in the early 20th century, Cork City was a hotbed of activity for the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which fought to end British rule in Ireland.

MacCurtain's Luger War of Independence
MacCurtain’s Luger during the war of independence

The city saw some of the most intense fighting of the war, including the burning of the city center by British forces in 1920. The city also played a key role in the Easter Rising of 1916, which was a precursor to the Irish War of Independence.

The Rebel City’s ‘Joan of Arc’

Cork was home to many famous rebels during this war, including Mary Bowles, known as “Cork’s Joan of Arc“. Cork Gaol (Jail) played host to many famous rebels. For more info on Cork during the War of Indpendence, including Cork’s most famous love-story, take the Rebel City Tour of Cork.

The spirit of resistance and rebellion that has defined Cork City for centuries lives on today. The city continues to be a center of political activism and cultural pride, with a vibrant arts scene and a strong tradition of community organizing.

In conclusion, Cork City is known as the “rebel city” due to its long history of rebellion and resistance against British rule, with the Perkin Warbeck episode being a significant event. This spirit of resistance and rebellion has become a defining characteristic of the city, and it continues to inspire the people of Cork to fight for their rights and freedoms.

☘️ 🇮🇪 SIM Card in Ireland | Stay connected on your phone | The Ultimate guide.

So, you’re travelling to Ireland? Whether this visit to the Emerald Isle is a dream vacation or a routine business trip. You may need a new SIM card in Ireland to stay connected at a reasonable cost.

None of the links on this page are sponsored!

Pro Tip: You WILL need an Internet connection for your phone in Ireland. A good solution in terms of value-for-money, ease-of-use and data allowance is a $5 per week eSIM mobile data plan by Airalo.com. For more info click here. Contact Airalo only for support, installation instructions and purchase details.

Do you need a new SIM card in Ireland?

In this article we’ll cover everything you need to know to stay connected while travelling in Ireland (and other countries). Including how to get the best value for money from your foreign phone plan. The pros and cons of your different connections options.

Also including pro tips to help you travel and connect like a pro-traveller. And not get caught out with bills for thousands of dollars/euros/pounds when you return to your home country.

Why do you need to stay connected?

You may need to stay in contact with family and friends at home, or ask Google to recommend things to do or restaurants nearby, or arrange a meeting time and place for an activity or walking tour, or god-forbid you may need to contact emergency services or a breakdown service for your car. There are too many examples of the importance of an internet and phone connection while travelling, to list here.

Why purchasing a new SIM card in Ireland can save you money.

You are making an international phone call whenever you ring someone with a foreign phone number. Let’s take an example to demonstrate our point.

Eg. Tom runs a restaurant in Cork city called Veggie Paradise. Arnold from California reserves a table. Arnold’s train however is late and he needs to ring Tom, the restaurant owner, to change the reservation.

If Arnold calls Tom from inside Ireland using his phone, he is still making an international phone call even though the two men are in the same country. Ditto for the opposite direction. If Tom needs to inform his guest Arnold of a change in dining plans. He’ll need to ring a Californian number and make an international call.

This means extra charges and hassle for both men. This is a guide on how to avoid this scenario and stay connected to the Internet in Ireland at local data rates at the same time.

The Technical Bit

To fully understand this guide, the best way to stay connected in Ireland and the advantages of buying a SIM card in Ireland.

I’m going to give you a brief introduction into the world of internet and phone networks. This is just an outline, I’ll try not to get overly specific.

Internet Phone vs Phone Network

It’ll help, for the purposes of this article, to distinguish between Internet phone (VOIP) services and regular phone network calls.

If you use WhatsApp/Skype/Viber to make voice-calls only. Then you are using the Internet as a phone service. This is a good idea for travellers as it is almost always better value for money than a phone network call using your phone for international calls.


Roaming means you are using your phone outside of your home country. Eg. John is from New York. He travels to Ireland for vacation for two weeks. He needs his phone and Internet connectivity for his phone while in Ireland.

John knows that using his carrier’s US plan in Ireland could mean that he’s hit with a bill for hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars by his carrier when he gets home. He needs an international phone plan especially for Ireland.

