Running from the Liffey, to Parnell Square
The city’s centre, which we all share
Steeped in history and stories
And no end of glories
A place of honour, without compare
From Easter Rising, to famous parade
And cheering crowds, a great noise made
Where statues of the great
Whose words had weight
Stand in the sunshine, and not in shade
The Spire shimmers, and reaches high
A bit like Nelson, who touched the sky
Where Molly pushed a barrow
It’s as straight as an arrow
Long may it run, for us to enjoy
Don Cameron 2020
Daniel O’Connell – top of the street
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, 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!’
Writing short stories is fun, but deciding which ones to included in my collection was very difficult. They are all important, each having been created at different times and for different reasons. Some of them I wrote quickly, while others took much longer. This was not necessarily to do with the length of the story, but just how it came into being. There is no hard and fast rule as to how you force the issue and get a story completed, because if you do so, I find, that it’s like dragging a horse to water rather than gently leading him. The phrase ‘less is more’ seems to suggest a good way to do your work.
So, after much toing and froing, I made my selection and they take their place in The Bloomsday Boys, which is now available as an ebook on Kindle. Click the image below for preview.
The Bloomsday Boys
As good luck and timing would have it, I finished the book just before Bloomsday and the title story was read outside Sweny’s Pharmacy on the ‘big day’ by Shane Egan – and he did a mighty fine job. The video below shows him in full flow, and some interesting pictures inside Sweny’s and of Bloomsday revellers dressed in appropriate, Joycean attire!
Well, after much effort my book is finally finished. Needless to say there were some issues that had to be addressed, and, thankfully, they are all now resolved. The finishing process just never seemed to end – it was quite an eye-opener. Click on the image below for a preview of the ebook.
Now it’s time for the next project.
Bloomsday: The city is gearing up for the annual celebration of all things Joycean. There are many events on around the place, and we’re all hoping for some good weather. The James Joyce Centre has plenty on offer, as does Sweny’s Pharmacy which is always lively and well worth a visit. And don’t forget to buy a bar of the famous lemon soap! But whatever you’re doing, have a great day and raise a glass to Jimmy.
Trinity College – front gate
Check out the video below for a quick look at some of the places and people featured in the ebook.
What is the world’s tallest sculpture?
Well you might be surprised to know that it is The Monument of Light (better known as The Spire) on O’Connell Street, Dublin. It’s just one little gem of information that I found when I was researching my e-book ‘Dublin – Walking With Words’ which will be available in May/June!
Trinity College – front entrance
The guide covers Dublin, and in it you meet many of its most famous sons and daughters and hear what the city meant to them – in their own Words. It takes you on a stroll through its history where you meet James Joyce, WB Yeats, Oscar Wilde, Brendan Behan, Elizabeth Bowen, Phil Lynott, Molly Malone and many others. You will find out where they lived and worked, and how the city influenced them in their artistic endeavors. Whether it was in the Georgian heartland of Merrion Square, along the Grand Canal, Trinity College or some favourite watering-hole, all these places have a story to tell, and with photographs and maps they are brought to life.
The guide is divided into five sections, each one taking about fifty minutes to complete – depending, of course, on how long you may decide to linger in some friendly pub or restaurant and enjoy the atmosphere!
So, if you have a little time in Dublin and wish to ‘get to know the place’ better than some of the locals, then put on your comfortable shoes and ‘Walk the Walk’. (Check out the video below for a preview of your ‘Walk‘. I am very thankful to Derek Gleeson for his kind permission to use his composition as a soundtrack.)