Talk:Spire of Dublin

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1 The principal nickname is "The Spike" by a long . . . chalk, the "Stilletto in the Ghetto" being one of the many secondary ones.

2 The people of Dublin spoke of "Nelson's Pillar" (as we speak of "The Botanical Gardens") but the official name was always "Nelson Pillar". (The gardens are Botanic, though the zoo is zoological.)

~Andrew Robinson

The spire's nickname seems to be constantly evolving. The Stiletto topped polls for the 'favourite nickname' about 6 months ago. Spike has become the common nickname since. Whether it will be in six months or something else will overtake it is anyone's guess. Plus also many people presumed the Spike is the real name (and it was considered as a possibility) while only the dumbest would presume the Stilletto in the Ghetto was the real name. STÓD/ÉÍRE 23:32 Mar 28, 2003 (UTC)

I removed the list of other Dublin monuments with nicknames - they have their own page. --Kwekubo 22:24, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)

As early as 1999, when plans for the Spire were first shown, there was a lot of discussion on the subject. As a result, one Irish Times reader proposed 'The Pinnacle for the Cynicle' as a nickname.

What does this mean?[edit]

Some people around the world also watched live on webcam, a world first. Rich Farmbrough 16:16, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

lead graf[edit]

and just whose brilliant idea was it, lads, to use the term 'erection' in the first sentence?

Patrickbelton 23:28, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

The article uses the word "erection" five times, not counting the two occurrences in nicknames of the Spire. I don't think there's much doubt that it's deliberate. The second revision of the article (the first had only one sentence) already used "erection" four times in a very short article. So I think it was the brilliant idea of Jtdirl. Gareth McCaughan 18:01, 18 March 2006 (UTC)


The Henry Street image is definitely slanty. I've asked about five people and they all agree. Even held a ruler up to my laptop. So.... I tried rotating it in GIMP but I get some funny effects because of its low resolution and I don't want to end up using some kind of messy interpolation. Would anyone who's better at me at rotating images like to try? Otherwise I will take another picture myself. --Generalmiaow 23:28, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

It certainly made me feel slanty when I saw it for the first time. I stood at the base and looked straight up it and it gave me a very unsettling feeling of vertigo. Reverse vertigo as it were. I'll have a look and see if I have a photograph of it. Darkmind1970 09:28, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

There is indeed a visceral quality of slantiness in the experience of its viewing IRL. Also that Henry street image is much better now though, if a little artifacty. As for the I have a load of pictures like that which you describe from looking up the Spire and it appears to bend (though people keep telling me it doesn't). Not sure if it warrants inclusion, but it is one of the notable features of the monument that people are always standing around it staring up! (I remember hearing some young fellow saying Jaysus this is what I see every morning waking up) --General Miaow Say Hello! 22:12, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

ugliest monument in ireland if not the world[edit]

the spire is very ugly and not in keeping with the rest of dublins architecture. in terms of nickname most culchies on first seeing pass the comment look at that effin monsrtosity —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bouse23 (talkcontribs) 16:14, 18 August 2008 (UTC) culchies, really? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:52, 1 August 2009 (UTC)


Who designed this? It is not stated anywhere.

Pompous lefty student types at Ian Ritchie Architects. They have created similar Eastern Bloc garbage in the UK, though it gets much less attention. How on earth did this cost 4 million euros though? I don't understand how its possible to spend that much on a metal rod. Who had to cough up the 4 million, the article should mention. - Yorkshirian (talk) 23:13, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Another nickname for the Spire that I don't see listed here is "The Skewer near the Whore", with whore pronounced in an inner city Dublin accent to rhyme with skewer. This is in reference to the reclining statue of Anna Livia that was once located in the median of O' Connell St.

Edward Murray

Unsourced nicknames[edit]

I found a The Independent article which mentions some nicknames for the structure. I've cut the list of nicknames down to those mentioned in this article. I'm still not happy with this reference though, as it's entirely possible that the journalist sourced some of those names from this article. Better than nothing I suppose... Demiurge 18:30, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

is there any chance that Pfizer designed it and that it is a symbol of the power of the Pharmacutical industry in Ireland? Long live Depo Provera!! They should know they inject it into healthy females in Ireland. That is it is not a pin, it is the stiffy by the liffey, and intravenous needle.