John contacts his carrier (eg. T-Mobile) and purchases a ‘roaming’ plan especially for Ireland. John then continues to use his phone as normal in Ireland without being at risk of massive charges when he gets home.

This roaming plan means John doesn’t need a new SIM card in Ireland. However, it can work out as being quite expensive.

Wifi vs Mobile Data

Let’s distinguish between WIFI and Mobile Data. You can think of WIFI as borrowing someone else’s internet connection eg. your hotel’s connection, a connection in a pub, restaurant or library. Wifi is usually protected by password but is a general open connection for anyone in the vicinity with their phone.

WiFi is a free Internet connection. Once you’re on WIFI you can use the Internet for free.

Mobile Data on the other hand is what kicks in when you are out of range of a WIFI connection. This mobile data is provided by your phone network carrier. Mobile data is metered ie. charged by amount used.

In your home country, your mobile data plan might be unlimited and great value for money. However, when you travel abroad, this mobile data plan often becomes expensive. Since you are a guest on a foreign mobile network. You have to pay extra.

There are ways around paying through the nose for your mobile data plan abroad however. Read on for more info.

What’s a SIM card?

We’ll mention SIM cards in this article a lot. Specifically SIM cards in Ireland.

So, let’s explain exactly what a SIM card is. A SIM card is like the brains of your phone. Your phone may be manufactured by Apple, Samsung, Google, Huawei etc.

However your phone network provider eg. T-Mobile, Orange, Three supply you with this small electronic chip which helps your phone connect to their phone network and provides you with Internet, phone and SMS connection.

Tethering/Hotspotting your Phone

Did you know that your mobile phone can serve as a portable internet connection for other devices? Turning on your mobile/cell phone’s hotspot connection means other devices eg. laptops, TV’s, other phones can use your phone’s internet connection.

This is a great idea if your group have multiple phones and only one of them has a great data plan in your destination. Simply connect (tether) your other devices to the primary phone and use its internet connection for the group.

This primary phone can still make calls and use internet while functioning as a hotspot device.

Which Web services are the most expensive to use while travelling?

So, you may plan on using Google to search for experiences nearby while in Ireland. Or maybe you’ll be watching NetFlix to keep up with your favourite show. Some web services / websites are alot more bandwidth-hungry than others ie. cost a lot more money to use for you.

Let’s a have a look here in terms of descending order of cost of services.

$$$$$ NetFlix, YouTube, Zoom or any video-based service including video conferencing, watching TikTok, YouTube videos and Facebook shorts.

$$$$ Computer games

$$ Google searches including web pages and images

$$ WhatApp, Skype or any VOIP (Internet Phone) services where you talk to others over your Internet connection by voice-only

$ Email, notifications, WhatApp messages or any text-based service

Options for staying connected

Let’s go through the four main options for staying connected in Ireland on your mobile phone. These are the four main solutions you’ll want to consider for your Irish travels.

Option 1: eSIM for your phone

An eSIM is a piece of software that allows you to override your SIM card on your phone with a new SIM card. The beauty of an eSIM is that you don’t have to go to the trouble of actually replacing your physical SIM card in your phone. You can just install the eSIM instead and use a data plan from your destination country.

So what do this mean? This means you can use an Irish internet connection on the go while in Ireland. You simply scan the QR code or click the web URL. Install the software or app. Then your phone should automatically switch to the Irish network when you arrive in Ireland.

You get Irish data rates, a stable Irish internet connection and you could save thousands in unexpected charges from your home network carrier.

The best eSIM provider in our experience is Airalo.com. Their Irish data plans start from a few Euros per day and can save you a lot of money.

Option 2: switching your SIM card in Ireland

Switching your SIM card in Ireland from your home carrier to an Irish network carrier one is also an option. This method provides you with full access to the Irish phone network including Internet, call and SMS.

This option however, has drawbacks. First, when you switch your SIM card in Ireland, your phone number changes, so you’ll have to supply your contacts with your new phone number unless you are using an internet phone app like WhatsApp.

Next, your phone will need to be unlocked by your network carrier and be capable of being fitted with a new SIM card in Ireland. If you’re phone isn’t unlocked by your carrier, you won’t be able to fit a new SIM card in Ireland- simple as that.

