Merrion Square, Dublin

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Merrion Square is one of the main squares on the South side of Dublin. It’s lined on three sides with very elegant large Georgian town houses with Leinster House and The National Gallery and Natural History Museum on the other side. In the centre of the square there’s a railed off garden. When the square was first built it would have been reserved for the exclusive use of the wealthy residents of the houses. But today it’s a very pleasant public park.

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On Sunday after a fairly rough crossing, the boat docked in Dublin Port a little later than scheduled at about 5:30. There was a strong breeze, but it was sunny, so I drove over to the Square and parked up. The on street parking is free there on a Sunday. I spend a pleasant hour or so having a wander round the square and park.

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The Square was originally laid out after 1762, when it would have been on the very edge of the city, and was completed by the beginning of the 19th century. Famous residents have included Oscar Wilde, who lived for a while at Number 1, the poet W. B. Yeats, Irish patriot Daniel O’Connell and the physicist, Erwin Schrödinger.

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The buildings are very typical of the simple Georgian town houses found in this part of Dublin. However, I don’t think that is as interesting architecturally as some of the other streets nearby and I think that Fitzwilliam Square, a few blocks away is more attractive. The main attraction of Merrion Square for me is the park. It’s not very large but is pleasantly laid out and there are a number of statues and monuments that add interest when strolling around the lawns.

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This is Eire by the Irish American sculptor Jerome Connor.

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The Tribute Head by Elisabeth Frink is dedicated to Nelson Mandela and was unveiled on 18 July 1988.

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The oversize ‘Jesters Chair’ is a memorial to Writer, Satirist, Actor and Comic Dermot Morgan,  best remembered for his role as the immortal Father Ted in the TV series of the same name.

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This somewhat rather gruesome group is the Victims, by Andrew O’Connor, Installed in 1976, it’s dedicated to the victims of war.

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This is a bust of the Irish patriot Michael Collins, Commander in Chief of the Irish Free State Army during the Irish Civil War.

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The most well known monument in the square is this statue of Oscar Wilde which stands in the corner of the park, opposite the house where he used to live.

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Nearby are statues of a pregnant naked woman, representing his wife, Constance, which I think is particularly attractive

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and a male torso

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The last two stand on plinths where sayings by Wilde are inscribed, that were selected by notable Irish men and women,

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One thought on “Merrion Square, Dublin

  1. Pingback: St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin | Down by the Dougie

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