Intravenous needles aren't conical, they are straight! There are actually very few pointy everyday objects I can think of which taper the way the spire does... the tip of a soldering iron maybe, or an ironic hair pin. --General Miaow Say Hello! 22:16, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

"The metal is a cameleon-color."[edit]

Steel, that is. Does the article's author really think that steel needs to be colored in a special way to be able to reflect the colors of the surroundings?

Dunno. Should we ask him/her?(Sarah777 (talk) 11:13, 17 November 2007 (UTC))

Millennium Spire[edit]

Does anyone else recall hearing the Spire called this back before/during its construction? As far as I know, a lot of people still use that name to refer to it. -Kuukai (talk) 16:27, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

I think 'Millennium Spire' is still the commonest name in local use after simply "the Spire". Sarah777 (talk) 18:28, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

List of Nicknames[edit]

Do we need to list ever vulgar nickname the monument has? Yes I do mean vulgar, and no I'm not prude but aren't there standards on Wikipedia, I thought there was. Do we have to have a list of toilet like humour, juvenile names, that a few people think up and even fewer think are funny, and nobody uses on an everyday basis? Maybe someone should start on article called List of nicknames of the Spire, and divide them based on phallic/sexual/drugs/toilet humour etc? Would that be hil-arious? Excuse me a minute.... yes sorry, just had to pick myself up from the floor there! But anyway would any of these nicknames pass a notabilty test? I'd wager not! Snappy56 (talk) 19:55, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

As far as "vulgarity" is concerned Articles typically follow the policy guidelines set out in Wikipedia:Wikipedia_is_not_censored#Wikipedia_is_not_censored The nicknames are indeed notable, as they are mentioned in Dublin travel guides, and are a reflection of an idiosyncratic aspect of local culture: the humourous nicknaming of monuments. (talk) 21:47, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
You know what they say: "Vulgarity is next to Godliness" Sarah777 (talk) 21:57, 22 March 2010 (UTC)


deleted duplicate lighting section. all the text was already in the detials setion —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alank47 (talkcontribs) 20:54, 3 April 2008 (UTC)


There was criticism of the spire, it should be mentioned. When designs were invited, one of the provisions was that it should be in keeping with other buildings in the street. Most of the submissions took this to mean: granite or other stone. There were cries of 'unfair!' ClemMcGann (talk) 10:01, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

By all means, as long as its properly referenced and NPOV. I remember there was some whinging from the losing designers. Snappy56 (talk) 08:25, 30 September 2008 (UTC)


It's appeal to those impressed by big, shiny structures is obvious but this thing is a monstrosity, completely out of place in O'Connell Street, and should be dismantled. Perhaps the people of some grotesque "modern marvel" like Dubai or Astana would give us a few quid for it? Something similar to the original monument - in style, material and proportion - should replace it.Murchadh (talk) 02:46, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

With all due respect, O'Connell Street, if not Dublin itself is an eye-sore, and should be dismantled. Cheap flats, dry-out houses, archades, taxies, stray horses, winos and murderous rugby players, chavs and heroin. What is it, thats ruined by creating a gigantic steel prick to commerate yer city? Ceoil (talk) 03:02, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
This talk page is to discuss the Wikipedia article on the Spire. It is not a forum for your rants on your dislike of it or of Dublin. There are plenty of other forums on the internet for that. Rgds, Snappy (talk) 18:23, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Image caption[edit]

The caption of the second image reads: "View showing the base artwork", however no such "base artwork" is depicted in the image, which is a photograph taken from the base of the spire (apparently after a heavy rain) looking up. Any thoughts on what this text might refer to? Perhaps I'm missing something? (talk) 19:30, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Deffo looks like "base artwork" to me! Sarah777 (talk) 20:27, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Are the smooth blotches at the base of the Spire in the photo actually a form of artwork, or or they just wet areas on the surface of the steel after it rained? (talk) 20:37, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

