Monday, August 15, 2016


Click on any image for a larger version

She's probably more visible by night than by day. She was 22 years in the making and she now stands about 100 feet above the level of the sea below. She faces in towards the port and not out to sea, despite her official title of Réalt na Mara (Star of the Sea). She is there as a tribute to the dockers and those who worked in the port. Her pose is that of Mary on the Miraculous Medal.

Conceived in 1950, and intended for the Marian Year in 1954, it was 1961 before enough funds were raised to ensure the project would go ahead. This was a much scaled down version of what was originally envisaged, at least as far as cost was concerned. There was a lot of toing an froing over suitable sites and it took until 1972 for the project to be completed on its present site at the end of the Bull Wall.

Cardinal Agagianian was the papal legate to Ireland during the Patrician Year in 1961 and he was got to bless the foundation stone during his visit in June of that year. At that stage there was no definitive site for the monument and the ceremony took place in Ringsend.

Older readers, if they're still with us, will remember the excitement of 1958, and more particularly 1963, when the cardinal was not only papabile but seen by most people as being first in line to be the next pope if the Italians' iron grip on the papacy could be broken.

In any event, a site was finally found at the end of the Bull Wall in Dollymount and the monument was inaugurated by Dublin Archbishop Dermot Ryan in 1972.

There is a bespoke website here.

1 comment:

Póló said...

I'm reminded that this is the feast of the Assumption. Appropriate enough and her on her way with a good headstart.