Against the backdrop of the centenary of the Easter Rising in March, it would be easy to forget that the 8th of March will mark the Golden Jubilee of the bombing of the Doric column to the memory of Horatio Nelson. That the anniversary hasn’t received much attention is a little ironic; for many people, the defining memory of the fiftieth anniversary of the Rising in 1966 is the bombing of the Pillar.
Every five years Dublin City Library and Archive on Pearse Street host a lecture on the theme of the Nelson Pillar. This is more than fitting, as Horatio Nelson’s head is on display today in the Reading Room of Pearse Street (looking a little jaded, and perhaps still in shock). I am delighted to have been asked to give the lecture for 2016.
It will take place in the DCLA at 11am on the 8th March and is free to attend. The library is currently hosting an excellent exhibition, Citizens in Conflict: Dublin 1916, so this offers a chance to check that out too if you haven’t. My book, The Pillar: The Life and Afterlife of the Nelson Pillar, is available from here at a special price including free P+P. It includes many excellent photographs by Pól Ó Duibhir, who had the good sense to get down to O’Connell Street and capture an important piece of social history.