That's modern art for you - looks like rain but it is actually a decorative masterwork. Seriously. Sarah777 (talk) 20:39, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Just curious, Is it the intention of the artist for the artwork to resemble the rain in the tradition of Trompe-l'œil? If so, that's actually quite clever. (talk) 20:42, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Furthermore, If this is indeed the case - perhaps it warrants some mention in the caption? (talk) 20:48, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
I doubt the artist ever heard of Trompe-l'œil! I'd go with computer generated splatter pattern. But I could be wrong. Sarah777 (talk) 20:53, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Oh...Hmmph....Well in any case, the effect is the same, it looks like the Spire is permanently soaked by rain. (talk) 21:12, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Ah, I missed the detail image at the bottom, The steel has simply been polished to a mirror surface. I can only wonder why the artist chose such a peculiar pattern. (talk) 21:18, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Dammit! You have added references for the silly names and there was me lookin' forward to a good oul edit war. Sarah777 (talk) 21:37, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Frankly 6422211195, I think you should register and become a regular editor. I reckon you got the right stuff :) Sarah777 (talk) 21:41, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Hey , Thx :) (talk) 22:04, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
The nicknames don't need there own section, they don't need to be bolded, they don't need elaborate explanations, and those references provided are basically glorified blogs. Snappy (talk) 22:28, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Actually, The first reference is a book, a widely distributed travel guide concerning the City of Dublin, while the other two are internet travel guide websites. (talk) 23:26, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
While I concur that the nicknames are not entitled to their own section, I do believe that more should be written regarding the local tradition and history of nicknaming Dublin monuments. (talk) 23:26, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
For that, see Statues in Dublin. Also, the Spire is not controversial, it was briefly when first proposed, nowadays no-one cares! Snappy (talk) 21:28, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
Just take a look around, sure they've gotten used to it - but a significant segment of the population still believes it is a pretentious eyesore and wishes it gone. It's controversial status is by no means unique, but significant enough to merit a mention in this article. Statues in Dublin is a very good article in this regard - All that i'm suggesting is that there be a little overlap. It's perfectly reasonable to mention something in more than one article, otherwise the article lacks context. (talk) 00:00, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Come on 6422212040! "a significant segment of the population still believes it is a pretentious eyesore and wishes it gone". Surely those angst-ridden trainspotters who still believe "it is a pretentious eyesore and wishes it gone" are, by definition, insignificant in the aesthetic sense. I'm sorry if I must speak frankly here - but such people should probably be put down. For their own sake, Their lives are clearly not worth living. All that pain. Sarah777 (talk) 00:26, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Forgive me for saying this, but that sounds just a wee bit POV Sarah777. I'm not one who agrees with the naysayers, I'm just saying that in the interest of neutrality, such viewpoints should be represented. Many other Wikipedia articles on monuments or buildings include "Criticisms" sections. (talk) 00:35, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
POV? (hands up!) - but I keep it to the talk pages. But should every building/sculpture need an Irish Timesey style dweebfest of habbitual naysayers? It seems a very Irish thing? I don't see other WikiProj allowing some dissatisfied rump of A. retents have a section on every page. So - the Spike ain't controversial any more - if it every really was outside the "usual suspects" circle. We should starve them, not encourage them! Everything built since Independence is "controversial" in the minds of the begrudgers :) Sarah777 (talk) 00:45, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Ok. It's clear that that's how you feel, but generally Wikipedia articles on the arts (including architecture/sculpture) do include text devoted to critical reception, both positive and negative. For example, Take a look at the article on the Burj Kalifa , widely heralded by the international press as a symbol of pride for the Arab world, i.e. uncontroversial. However criticism abounds in the article's introductory paragraphs:
The project's completion coincided with a worldwide economic slump and overbuilding, and it has been described as "the latest ... in [a] string of monuments to architectural vacancy."[16] With Dubai itself mired in a deep financial crisis that forced it to seek repeated billion-dollar bailouts from its oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi, the opening ceremony and surprise renaming of the tower to Burj Khalifa, after UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has been viewed by observers as an "attempt to boost confidence in Dubai by showing who is backing Dubai".[17]
Taking into account that the Spire's great expense drew criticism in the planning stages (as did the expense of cleaning it after it was built), it seems prudent that this should be mentioned somewhere in the article - if for no other reason than to reflect Ireland's glory and economic prowess? Additionally, upon its completion The Spire received everything from enthusiastic praise to vehement criticism. Simply omitting the public's reaction doesn't fully represent the subject. (talk) 01:19, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
