The history of Ireland is told in many ways, historic artefacts, prehistoric monuments, folklore experts and archive material. Something that has been a testament to its era deserves its own place in our streets, laneways and countryside landmarks are born.
In our capital city of Dublin, we have landmarks dotted all through the cityscape from the legendary General Post Office to our more Celtic Tiger Ireland Spire. Some are more prevalent then others and some are only known to a select few locals, big or small they all have a history to tell.
Molly Malone is a true Dublin Cailín, the true story of her remains a mystery but with a song came a statue and if you ask any Dubliner they will have something to say about Ireland’s most famous fishmonger. Tourists flock to the bronze statue located on Suffolk street after she was moved from Grafton Street area due to Luas work. You will find those who visit her rub a certain part of the statue for luck, so much so that the area of the statue is faded away from so much luck searching.
When you make your way over the Liffey from Molly Malone heading North you come to a landmark that has stood the test of time. The Five Lamps were erected in 1880 and have even survived bombings in the area during WWII as houses in the area were destroyed. The lamps at the intersection of Portland Row, North Strand Road, Seville Place, Amiens Street and Killarney Street stayed guiding the area. They have come to be a symbol of Dublin especially local Dublin, when asking for directions in the city centre it is The Five Lamps that will be given as a muster point. Some say that the name comes from the five roads that meet at the point others say it is a commemoration to five battles that were fought in India. Wherever the names come from they have been shining bright since 1880 and they will keep on shining people in directions.
When we discuss landmarks we must remember that it does not have to be the well-known spectacles during guided tours that we see. Landmarks that hold huge personal importance for people need to recognised also. On O’Connell street, there are an array of landmarks to visit as mentioned above the General Post Office, the Spire you have the Jim Larkin statue the Daniel O’Connell statue which three angels have bullet holes from markings of the 1916 Easter Rising, two of the bullets are in the same place that people rub Molly Malone.
However, on O’Connell street, another local landmark tells the time. Clery’s Clock, before the days of our technologically connected world Clery’s Clock was a meeting place for generations throughout the years. Many couples formed their relationships under the clock so it is a place of love.
Even though Clerys closed its doors in June 2015 the clock still hangs over the door and over the years there has been the discussion if a business took over what would be the future of the clock. In 2016 there was speculation of tech giant Apple considering their first store in the republic to be in the Clerys building and immediately the question of what will happen the clock? was brought up.
Below is a documentary that explains the great role that the clock brought to peoples lives in a much simpler time.
Under The Clock by Sallyanne Downes, Lisa Hopper, Alan Flood and Michelle Burnett.
Now from a place that holds special meanings to those that know of such landmarks to a piece of remarkable infrastructure that has been connecting sides since 1816. The Ha’penny bridge is the symbol of our capital. From postcards to a Phil Lynott music video it is an image that resembles Dublin in one sight. To hear the full story of the history of the bridge and the significant place it holds in Dublin life, historian Donal Fallon who is currently on the panel of the RTÉ National Treasures program met me by the bridge to tell me all about the bridge see the video below.
An interesting insight into the history of Dublin’s most iconic image. For the full documentary on Dublin landmarks in, particular, The Ha’penny Bridge feel free to comment below for further details.