Also, you’ll need to remember to pack a small pin-like tool in order to access your phone’s SIM card tray.

Finally, you may find yourself losing, scratching or damaging your original SIM card in Ireland on your travels. This would mean that your original phone number might be in jeopardy and could be a major hassle.

Option 3: Purchase a roaming data plan from your phone provider

Many phone network carriers allow their customers to purchase data roaming plans for their phone while they travel abroad. This means you can use your phone’s internet connection, calls and SMS while in your destination country.

While this may seem to be the ideal option. Roaming plans can work out as being quite expensive. A roaming plan from a US phone network for example can cost up to $15 / day. So, for a group of 6 people, all on a roaming plan for a 14-day vacation. The cost would add up to $1260 for the group.

Option 4: A portable router

A portable router or internet device is an internet connection that fits in your pocket. You can connected all your devices to this portable router. Simply pop in an Irish SIM card and you are good to go.

This portable router provides an internet data plan only. Calls and SMSs are still charged at an international rate so be careful

Purchase portable router amazon

Choosing a carrier for your SIM card in Ireland

Choosing an Irish phone network provider is easy. To get a prepaid SIM card, simply walk into any phone shop in the airport or in an urban area. Present your passport and cash and you’ll be provided with a SIM card and instructions on how to fit the card to your device or portable router.

Don’t forget, with a prepaid SIM you’ll need to know how to top-up the balance for when you run out of data. Ask the nice salesperson in the shop to help you.

All Irish phone network providers have great coverage. For a full glimpse of coverage in Ireland pls. follow this link…

Link to mobile network coverage in Ireland

Powering your phone

Don’t forget you’ll need to keep your phone powered up in order to use it. In Ireland we use 3-pin plugs and run 220 Volts power in our electricity network.

If you come from North America you’ll need an adapter in addition to your power cables.

Purchase a US to UK adapter

You can also charge your phone using your car’s power supply. Use this adapter if your car doesn’t have a USB charge port.

Link to car charger

It’s always handy to have a powerbank or two to hand for emergencies. Powerbanks are portable power supplies you can use to keep your devices powered up.

Brexit and your SIM card in Ireland

For travelers from the UK, Brexit means that you no longer have access to European phone networks at a better value for money rate.

For foreign travellers travelling to the UK from Europe. This means that you’ll need a specific data plan for the UK. Your European data plan may not cover the UK. Remember, Northern Ireland is part of the UK and not part of Ireland or the European Union.

Contact your phone network provider or purchase a UK eSIM data plan from Airalo.com

Purchase an eSIM to use your phone in Ireland

Backing up your phone

You just never know on your travels whether your phone might get stolen, lost, damaged etc. Always backup your phone before you set out the door on your journey.

The best way to back up your phone is to use your phone’s operating system provider ie. if you have an Apple Phone then back up to the Apple iCloud. If you have an Android device, then back up to Google Cloud.

The importance of geolocation

Using geolocation on your phone is also a great idea. The little link that pops up on your phone asking whether Google or Apple can have access to your location data – usually for your location on a map.

Geolocation can also be used for groups of people to keep track of each other’s physical location so they don’t get lost and seperated in a crowd. An especially important feature if you have kids and they have a phone.

Allowing geolocation is always a good idea – to Google Maps and Apple Maps only though, not to random websites and apps you don’t know.


I hope you found this guide to connecting your phone to the internet in Ireland useful.

At the end of the day, I’d choose the eSIM option when i’m travelling to Ireland and i want to stay connected on my phone.

Remember you’ll need to backup your phone and keep it charged in Ireland.

Lastly and most importantly the emergency services phone number in Ireland is 112. So if you need an ambulance, fire service or police or any other emergency service. Make sure you have this number saved in your phone.

Go neiri on bothar leat (may the road rise to meet you)

☘️ 🇮🇪 Budget travel Cork city – 10 tips for the independent traveller!

Top tips for budget travel Cork City

So you’re planning a trip of a lifetime to the city of Cork?

You might have heard about the friendly people, the easy-going pace of life and the outstanding attractions in the city.

