Tag Archives: LUAS

Liffey Bridges 3 – Sean Heuston Bridge

It is one of the most elegant bridges over the Liffey and was opened to pedestrian and horse-drawn traffic on 9th June 1829. It replaced a ferry service that had been operation for the previous hundred years and built to commemorate the visit of King George IV in August 1821. Daniel O’Connell was instrumental in raising funds for the bridge’s construction and the foundation stone was laid by the Marquis Wellesley on 12th December 1827.

Sean Heuston Bridge

Sean Heuston Bridge

It was designed by the English architect George Papworth (who designed other buildings in Dublin including the interior of the Pro-Cathedral on Marlborough Street) and built in less than a year. It cost £13,000. The engineering work was carried out by Richard Robinson’s company Phoenix Iron Works, Parkgate Street, its proximity helping the speedy construction.

Patrick Sarsfield

Patrick Sarsfield

Papworth’s design was chosen by King George and over the years it became known as King’s Bridge. It stayed that way until 1922 when it was changed to Sarsfield Bridge in honour of the great 17th military commander who fought against the Williamites until he left for France and fought in the army of King Louis XIV. He was wounded at the Battle of Landen, Belgium, on the 19th August 1693, and died three days later in Huy, and is buried in the grounds of St Martin’s Church. A plaque on a wall marks his approximate burial site. As he lay dying with his blood trickling away he is quoted as saying ‘Oh, if only this were for Ireland’.

Sean Heuston

Sean Heuston

The bridge name was changed in 1941 to its present one in honour of the youngest man to be executed in the aftermath of the Easter Rising. He and his thirteen volunteers occupied the Mendicity Institution, close to King’s Bridge, and surrendered when besieged by superior forces. He was executed on 8th May and buried in Arbour Hill with other executed leaders.

Weight restrictions were introduced after a review in 1980 which led to the construction of the nearby Frank Sherwin Bridge in 1982. However, a major refurbishment was carried in 2001-02 that allowed it to carry the LUAS light rail system, with the first trams crossing the Liffey in 2004. The bridge, thankfully, is still open to pedestrians.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Dublin

Girls on Tour

Finding a permanent place to stay in Dublin these days is not easy, and two of its most famous women can attest to that. Both of them appeared in 1988 as part of the Dublin Millennium celebrations, and although they have left their original abodes they are integral to the city’s fabric. Anna Livia and Molly Malone may have been ‘Girls on Tour’ but that situation will be corrected in the future with the completion of the LUAS extension around College Green.

Anna Livia - float on!

Anna Livia – float on!

Anna Livia, the bronze monument created by Eamonn O’Doherty, was commissioned by Michael Smurfit in memory of his father Jefferson Smurfit, and presented to the city. It was situated on O’Connell Street, at the site where the Spire now stands, and soon became known as the Floozie in the Jacuzzi.  It was removed in 2001 to make way for the Spire, and now resides in the Croppies Memorial Park (close to the Liffey), a quieter site more suited to her calm, reclining image.  

Molly Malone is still ‘on tour’ having moved from Grafton Street to Suffolk Street in 2014, and will be there until 2017 when the LUAS track is finished. Probably the city’s most famous woman, she is based on a fictional 17th century fishmonger who plied her trade on the streets of Dublin and died young.

The statue, designed by Jeanne Rynhart, was presented to the city by Jury’s Hotel Group, and unveiled by Lord Mayor, Ben Briscoe, on 13th June 1988 – Molly Malone Day – and has since become one the most photographed statues in the city. Typically, Dubliners have christened her ‘The Tart with the Cart’ and ‘The Trollop with the Scallop’ and other more profane names. Her new home outside the Dublin Tourist Office has brought her more attention, and although she no longer pushes her wheelbarrow about, in the minds of Dubliners she is very much ‘Alive, alive, oh!

Molly Malone - 'Alive, alive oh!'

Molly Malone – ‘Alive, alive oh!’

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Dublin