Fusiliers' Arch

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Arch, facing into St Stephen's Green
Name inscription on underside of arch

Fusiliers' Arch is a monument which forms part of the Grafton Street entrance to St Stephen's Green park, in Dublin, Ireland. Erected in 1907, it was dedicated to the officers, non-commissioned officers and enlisted men of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who fought and died in the Second Boer War (1899-1902).

Construction[edit]

Funded by public subscription, the arch was designed by John Howard Pentland and built by Henry Laverty and Sons.[1] Thomas Drew consulted on the design and construction.[1]

The dimensions of the structure are said to be modelled on the Arch of Titus in Rome,[2] and it is 23 m (75 ft) wide and 10 m (33 ft) high. The internal dimensions of the arch are 5.6 m high by 3.7 m wide (18 by 12 ft).[3]

The main structure of the arch is granite, with the inscriptions carried out in limestone, and a bronze adornment on the front of the arch.

Dedication and controversy[edit]

The arch was commissioned to commemorate the four battalions (two regular and two militia) of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers that served in the Second Boer war. It lists the principal battles and locations at which the fusiliers fought: Hart's Hill, Ladysmith, Talana, Colenso, Tugela Heights, and Laing's Nek.[3][4] The names of 212 dead are inscribed on the underside of the arch.[5][6]

The construction of the arch coincided with a time of political and social change in Ireland, and the colonial and imperial background to the dedication were anthema to a burgeoning nationalist movement - who labelled the structure "Traitor's Gate".[7][8][9] Though damaged in a cross-fire between the Irish Citizens Army and British troops during the 1916 Easter Rising,[6][10] the arch remains "one of the few colonialist monuments in Dublin not blown up" in Ireland's post-independence history.[11][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dictionary Of Irish Architects - Royal Fusiliers' Memorial Arch". Dia.ie. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  2. ^ "Fusiliers' Arch in Dublin, Ireland". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  3. ^ a b Brück, Joanna; Tierney, Andrew (2009). "Landscapes of Desire. Parks, colonialism and identity in Victorian and Edwardian Ireland". Report to the Heritage Council for Project No. 16785 (UCD School of Archaeology): 45. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Cecil Francis Romer and Arthur Edward Mainwaring (1908). "The Second Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the South African War". Project Gutenberg eBook. Retrieved 2012-08-03. 
  5. ^ "Fusiliers Arch in St Stephen's Green | Flickr - Photo Sharing!". Flickr. 2006-08-05. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  6. ^ a b Irishwarmemorials.ie - Fusiliers' Arch entry - PDF with transcription and notes on inscriptions
  7. ^ Donal P. McCracken, Forgotten Protest: Ireland and the Anglo-Boer War, p. 148
  8. ^ Keith Jeffrey, Ireland and the Great War, p. 116
  9. ^ Christopher Murray, Seán O'Casey: writer at work, p. 74
  10. ^ Casey, Christine (2006). Dublin: The City Within the Grand and Royal Canals and the Circular Road, with the Phoenix Park. Yale University Press. p. 533. 
  11. ^ McCracken, Donal P. (2003). Forgotten Protest: Ireland and the Anglo-Boer War. Ulster Historical Foundation. p. 148. 
  12. ^ Murray, Christopher (2004). Seán O'Casey: Writer at Work : a Biography. Gill & Macmillan Ltd. p. 74. ISBN 978-0773528895. 

Coordinates: 53°20′23″N 6°15′38″W / 53.33965°N 6.26052°W / 53.33965; -6.26052