Statues in Dublin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Statues in Dublin are a significant feature of the cityscape of Dublin and the city's monuments are particularly well-known for their Nicknames.[1][2][3][4][5] The city's statues and other monuments have a long history of controversy about their subjects and designs, and a number of formerly prominent monuments have been removed or destroyed.

Past statues[edit]

Dublin was once famed for its high quality equestrian statues, including the Lord Gough monument in the Phoenix Park, the William of Orange statue by Gibbons in College Green and the George II statue in St Stephen's Green.

The statue Queen Victoria by Irish sculptor John Hughes, was unveiled outside Leinster House, now the seat of the Oireachtas, by Edward VII in 1904. Noel Lemass, Jnr remarked of the statue in Dáil Éireann; "I think we all agree it is one of the most ugly statues of that royal lady...".[6] It was removed in 1947 and transferred to storage at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. In the late 1980s, it was given to the city of Sydney, Australia, where it now stands outside the Queen Victoria Building in the city centre.[7][8] A statue of Lord Gough, sculpted by Dubliner John Henry Foley, was moved to Chillingham Castle.

Dublin's most prominent monument, Nelson's Pillar, which stood near the General Post Office (GPO) in the centre of O'Connell Street, was blown up by a group of former Irish Republican Army (IRA) members in 1966.

Nelson was pre-dated by a 1759 statue of Lord Blakeney, the unsuccessful defender of the Siege of Fort St Philip on Minorca in 1756. This was said to be the first statue of an Irishman in Dublin, and was sculpted by John Nost.

Current statues[edit]

On the site of Nelson's Pillar, a new monument was erected in January 2003. Officially named the Monument of Light but more commonly known as the Spire of Dublin. A 1980s monument to the personified river Liffey, Anna Livia was moved from O'Connell Street to make way for the Spire. It was a woman sitting on a slope with bubbling water running down past her represented the river. It was removed in 2001 and re-located to Croppies Memorial Park in 2011.

Other monuments on O'Connell Street include statues honouring Charles Stewart Parnell by Augustus Saint-Gaudens at the north end of the street; at the southern end stands a statue of Daniel O'Connell by John Henry Foley. Other statues on the street include one of trade union leader James Larkin.

Nearby, outside St Mary's Pro-Cathedral stands a statue honouring the Dublin Martyrs, Mayor Francis Taylor and his grandmother-in-law Mayoress Margaret Ball.

At the junction North Earl Street and O'Connell Street is a statue of the novelist James Joyce walking with a cane in his hand.

Just by the Ha'penny Bridge is a statue of two women sitting on a bench engaged in conversation with their shopping bags at their feet.[9]

A short distance away from O'Connell Street near the Liffey Quays was the site of the Millennium Clock, constructed in the mid-1990s to count down to the year 2000. The clock, with a green-illuminated digital face, was placed underneath the surface of the river by the bank so that the time shone up through the water. A postcard booth was placed on the bridge above the clock that printed postcards for 20p, each bearing the exact amount of time left at that moment until the dawn of the new millennium. However, in the months that followed, it had repeated problems with letting in water and failing to display the time correctly. It was removed after a brief period, but not before it had been nicknamed "The Time in the Slime".

On College Street, outside Trinity College, on a traffic island, there is a statue to the nineteenth-century lyricist Thomas Moore.

Outside the Dublin Tourist Office on Suffolk Street, there is a statue representing Molly Malone, a fictitious fishmonger featured in Dublin's anthem, Molly Malone, who is shown wheeling a cart. The statue was erected to celebrate Dublin's millennium in 1988.[10]

On the north-east corner of St Stephen's Green, there is a semicircle of rough stone pillars commemorating the Great Irish Famine and surrounding a statue of Wolfe Tone. In Merrion Square, inside the north west corner gateway, there is a statue of Oscar Wilde composed of different coloured stone, sitting on a large granite boulder.

James Connolly is the only leader of the 1916 Easter Rising to have a statue in Dublin. It is situated facing Liberty Hall, the headquarters of Ireland's largest trade union, SIPTU. Constance Markievicz has a statue on Tara Street and a bust in St Stephen's Green. There is also a bust of Michael Collins in Merrion Square. One of the few elected politicians commemorated with a statue is Henry Grattan, a leading politician in the Irish House of Commons in the late 18th century. There is a nearby statue of patriot Thomas Davis.