P.S. I like the big arc of text that this thread is making, try to keep it going if you can (talk) 01:27, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
As for the arc of text you have kinda interrupted it! But let's curve back out. I'd suggest whining about the Burj Dubai was by the same tiny knot of malcontents as criticized the Spire. Any local Dubian criticism? - or just bilge from the usual angsty begrudgers in Ireland/The West who see it all as some sort of morality tale? As for the "enormous cost" of the Spire in the context of it's aim to be a "symbol of Dublin" - LMAO! The State alone spends €1,000,000,000 every week in the RoI, so the notion that the €4 million was "enormous" is bizarre. It represents approx half an hour of Government spending! Sarah777 (talk) 00:08, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Except that by "Government Spending" you're referring to The Taoiseach and his mates, while The Spire received its funding entirely from Baile Átha Cliath. Frankly I agree with you, it's but a drop in the pail, All I'm saying is that the article ought to reflect the feelings of both sides (yes, the begrudgers included) as the Burj article does, Otherwise how can we call it NPOV (talk) 01:05, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, you raise a good question about NPOV. But I suggest that there are a tiny-(minded) group of sad folk who always and everywhere object to any and all developments as expressions of crass, philistine, capitalist, developer-led, "unsustainable" (pick your own mindless derogatory). BANANAS is the collective noun for these cretinous life-forms. Should we really be encouraging them on Wiki? Sarah777 (talk) 20:52, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Sarah777 makes a very good, someone always objects anything new, mostly its begrudgery, sometimes its valid. Did you know that there were riots when the Custom House was being constructed in the 18th century? Some things never change. Statements like "but a significant segment of the population still believes it is a pretentious eyesore and wishes it gone" are total OR. The facts are that is was slightly controversial when first proposed/built, the criticism coming mostly from losing entrants in the competition, and those who wanted a replica of the Pillar but without a British Admiral on top. To claim it is controversial today, is simply untrue. Snappy (talk) 23:12, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Snappy, I'm not sure if you noticed but the statement of mine you quoted was posted in the talk page, not the article, so labeling it OR - is frankly irrelevant. In any case, I was merely summarizing what is duly noted in a plethora of third party sources, I was not Insisting that language even approaching that should be placed in the article, just that the spire of dublin be balanced in its coverage of the public's and architectural critics' reception to the monument. In any case, To follow your own argument, It is most certainlyOR (as well as not WP:NPOV) for you - or me, or any one else- as editor to use your personal opinion to judge what constitutes "valid" objections vs. "begrudgery". (talk) 23:29, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
P.S. Oh and by the way - as far as the customs house is concerned -The riots were an important historical event which absolutely merit a mention in the encyclopedia article about the customs house, if not an article in their own right. (talk) 23:29, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I'd say you're defo in the begrudgery camp anyway! P.S. I think the Spire is a beautiful piece of modern architecture, it looks stunning on a sunny day! P.P.S I've been on here for 5 years, so I don't need lectures on how wikipedia works, Tx! Snappy (talk) 23:45, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
No actually I'm not in the "begrudging camp" .Personally, While I don't think it's anything to write home about, I think the Spire is fine, and probably alot better than the other options that were being offered. That's my opinion, however, I respect the opinions of others, and I if i'm not mistaken WP:NPOV suggests that all significant viewpoints be represented fairly and proportionately. as far as the spire still being controversial, you're right that it probably isn't, as It hasn't been in the headlines recently, but the zeitgeist of the present doesn't somehow erase the past. By the way I'm not lecturing you on how wilkipedia works, I'm simply reminding you of the differences between facts and opinions, and frankly, you shouldn't use your time or experience on Wikipedia as an excuse to justify POV pushing. (talk) 00:09, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Pov? What pov am I allegedly pushing? I'm stating the facts, you're the one who is pov pushing, engaging in OR and synthesis. Snappy (talk) 20:10, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
By avoiding any discussion of its critical reception You're pushing your own POV that "the Spire is a beautiful piece of modern architecture, it looks stunning on a sunny day!" and that anyone who has a contrary viewpoint with that is a "begrudger" whose opinions aren't valid enough to be mentioned in this article. Judging by the history of this talk page it seems that reactions to the Spire aren't universally positive, even on Wikipedia. (talk) 21:12, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm not avoiding any discussion of the criticism, see section below. Unlike some, my opinions of the Spire are my own, and remain on this talk page and not in the article. Snappy (talk) 21:18, 26 March 2010 (UTC)


