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Posts Tagged ‘nelsons pillar’

Occasionally, you pick up something nice along the way.

About a year and a half ago I bought a large collection of newspaper clippings at an antiques fair in town, for buttons basically. A varied bunch, they included snaps from the 1966 Easter anniversary events, snaps of Dev doing his thing in the 1970s, photos from after the bombing of Dublin during WWII and various odds and ends. The gems however, were these snaps from the day after Nelson’s Pillar was blown up.

They include a true Dublin entrepreneur going through the rubble hours after the explosion, and a great shot of the damage done at street level. Enjoy!

Front of The Evening Herald

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Earlier this week, RTE broadcast a very well made documentary on the history of Nelson’s Pillar. The programme contains amazing archive footage along with contributions from Des Geraghty, Jimmy Magee and David Norris. If you missed it, viewers in Ireland can watch it on RTE Player until Monday, 15 February.

Though it focuses on the bombing of 1966, the documentary tells also tells the fascinating story of how in 1955 a group of UCD students, involved with the Irish National Student Council (INSC), occupied the pillar. Dropping a banner of Kevin Barry over the edge, they tried to melt Nelson’s statue with homemade “flame throwers”. Gardai used hammers to break into the pillar and tried to arrest the students but they had to be released after the gardai were attacked by sympathetic members of the public.

After the statue was blown up in May 1966, Nelson’s head was stolen by NCAD students from a storage shed in Clanbrassil Street as a fund-raising prank to help clear their debts. Wearing sinister black masks, they held a very civil press conference explaining their motives. The head made several secret appearances over the next six months including making its way onto the stage of a Dubliners concert in The Olympia Theatre!

Nelson’s head now rests peacefully in the Gilbert Library in Pearse Street.

“Not us says I.R.A.” Dublin, 1966.

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I stumbled upon a great new blog, called Jacolette, which focusing on vernacular photography, mainly Irish and amateur.

Most of these photographs were found in charity shops, skips or bought from online auctions and I am interested in the process whereby they have become separated from the families who once valued them.

Some gems include a picture of three Dublin men drinking that was “found in a skip on Oxmantown Road”, a number of Irish American mugshots that the the author bought on Ebay and some beautiful shots of O’Connell Street taken from Nelson’s Pillar in September 1942.

Hi-jinks in Dublin!

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