List of Dublin statues (people)[edit]

List of prominent Dublin monuments and sculptures[edit]

"Seamen's Memorial"
"Liberty scaling the heights"

Other notable Dublin statues[edit]

  • Mr. Screen, a cinema usher - Screen Cinema, Hawkins Street.[36]
  • Strong Striking Bear - IFSC
  • A Cow - Jervis Street
  • Two Children - Portland Row
  • A Hand - Marlborough Street
  • Statue of a fiddler and three children dancing - Stillorgan Shopping Centre[37]
  • Father Pat Noise memorial - O'Connell Bridge. A hoax commemorative plaque placed in the gap left from the control box of the millennium clock in 1999.[38][39]
  • Footprints - traffic island at junction of D'Olier Street and Westmoreland Street. Various human and other footprints set into the concrete paving slabs.
  • Smithfield Village chimney (off O'Connell St.)
    • "The Flue with the View"[23]

List of past Dublin statues and monuments[edit]

King William of Orange's statue in College Green
Statue of Queen Victoria in front of the now National Library of Ireland (circa 1908)
  • King George II - St Stephen's Green (blown up 1937)[40]
  • William of Orange - College Green (blown up 1946)[41]
  • Queen Victoria - Merrion Square, removed in 1947, put on display in Sydney, Australia in 1987.
  • Bowl of Light - O'Connell Bridge - nicknamed "The Tomb of the Unknown Gurrier".[45] Thrown into the Liffey in 1953. Replaced with a flowerbed nicknamed "The Thing".[45][46]
  • Gough Monument - Phoenix Park (Badly damaged by a bomb in 1957)[47] Was bought by a member of the Guinness family from the Office of Public Works. It was loaned to Humphrey Wakefield of Chillingham Castle. It is on loan until the people of Ireland want it returned.Chillingham Castle.[35]
  • Nelson's Pillar - O'Connell Street (blown up 1966)[48]
  • Millennium Clock - River Liffey (removed 1999)
    • "The Chime in the Slime",[23] "The Clock in the Dock".[23]
  • Anna Livia - Croppy Acre Memorial Park, Dublin. Formerly in O'Connell St.
    • "The Floozie in the Jacuzzi",[49] "The Whore in the Sewer"[50]


  1. ^ In Dublin fashion, Joycean monuments have been greeted with irreverent rhymes
  2. ^ In keiner anderen Stadt gibt es mehr Monumentebeinamen. Allein der Dublin Spire hat ein Dutzend Beinamen in Reimform
  3. ^ Dubliners have cultivated the slightly cutesy habit of giving abusive rhyming nicknames to the city's sculptures
  4. ^ No piece of public statuary can be said to have entered Irish public consciousness without being christened with a derisive rhyming nickname
  5. ^ Les Dublinois ont beaucoup d'humour et prennent un malin plaisir à affubler les statues et les monuments de leur ville avec des sobriquets souvent comiques et parfois assez trash
  6. ^ Dáil Éireann - Volume 273 - 28 May 1974, Paragraph 132.
  7. ^ Moore, Peter (2012). "Statue of Queen Victoria, Druitt Street". Dictionary of Sydney. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Izzard, Tanya. Public Art Review: "The Auld Bitch"
  9. ^ Craig Parshall. Retrieved 7 December 2006.
  10. ^ blog
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b
  16. ^
  17. ^ Sites to see before you die; 21 June 2008
  18. ^ a b
  19. ^ a b
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b c d Hickey, Raymond. Dublin English: Evolution and Change (John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2005)
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ Chris Dowding: A Few Drops Short of a Pint
  27. ^ Irish War Memorials
  28. ^ McCracken, Donal P. (2003). Forgotten Protest: Ireland and the Anglo-Boer War. Ulster Historical Foundation. p. 148. ISBN 9781903688182. 
  29. ^ Margaret Greenwood, Mark Connolly, Geoff Wallis: The Rough Guide to Ireland
  30. ^ a b c d
  31. ^
  32. ^ Children of Lir
  33. ^ Photo
  34. ^ "Misneach: A Monumental Celebration of Youth",
  35. ^ a b "Ballymun gets a new local hero". The Irish Times. 10 September 2010. 
  36. ^ Mr. Screen in Google Street View. Retrieved: 2012-01-10.
  37. ^ Photo
  38. ^ "Hoax Plaque on Bridge Will Now be Left In Place". The Irish Times. 24 May 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2007. 
  39. ^ Photo
  40. ^ Photo
  41. ^ Photo
  42. ^ Bagnall, Gaynor (2008). Introducing Cultural Studies. Pearson Education. p. 119. ISBN 1405858435. 
  43. ^ "World's Most Controversial Monuments (no.26)". Travel+Leisure. November 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  44. ^ "Queen Victoria Facts and Trivia". Queen Victoria Online. 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  45. ^ a b O'Dwyer, Frederick. Lost Dublin. (HarperCollins 1982).
  46. ^ Photo: Flowerbed
  47. ^ Photo
  48. ^ Photo
  49. ^
  50. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°20′46″N 6°15′25″W / 53.34611°N 6.25702°W / 53.34611; -6.25702