Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bring me my red shirt and my brown trousers

The ignominious fall of Admiral Nelson



8th March is the anniversary of the toppling of Admiral Nelson from his perch in Dublin's O'Connell Street, in 1966, on the eve of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the 1916 Rising.

This year is the 90th anniversary of the Rising and the Irish Government intends to use the occasion to reclaim the Rising from the historical clutches of Sinn Féin/IRA in its various manifestations. A major parade, involving the Irish army, is planned to pass the GPO, the major iconic site of the Rising. A similar parade was held in 1966 when de Valera was still President and the Irish airforce had three Vampire jets, all of which were deployed for the fly-past. You can see some images here.

Anyway, back to Nelson. I was one of the minority of Dubliners who actually went up the Pillar. It was more taken for granted than mounted, and, had it not been for my showing a foreign tourist around the city, I might never have seen the sights from such a height. You can see some photos which show the shadow of the pillar on O'Connell Street and an interesting back view of the Pro-Cathedral, which neatly illustrates the rationale of the authorities of the day insisting that it front onto a back-street (Marlborough St.).

You can see the deconstruction of the monument in a html slideshow here.

And, in honour of the year that's in it, and in the interest of furthering "these island" relations, you may wish to download a Nelson Calendar for 2006 here

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