While it’s certainly possible to do Cork city on a budget and have a great time. There are a few things you’ll need to know. With a little careful planning and doing some homework before you arrive, you’ll find that experiencing Cork city on a budget is both worthwhile and easy.

Check out the following 10 budgeting tips, which will save you a load of cash on your travels in the city. And while saving money is wonderful, you’ll also want to experience everything the city has to offer.

That’s why designing your own tour of the city and experiencing the real, hidden Cork city with Rebel City Tours is such a great idea! First though, read on…

10 Budget travel tips for Cork City

Check out the following tips to make the most of your time in Cork city…

  1. Travel light

    Always travel light. You don’t have to go all hard-core backpacker and pack only 3 changes of clothes. However, you should be aware – the more you pack, the more you spend.

    And the more you pack the more difficulty you’ll have getting around. Which means more taxis, car hire and parking charges and more expensive accommodation closer to airports, train stations in the city center. Generally, you’ll get less bang for your buck!

    You’ll also be paying more of your precious cash for excess baggage charges on your flight to Ireland.

    Moral of the story: pack as light as possible.

  2. Shop for food at local supermarkets

    Cork city is a great walking city. It’s small, compact and has everything you’ll need within walking distance of the city centre. Our local supermarkets sell an abundance of cheap, nutritious food, including sandwiches, fruit, vegetables and sometimes hot meats eg. chicken, turkey and hamburgers etc.

    Ask a local to point you in the direction of Tesco on Paul Street in the city center. Any Aldi, Lidl or Dunnes Stores store will also do.

  3. Stock up your carry bag

    You’re travelling light, right? Well, you can leave your bags at your accommodation. However, you’ll want to stock your carry backpack or bag with healthy, nutritious food from the supermarket for when you get hungry.

    Make sure to purchase a large bottle of water along with foods high in protein to keep you fuller, longer eg. cheese, protein bars, chicken slices along with fruit for snacks.

  4. Choose your transport carefully

    Only you’ll know which mode of transport suits you best. You can check out our blog post on everything you’ll need to know about renting a car in Ireland for more info on renting a car.

    You should definitely consider public transport for travelling between cities and around city centres. You can find more info on Ireland’s public transport websites here. It might be possible to see everything on your list using trains, planes and car-sharing or taxi automobiles.

  5. Visit free attractions in Cork city

    There are tons of free things to do in Cork city, including stunning cathedrals, harry-potter-like university buildings, ancient churches, modern museums and parks with outstanding scenery and museums.

    All of the above attractions are either free or cost very little. All are within walking or cycling distance of the city centre. Don’t miss out on these outstanding attractions. For more info check out our blog post on outstanding things to do in Cork city.

  6. Save on accommodation

    One simple way to save on accommodation is to stay in a local hostel. Advantages include kitchen facilities included in the price and reasonable rates.

    Many people might not be comfortable staying in a dorm, though. And some hostels aren’t very quiet at night. On the other hand, you’ll get to meet and share tips with fellow travellers, which can be invaluable for saving money and getting the most out of your journey.

  7. Don’t scrimp on insurance

    Travel insurance can seem like a luxury to those on a tight budget. The reality is however that travellers get caught out all the time eg. cancelled flights, medical bills, stolen bags etc.

    We’d recommend purchasing travel insurance before leaving your home.

  8. Alcohol and drinking budget

    If you’re a drinker, then you’re probably planning on having a few pints in a local Irish bar at some stage. This experience is highly recommended and is a great way of soaking up some local culture. The only downside if you’re drinking all night long is – it can be expensive.

    There are many off-licences in Cork city center which sell cans of beer and bottles of wine. Drinking on the street is discouraged though. If you’re short on funds and feel like drinking in a bar, then you could always consider the Linenweaver on Paul Street.

    There are tons of great authentic Irish bars in the city. Check out Sin É for live Irish trad. (traditional music), Mutton Lane Inn for the quintessential local pub atmosphere in the city centre and if you are into clubs and live music, check out the Crane Lane.

  9. Write down your expenses

    Some travellers find that writing down all their daily expenses is a great way of keeping track of where you are spending your cash. If you don’t have the time or inclination to write down your purchases, then consider reviewing your banking app a few times a day and/or keeping your receipts for the day.

