Friday, May 20, 2016

HAPPY 200th

Ha'penny Bridge on its 200th birthday
Click on any image for a larger version

Yesterday (19/5/2016) was the 200th birthday of the Ha'penny Bridge, Dublin's first pedestrian bridge over the Liffey. It connects Merchant's Arch on the south side with Liffey Street on the north.

The Corpo (City Council to you) had arranged two events to commemorate the original opening of the bridge.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Críona Ní Dhálaigh, would formally cross the bridge, starting from the wild Northside and seeking asylum on the Southside where she has her (one year holiday) home, otherwise known as the Mansion House. This event is dealt with below.

Later, there would be a series of talks in City Hall on aspects of the bridge. These will be published in a forthcoming book from Four Courts Press later in the year.

Not content with this bag of goodies, the Corpo had invited descendants of the then Lord Mayor, John Claudius Beresford, and of the designer and builder of the bridge, John Windsor. And come they did. Some of them only realising the family connection with the bridge for the first time.

Críona ag caint

The Ardmhéara, now coming to the end of her year in office, showed that she could not only talk the talk (as Béarla agus as Gaeilge) ...

The formal walkover

... but she could also walk the walk.

She has had a great year and she has made a difference, certainly as far as culture and heritage are concerned. Needless to say this has been very welcome to Dubliners at a time when these areas are slipping down the national priorities.

The Herald interviews a Beresford descendant

The event was also something of a mediafest with video and audio being trundled all over the place. But the print media were also on the ball and the elegantly dressed man from the Evening Herald was ubiquitous.

The Herald interviews a Windsor descendant

Mary Clarke interviewed by Dublin Q102

Pat Liddy interviewed by 98 FM

Look Ma, I'm on the Telly ??

And finally, this standoff.

Probably ended up on the cutting floor. Ah well.

Mary enjoys a joke with a Beresford descendant

City Archivist, Mary Clarke, was on the scene, as were others from the Dublin City Library and Archive (DCLA).

More descendants/family

More descendants/family

Séamus, and Ellen (DCLA)

Phil (DCLA) and Pat

Dublin Biddies

I'll leave you with the two Dublin biddies, permanently seated outside the Woollen Mills and in sight of the Ha'penny Bridge. No doubt they will have much to natter about following the 200th year birthday party which they hosted yesterday.

Related post: A Ha'porth of Tar

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