Gallifrey, is That in Ireland?

A Doctor Who Question Answered

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Gallifrey, is that somewhere in Ireland? This question has been asked several times, and here I'll try to answer it ... although I could have taken the easy way out and said that it is just some wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff

So, what was the question again?

Gallifrey - a Real Place in Ireland?

As you will know, Gallifrey is the place where Doctor Who comes from ... he is one of the Time Lords of the planet Gallifrey. Notice the small world "planet"? Yes, Gallifrey always was supposed to be somewhere definitely not on our planet (unless our planet, in another dimension, universe, or time line actually is Gallifrey).

And, to cut a long story short - no, Gallifrey is not in Ireland (though that assumption has become some sort of running gag in the Doctor Who series). And there isn't even a place that sounds (or is written) similar. Unless you discount the odd student slurring his address after being on the sauce in Galway.

Oh, thanks for asking ... the image that accompanies this article was not taken in Ireland either, it was snapped in Glasgow ... home not only of the Twelfth Doctor, but also still preserving a sizeable collection of Tardis.

Doctor Who in Ireland?

Disappointed? Well, you might be ... so I'll throw in some nerdy information on the Doctor's connections to Ireland. Of which there are some, though many are not actually found in TV episodes. Yet all are regarded as canonical by Whovians:

The Doctor visited Ireland in his first incarnation, this was related in the book "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", but sadly lacked detail about where and when (though all these are certainly very relative and flexible anyway).

In Viking times, Sitric Silkbeard and Brian Boru were at odds, and the famous Book of Kells (now resident in Trinity College), became part of their power struggle. A Brother Bernard was chosen protector of the book, and the Doctor (in his eight incarnation) warned Bernard to stay away from Clontarf in 1014. This was related in the audio drama "The Book of Kells".

In his second incarnation, the Doctor, accompanied by Jamie McCrimmon and Victoria Waterfield, visited Ireland during the 14th century, as mentioned in the book "Screamager". This may have been in relation to King Richard's visit to Ireland in 1399, which is mentioned in the audio drama "The Doctor's Tale".

In his seventh incarnation, the Doctor, accompanied by Ace and Hex, travelled to Ireland and witnessed Oliver Cromwell's sieges of Drogheda and Wexford, around September 1649. Hex, who had heard about the war from his grandmother, minced no words and referred to the "worst atrocities in Irish history" (these events were related in the audio drama "The Settling").

Jamie McCrimmon, piper of the Clan McLaren, tried to use the events of the Glorious Revolution and the Williamite Wars in Ireland to justify actually altering history (and therewith fore-shadowing a plotline in "Outlander") in an argument with the Doctor (not very pleased, and in his second incarnation) - as related in the audio drama "The Glorious Revolution".

Branwell Damien Fleming was born in Ireland in 1878, dying on the island in 1935. Sinead Iona Fleming was also born in Ireland (1905), married Branwell Damien Fleming, and was murdered by him on (the entirely fictional) Fleming's Island in 1930. All this is chronicled in the audio drama "Iterations of I".

Molly O'Sullivan, companion to the Doctor in his eighth incarnation, was born in Ireland in 1891 - this is mentioned in both the audio dramas "The Great War" and "X and the Daleks".

The Doctor (in his fifth incarnation, accompanied by Adric, Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka encountered the I and the I Predator on Fleming's Island (off the coast of Ireland) in 1981, again according to the audio drama "Iterations of I".

An eerily predictive Doctor-Who-moment - not long after Miracle Day in 2011, Ireland and Greece went bankrupt. The TV episode "End of the Road" (Torchwood, Episode 39) got the time wrong, but the bankruptcies 50% right.

In future, however, Ireland was to play a major role, as Irish soldiers formed a substantial part of the United Nations Third Tactical Brigade, sent to Mars during the Thousand Day War (2086) - or so the book "Transit" tells us.

The future of Ireland itself was glimpsed in "The Beast Below" (Episode 204) - Northern Ireland will stay a part of the United Kingdom until (at least) the 33rd century.

About "Ask the Expert" ...

As you know, you can actually ask the Ireland Travel expert questions ... get into contact with Ireland Travel expert Bernd Biege via this contact form. And, providing you follow some ground rules and play nice, you'll actually have a chance to see your question answered here.