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11th Jul 2016

Here’s what Pokémon GO looks like around Dublin

Ciara Knight

Pokémon is back and the world is rightfully losing its reason over it.

The app isn’t currently available in Ireland, but let’s just say there are ways and means to work around the region block *cough* Google it *cough*.

Here’s what happened when I went to catch ’em all in Dublin.

I ventured out and about in search of more Pokémon, equipped with a fully charged phone and enough excitement to fuel a thousand flights to the Pokémon Universe. First, you need to find some PokéStops to collect Pokéballs and eggs. Some of them are pretty glamorous.

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A wild Poliwag appeared on my way into town. He was adorable, easy to catch (all you’ve to do is fling a Pokéball at him) and not a lot of people were worried by my sudden shouting ‘YES! POLI-SWAG!’, when I managed to nab him.

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When I reached Christchurch Cathedral, Magikarp was waiting for me. He was right in the middle of the road, which meant cars were literally zooming over him. It was funny, but I managed to keep my cool and catch him with the precision of a Pokémon master.

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I passed a few more PokéStops on the way into town and collected more Pokéballs. You need loads of them because you use them to capture Pokémon, obvs. There’s no real pattern to the Pokéstops, sometimes they’re landmarks, statues or even street art.

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You end up looking like a bit of a lunatic every time you stop in the middle of the footpath to raid a PokéStop. People just don’t yet understand the need, desire and importance of catching them all. Idiots.

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Dame Street proved to be a bit of a Pokémon hotspot. I kept having to stick on my human indicators and pull into the side of the path so I could capture these imaginary beings. One man bumped into me and said ‘SAKE’. Maybe he would’ve changed his tune if I told him I was about to score myself a CP10 Drowzee!

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I found the PokéStops increasingly more amusing as I moved around. They’re very touristy and there’s literally no pattern to them whatsoever. It’s clearly all set up through Google maps but it also kind of seems like someone’s weird American aunt who’s been to Dublin once has picked them out.

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I caught a Krabby on the escalator up to Jervis Shopping Centre (hold the jokes please). What’s good is that if you’re moving around, the screen pushes the Pokémon ahead of you, so luckily I didn’t have to press the emergency stop button on the escalator to catch him (although I absolutely would have if needed be).

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As expected, places like Henry Street are polluted with exotic Pokémon. Because you’ve to tilt the phone slightly upwards to see the Pokémon, people are 100% convinced you’re trying to take a photograph of them. In reality, it’s much sadder than that.

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The Spire is a Pokémon gym. I’m not 100% sure, since there’s literally no instructions with the app, but I think you fight other trainers to gain control of the gym. This man wanted to fight me but I refused because I am a pacifist and also it started spitting rain at the time.

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O’ Connell Street had a few Pokémon sniffing around as well. I nabbed an adorable little Oddish and he’s possibly my favourite so far because I too am a little Odd-ish.

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I found another Drowzee (they’re everywhere), but I caught this particular one because he looks like an upstanding member of an Garda Síochána in this particular area.

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To my disbelief, there was a Zubat flying around the off licence section of Spar on O’ Connell Street. I caught him just before he was trying to purchase a six pack of Pratsky, the absolute scamp.

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Since the hotspots were becoming very touristy, I went to the luminous orange schoolbag capital of Dublin – Temple Bar! It has a gym, many PokéStops and a few standard (but not a lot of exotic) Pokémon.

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After quite a successful whizz around town, I headed back up Dame Street because I knew it was a hotspot. I went to a few more PokéStops and got my hands on any Pokémon that appeared.

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When I got back to the office, there was a Caterpie sitting on my laptop. Pity he wasn’t doing any work, am I right? 

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The biggest disappointment was that I didn’t find any water type Pokémon around the Liffey. I was fully prepared to jump in for the sake of capturing a Squirtle. The app also drains your battery pretty quickly and it freezes from time to time.

Overall, I had a lovely time wandering around Dublin playing Pokémon. It’s a good way to get people out and about to explore areas they’ve possibly never been to before. 10/10 would skip out of work for a few hours in the name of research again.