  10. Don’t overdo it

    Our last tip is more of a piece of advice than a money-saving tip. The whole point of saving money on food, drink and accommodation is that you get to spend more of your budget on the things that’ll make your experience in Ireland memorable.

    Don’t forget to experience everything the wonderful city of Cork has to offer on your visit.

The more you save, the further you go!

This particular phrase can be useful for travellers to remember. While you should plan to go over budget on your Irish trip. You don’t have to break the bank either. Follow these simple tips, and you’ll have an enjoyable, once-in-a-lifetime, memorable trip to Ireland.

You might also wish to design your own day tour of Cork city using some of the money you’ve saved with the tips in this article. At Rebel City Tours, we specialize in creating outstanding experiences for free & independent travellers. Join us and have an adventure of a lifetime.



☘️ 🇮🇪 Useful links for travelers to Ireland – transport, tourism and government websites.

We’re often asked the same questions at RebelCityTours.com. What’s the transport system like in Ireland? How do I get around? What’s the best mode of transport to get from A to B?

Well, we’ve decided to compile a list of all the Irish website links you’ll need. Whether you want to know how to get to-and-from the airport. How to get a taxi in Ireland. Or how long you’ll be waiting for a bus in a city center location. Our links will help.

First though, if you’re planning on renting a car in Ireland, you won’t want to miss our Everything You Need To Know About Renting A Car In Ireland blog post and downloadable guide and checklist.

Transport links:

Check out our essential transport links for the Republic and Northern Ireland.

Tourism links:

Travelers come to Ireland to explore the landscape, history, and culture and soak up the cead mile failte or one-hundred thousand welcomes the country is famous for.

Below is a list of tourism websites covering everything from Monastic Ireland to National Trails to official government websites packed with information.

If you’re thinking about travelling to Ireland as a free & independent traveler. Then these links are a great place to start.

Government Websites:

These are just a few websites from the Irish government that may interest the traveler to Ireland.

Cost of Living Guide:

Finding info. on flights, car rental and hotels are the easy part. Budgeting for your trip Is a good bit harder e.g. how much is a pint of Guinness in a local bar in Cork? How much does it cost to fill your car with gas (petrol)?

The site below will answer all of your questions…


We hope you enjoy your time in Ireland and find these links useful. They only serve as a starting point for your research.

If you’re a free & independent traveler and you wish to experience authentic, memorable, once-in-a-lifetime Irish experiences, you’ll want to tell your friends about. Then check out our website RebelCityTours.com.

Design your own private tours at Rebel City Tours. We specialize in creating experiences for the free & independent traveler.


☘️ 🇮🇪 Cork City’s Joan of Arc; A teenage war hero who took on an empire.

The name’s Bowles, Mary Bowles…

What occupies the mind of your average teenage girl these days? Posting selfies on Instagram, reading teen mags, hanging out with their boyfriends? 

Mary Bowles wasn’t your average teenage girl. Mary was a machine gun-toting, armour-plate-wearing, empire-crushing War of Independence fighter. A teenage female Volunteer from Clogheen village in Co. Cork, Ireland. A little over 100 years ago.

When Mary, otherwise known as “the pride of Clogheen“, wasn’t carrying around automatic weapons or doodling machine gun parts on the walls of her prison cell, which we’ll come to later. She liked to spend her time riding her horse at full-gallop through groups of occupying British soldiers on patrol in her area. Riding so hard that they’d have to jump out of the way to avoid getting ridden over.

Engaging in the sort of activities that would cause child social services to spit out their coffee mid-gulp in shock. 

BTW, that’s Miss Bowles to you…

Miss Bowles (16 years old) was at home one day when a British counter-insurgency operation swooped down on her village in Clogheen and started a house-to-house operation to search for weapons. 

While most grown men would be wetting their britches at the thought of the Black-and-Tans (see below) kicking down their door and finding automatic weapons in their house. Mary swung into action – she knew exactly what she had to do – stash the weapons.

Mary grabbed the arms, snuck out the back door and made it to a nearby field carrying a loaded pistol, revolver and light-machine gun. 