I'm not sure how I feel about including a mention of the supposed controversy, I think| has a point about including the people's feelings on the monument, But it's simply ridiculous to suggest that everyone hates it and wants it taken down. Obviously the monument is not controversial now but I do remember it getting a lot of bad press at the time it was built, mostly because the people were complaining that the industrial stainless steel was out of character with the historical charm of the old stone architecture of O'Connell Street.NedTugent (talk) 23:47, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't suggesting that at all, Please read the context of my original comment64.222.121.156 (talk) 00:10, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Snappy, I fear you ruined the symmetry of this discussion - if you were a monument I'd suggest you be taken down :) It is amazing how we can keep the angels on pinheads debates going here! I never knew there were riots about that pretentious Custom House though I do know that the "greens" of the day opposed all early railway construction with the same passion as they oppose roads and support railways today. There is a psyche that due to insecurity, begrudgery or whatever (I'm not a psychobabblist) opposes just about everything new and will marshal any number of voodoo environmental, aesthetic, political, economic or religious arguments to hide their real motives. We should shoot them, not feed them. Sarah777 (talk) 08:06, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Sarah777, are you suggesting that anyone with legitimate concerns about efficiency, urban planning and protection of the environment is simply using that as a cover for some insecurity or begrudgery? In a world which faces catastrophic Climate Change, A surging population, The destruction of rainforests, and dwindling supplies of petroleum, that seems pretty misguided.
I'm struggling to find any connection between whining about the Spire and "efficiency, urban planning and protection of the environment". Or indeed how the Spire relates to Climate Change, A surging population, the destruction of rainforests, and dwindling supplies of petroleum. What I said was: There is a psyche that due to insecurity, begrudgery or whatever (I'm not a psychobabblist) opposes just about everything new and will marshal any number of voodoo environmental, aesthetic, political, economic or religious arguments to hide their real motives - like you appear to have done just now! Sarah777 (talk) 21:38, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Please, don't get all defensive, You're completely missing my point, I wasn't referring to the Spire at all, In fact I think It's so insignificant in regards of environmental impact in the grand scheme of things that it would be laughable to suggest its harming the environment. I was just tryng to point out that you shouldn't overgeneralize when it comes to architectural criticism because there are circumstances when such criticisms are warranted (e.g. the reckless development and obscene squandering of water resources in Las Vegas, IMHO). (talk) 04:21, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
My apologies for ruining the symmetry, Sarah but it was getting ridiculous! Anyway, if we are going to have a Criticism section, then for balance we should have a Praise section, all properly referenced and sourced, of course. Snappy (talk) 20:15, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Why not a simple "reception" section too discuss both praise and criticism, that seems much more encyclopedic. (talk) 21:17, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, see Eiffel Tower, History section as a guide. Snappy (talk) 21:21, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Actually I think that Eiffel Tower History Section is fabulous! A Great model for this article to follow. (talk) 04:35, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Yep - we could add such a section to all notable buildings; it will demonstrate that mindless BANANAs are not a new phenomenon and opposed just about every much-loved work of construction since the first mud hut was erected. Might give some context to the claims that modern objections are actually based on concerns about Climate Change, A surging population, the destruction of rainforests, and dwindling supplies of petroleum!! Sarah777 (talk) 21:46, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
All I was trying to say was that there are situations in which such criticisms would be validated. Like if Le Corbusier had succeeeded with the Plan Voisin for Paris. No one would have been happy with that, Except the Corbooz and his groupies. (talk) 04:52, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
And of course it is largely the same folk who will turn all conservationist about old buildings their cultural parents ranted against! Just look at the objections to any suggestion of removing Liberty Hall or the pool-beg ESB stacks. If someone puts the Spire on a music video it will doubtless be a revered National Treasure in 10 years time :) Sarah777 (talk) 21:51, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Please, Please stop being so reactionary. I'm not someone who is opposed to all development. I do think Development should be thoughtful and focused on efforts to improve the human condition and finding a balance with the natural world, But i'm not a BANANA or a NIMBY or anything like that. In fact I despise Nimbyism, especially when it comes to wind farms, It's the height of Hypocrisy. (talk) 04:29, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Amen to that, Wind farms are basically kinetic sculptures that provide electricity. Why would anyone in their right mind complain about that NedTugent (talk) 04:40, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Sarah, that is a very astute observation, so true! Snappy (talk) 23:57, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Coming late to this discussion, but do we finally have consensus to bring down Liberty Hall? Oh please! RashersTierney (talk) 00:50, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Liberty Hall, Now that is an eyesore. I vote to demolish it, who's with me lol NedTugent (talk) 04:43, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. It must go. Time has not improved it. @; react is one of the things I do :) Sarah777 (talk) 18:26, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
That's what you get for demolishing the old one. Jack forbes (talk) 18:37, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
The main culprit. RashersTierney (talk) 18:51, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure the poor old ship didn't know what it was doing. I'm thinking it was probably used by some unscrupulous people. Jack forbes (talk) 20:55, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
But possibly having more scruples than the architects of this res-erection! RashersTierney (talk) 21:36, 28 March 2010 (UTC)