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Daniel O'Connell Statue - O'Connell Street, Dublin, Ireland
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 53° 20.862 W 006° 15.560
29U E 682426 N 5914451
Quick Description: This magnificent statue stands at the southern end of O'Connell Street, close to the O'Connell bridge, and cannot be missed by anyone in the area.
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Date Posted: 4/13/2016 12:33:01 AM
Waymark Code: WMQY2D
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 8

Long Description:

One of Dublin’s finest sculptors, John Henry Foley designed this memorial to Daniel O’Connell which was unveiled to admiring crowds gathered in the pouring rain on 15 August 1882. Foley later went on to design the figure of Albert and to carve the group called Asia on the spectacular Albert Memorial in London.

In 1829, Daniel O’Connell, known as the ‘Liberator’, had achieved through political means religious freedom in Ireland after centuries of repression on Roman Catholics, the religion of the majority, and on other minority beliefs. His continuing efforts to have the hated Act of Union with Great Britain, dating from 1800, rescinded met with no success before he died on his way to Rome in 1847.

The Victorian Web website tells us about the statue:

The process of raising this celebrated monument to the Irish leader Daniel O'Connell took over twenty years in all. O'Connell died in 1847, a subscription was started for his monument in 1862 "when O'Connell was still remembered primarily as the successful liberator of Catholic Ireland", and the granite foundation stone for it was laid in 1864. Foley was then engaged on the project for the rest of his life, and, sadly, did not live to complete it — although only finishing touches (the statue's boots, some parts of the clothing on the frieze, and the bodies of the four winged Victories round the plinth) remained to be done. This was one of several important works-in-process to be finished by his assistant Thomas Brock. Benedict Read comments that completing such monumental projects must have stood Brock "in good stead in his subsequent career".

Above the splendidly winged Victories (representing Patriotism, Courage, Eloquence and Fidelity) and below the figure of O'Connell himself is an impressive circular frieze crowded with over thirty figures. In the front centre, the "Maid of Erin" (representing Ireland) points up at O'Connell, the liberator. The other figures include a bishop with his crosier, a workman with (perhaps) his hoe, a bewigged lawyer and so on, together representing all the elements of Irish society. Since the Victories are partly obscured by traffic lights, and the crowning figure of O'Connell shows the usual effects of exposure to bird-life, this frieze is perhaps is the most striking part of the monument. "It is not a novel design," writes Christine Casey, of the monument as a whole, but "it is a work of considerable gravitas and virtuosity"; she describes it as "the high point of public sculpture in Dublin".

The In Your Pocket website also tells us:

A large crowd assembled at the south end of this eponymous boulevard to watch the 1882 unveiling of O'Connell's imposing and remarkably beautiful statue. Irish sculptor John Henry Foley also designed the Prince Albert Memorial statue, and brings an equally statesmanlike aura to his Dublin opus. Lawyer O'Connell (1775-1847), peacefully campaigned for Catholic Emancipation (equal rights). His success saw him proclaimed The Liberator or The Great Emancipator, and his place was written into Irish history. According to his wishes, his heart is buried in Rome and his body beneath a Round Tower at Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery.

Website: [Web Link]

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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