At this stage, the marauding British troops caught up with her and placed her under arrest. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, she was also wearing bullet-proof armour plating at the time!

Mary doodles her way into legend.

This is where it gets…err…interesting.

After being dragged into custody by the aforementioned, equally feared-and-hated, WWI-veteran military force in Ireland, otherwise known as the Black and Tans. Mary strolls into badass Valhalla by not only refusing to give up her comrades during her lengthy interrogation. 

But later, after being dragged before a British court. She refuses to enter a plea or recognise the legitimacy of the British court in the country of Ireland.

Mary then whiled away her prison time in her cell by sketching out – accurately – the various gun parts of a selection of machine guns. That’s right guys, Mary officially made Mad Max look like Barney the Dinosaur.

Mary went on to serve time in a women’s prison before being locked up in a reformatory. Where she probably scared the nuns half to death.

Her sentence was a great relief to her parents – presumably – since they no longer had to enlist the services of the Trojan Army to babysit her on a Friday night while they frequented their local pub for a few well-deserved, nerve-calming pints of Murphys.

Mary Bowles – Teenage Hero

The Irish Joan of Arc

I think it’s safe to say, Mary Bowles pulled off manoeuvres that would make an adult male, Irish Volunteer fighter in the war go visibly pale. And that Mary’s name would have been spoken of in reverent, hushed tones by groups of seasoned rebels setting out to ambush British Army patrols.

Mary’s conduct during the war was so B-A-D-A-S-S that you’d call BS if you saw it in a Hollywood movie. If you were in the Clogheen area of Cork, Ireland over 100 years ago. And you saw the occupying British Army fleeing for their lives. Then Mary Bowles was almost certainly in the area.

We salute you, Mary Bowles…

No serial human rights abuses, no burning down of Cork city, no standing order to shoot-on-sight innocent civilians by the Crown police force against the population in Ireland during the country’s brutal War of Independence against the British Crown would make Mary lie down in the face of tyranny. 

The grateful nation of Ireland thanks Mary Bowles…

If you’re looking for more stories like the Mary Bowles story, make sure to subscribe to our email newsletter. Also, check out our blog for travel to Cork and Ireland tips and tricks.

If you’re thinking of renting a car in Ireland, you won’t want to miss our free, impartial guide and checklist Everything You Need To Know About Renting A Car In Ireland.

Source Materials: 

1. The Cork Examiner, Big Raid Near Cork,  Friday the 14th of January, 1921, Page 5

2. The Irish Bulletin, Volume 4 – Number 9, Friday the 14th of January 1921  (Note: There is an error in the date of publication which states 1920 instead of 1921)

3. Pic courtesy of Cllr. Kieran McCarthy, Cork city, Ireland

Further Reading:

Ordinary Women in Extraordinary Times by Shandon Area History Group

☘️ 🇮🇪 Thinking of renting a car in Ireland? Here’s everything you need to know.

You’re planning your dream trip to Ireland. You’re considering renting a car to take you off the beaten path. Below are 20 tips and tricks you’ll need to know before hiring a car.

Driving in Ireland is different from driving in your home country. Ireland has its own traffic rules and customs. Make sure to check out the Road Safety Authority website for more info.

NB: if you’re looking for real, authentic, Irish experiences in Cork city, check out our website RebelCityTours.com. We help free & independent travellers create memorable experiences!

Our 20 Tips and Tricks for renting a car in Ireland…

  1. Irish garages or petrol stations (gas stations) sell both diesel and petrol fuel. If you have a diesel car – use diesel only. If you have a petrol car – only use petrol. To do otherwise will mean destroying your car’s engine.

  2. We drive on the left in Ireland. A great tip to remember this…roll up your sleeve and ensure you’re wearing your watch on your left wrist.

  3. Your US driving license is valid in Ireland. Always carry it while driving. You don’t need an international license unless you plan on driving on continental Europe.

  4. By law, all children under 150cm in height or under 36kg in weight must use the correct child seat or booster when travelling in a car or goods vehicle. This usually means your child will need to be in a car seat until they are around 12 years old.

  5. Irish roads can be very narrow in places. Spend a little extra to get proper insurance. Don’t get caught out. Try to purchase Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) protection.

