Greetings fellow Freshers!
First of Congratulations on making it into Maynooth University, you are all very welcome.
As Jedi master Obi-wan Kenobi once said “You’ve taken your first step into a larger world”.
Some of you may have moved out of home and flew the nest. While some may still be commuting from the nest. Either way, you are now a Maynoothian.
Maynooth may seem like a small town but there is a lot of cool spots to visit. Over the years here in my time I have discovered many obscure spots and learned some fascinating historical facts of on and off the campus.
Here is some of the main spots to visit on and off campus to look out for, that I would recommend on and off campus. Allow me to be your guide. We will start with the common room. He building in-between back of the Arts Block and Phoenix restaurant. The common room is a great place for chilling on campus, has TVs, couches and a hot water boiler. Outside it there is two ping pong tables and a few chess pillars tables also.
Adjacent the common room is the Engineering Building. Do you like playing some old arcade video games. Well in this building we have one. This independently made machine by post grads is about five years old and currently features the retro games “Metal Slug X II” and “Street Fighter Alpha 3”. While it may not be a real arcade machine, the “gameplay is identical o the originals” said by John Maloco, chief technical of engineering department. Only cost 20 cents to play and this money is donated the various charities throughout the year. Any student can walk in and play.
Moving on from there, in the Arts Block there is a room to he right of the coloured couches where nearly 30 desktops are available for use of students when studying, as well as a printer. This room is open till 10pm all year round even Christmas. Handy tip when you the library is full.
We will now move away from North Campus as you will soon become very familiar with it. Here are some spots around and inside the library. Notice the statue of former Pope John Paul II. Behind it is a secret bench, great little spot to chill at eat lunch when you want to be away from the public eye. Then ahead of it is a small forest if you ever want to take a little adventure when you need a break from studying. Inside the library is a humorous little Easter egg to look out for.
Next to the stairs on a pillar to the right there is a “No Cycling “sign. This may seem ridiculous. The reason is that is where the original part of the library stood and you could actually cycle there once upon a time. When the extension was built about 3 years ago the library staff decided to keep the sign, simply because they found it funny to leave indoors.
From there we will move to the heart of South Campus, behind the St Patricks house is wide open green. Several sports train here such as rugby, football and Frisbee. Also a great dog walking area. Inside the green down the left is the Maynooth Graveyard. I know this sounds morbid, but the entrance of it is truly something to see. The trees were planted in such a way that they intertwined. It is most picturesque a sunset when the light shines through.
Past the graveyard is our apple orchard on campus. These trees appear like something you would expect from a Dr Seuss book.
Next to that is the Bicentenary garden. Another lovely place for a walk.
At the front of the South Campus gates is the Silken Thomas tree, located outside the south campus gates . It is a Yew tree, over 800 years old. It has been debated as one of the oldest trees in all of Ireland.
If you stand under it you may notice that it is being held together by scaffolding.
Ever wanted to visit a castle?
Well we have one our doorstep. Literally right outside the campus gates is the Maynooth castle. It is 812 years old, and was home to the powerful Fitzgerald family. In the 1500s all of Ireland was ruled from it.
The castle is open now till the 28th of September. So walk in when you can cause it will be closed for the rest of the year till the summer months. Admission and guided tours are all free.
These are all the tops spots I recommend seeking out friends, but there is so much more out there.