When I wrote to the folks in the Joomla User Group Dublin a few weeks ago, saying that I'd be in town for an event, I told them I thought it would be great if I could meet a couple members of their community.  Maybe something like a small user group meeting, talking about some of their Joomla ideas and swapping Joomla success stories.

Joomla! User Group Dublin meeting up in February 2011.
The Dublin JUG meeting at Long Stone in Dublin during their second meeting in February 2011

I received a nice email from TechBot, who said he'd be happy to contact a few folks to see if a few of us could meet up.  This is a young user group, with a meeting and a Joomla 1.6 release party under their belt, so I didn't think more than three of us would attend.  So, it was quite a nice surprised to see nearly 20 folks fill a room in the Long Stone Inn pub around the corner from Trinity University in downtown Dublin.

It was the longest, and one of my favorite, user group meetings ever.  I arrived at about 7pm, and left at about 12:30am.  The Guinness and Carlsberg flowed throughout the night.  Conversations ran from Joomla to the economy in Ireland to deep discussions on the values of open source software.  Good times had by all.

This is the beginning of great and growing group.  Their energy, especially that of their leaders, Techbot and Lisa, are what make our user groups awesome.  Open source might not be about agreeing all the time, but it's definitely about building relationships that can bring us together to build amazing things we couldn't build as individuals.

"Adh mór ort" to the Joomla community in Ireland, you're in great hands and have a great future ahead of you.  Thanks for your kind hospitality…and Guinness.