  6. If you’ve never driven a manual gear shift car before. Book a car with automatic transmission beforehand. Expect to pay extra, unfortunately. If you burn through the clutch of a vehicle with a manual transmission by driving it like an automatic, expect to pay at least $1,500 to replace the clutch. This will not be covered by your insurance, plus you’ll need a replacement vehicle.

  7. The age at which you can rent a car varies from company to company. Check beforehand.

  8. Some of Ireland’s motorways (highways) are tolled. Carry change with you when you drive, e.g. euro coins.

  9. Inspect your rental car for damage beforehand. Take timestamped photos with your phone. Don’t get caught for damage you didn’t cause.

  10. You don’t need the hassle of a car in Dublin. Rent a car while leaving the city.

  11. Dial 112 in an emergency (similar to dialing 911 in the US).

  12. Try to return the car with a full tank to avoid extra charges.

  13. Drink-driving is not tolerated in Ireland. Doesn’t matter what you may have heard. Don’t drink and drive!

  14. Learn how to drive on roundabouts before arriving. This YouTube Video will help.

  15. Use Google Maps to find your way. Remember, you’ll need a postal/zip code (eircode, as we call them). You can find your destination’s eircode here.

  16. Ensure you have a spare tire and jack in your trunk (the ‘boot’). Some car rental companies remove them.

  17. Don’t rely on your credit card company’s international motor insurance cover to cover you in Ireland. Check with your car rental company and your credit card company beforehand.

  18. Dublin’s M50 highway (motorway) has electronic camera-operated tolls. Pay online beforehand here.

  19. Northern Ireland is a separate country. Travelling to the North? Do you have insurance and a rental agreement that covers this leg of your journey?

  20. When exiting onto the main road. Be cautious. Move out slowly. Check both directions to be sure.

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Paying for your rental car

If you choose to go with a third-party insurance provider and your car rental company accepts this. Then there is a great possibility they’ll put a hold on your credit card for thousands of dollars anyway. Just in case your third-party cover doesn’t cover your possible damages.

Generally, we’d advise you to go for Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) protection. This isn’t an area you should skimp on. And if you’ve been paying attention to this article, and you don’t rent a car from Dublin Aiport or a mega-brand and you choose one of the recommended car hire companies below.

Then you should have money left over to easily cover Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) protection.

Best Deals for car rentals in Ireland

Here are a few options you should consider when hiring your car in Ireland.

We’ve heard good things about GoCar.ie Ireland’s number 1 car-sharing company. If you find yourself in an urban area and wish to rent a car to visit the beach or an attraction you’d like to see. And you are fine with returning your car to your point of departure, then GoCar is an option.

Pros vs. Cons of car hire in Ireland

Here are a few of the pros and cons we can think of that might help you decide…

Pros of renting a car in IrelandCons to renting a car in Ireland
1. Independence; you can go off the beaten track.
2. No need to wait for buses, taxis, and trains.
1. It can be more expensive than public transport.
2. Concentrating on the road, you might miss the scenery.
Kicking back in your car rental

Final Advice on renting a car in Ireland

The most important thing to remember is that driving in the country differs from driving in the US. In Ireland, we drive on the left; the roads can be narrow and even dangerous in places – if you’re not careful.

Remember to print off the Rebel City Tours Car Rental Tips checklist before you go. You can receive yours for free by subscribing to our newsletter. Bring it with you on your journey!

Have a safe and happy trip!


Rebel City Tours

☘️ 🇮🇪 Take the Rebel City Tours Quiz

Find out just how much of a True. Cork. Rebel. you are, with the Rebel City Tour Cork city quiz! All results are final. No appeals. You might want to study up beforehand.

This Cork city quiz is like the leaving cert. Only it’s much, much more important.

Line up boeurs and feens (guys and girls) to take the Rebel Tours quiz of Cork City.

☘️ 🇮🇪 Volunteering Opportunities in Cork City

Looking to really immerse yourself in local culture and meet new friends in the City? Then you need to volunteer. Our easy to search Volunteering interface brings you to the national database of volunteering opportunities in Cork City center. Enjoy!

Local’s guide to Cork links list

Volunteering opportunities within 10km of Cork City center.



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