At the very heart of historic (and modern) Dublin City is the O'Connell Bridge at the base of- you guessed it, O'Connell Street. The bridge really does sit at the center of the action in Dublin- crossing the River Liffey between Temple Bar and Viking-era Dublin to the West and the Trinity College area to the East.
Just North of the bridge is a statue to the man himself, upon a pedestal of Irish citizens and angels. When we first arrived in Dublin (just over six months ago as of this writing!) our cab driver proudly but soberly pointed out bullet damage on the monument- particularly the lower angels- from a firefight in Dublin during the 1916 Easter Rising.
|O'Connell with a Pigeon Buddy|
The street is lined through with statues and monuments, not all of them pictured here. Father Mathew sternly admonishes the masses to stay away from their liquor just as he did during his Irish temperance movement in the early 1800's.
Farther up, James Larkin preaches to the camera-toting masses his message of labor reform. Larkin founded the Transport Workers Union and was involved in strikes, lockouts, and other socialist activities in the early 20th century.
|Spire of Dublin|
Turning to the West from the Spire, we are on the steps of the General Post Office of Dublin. This building was the site of the proclamation of Irish independence in 1916, sparking the famous Easter Rising. The rebels set up headquarters here during the rebellion, and the pillars are still marked with bullet holes from the fierce battle.
|General Post Office|
O'Connell, because of its significance, should be rated a can't miss sight in Dublin on a visit. Luckily, because of its prime location on and near many other sights in town, O'Connell is a... can't miss sight. When in town, take the 20 minutes to walk this important (and convenient) walk.
Final note- The descriptions of the important political figures on this blog are not at all meant to be comprehensive. These leaders all played important roles in shaping modern Ireland, and many died for their cause. Their stories are much deeper and their history much richer than we would have time or expertise to dissect here. I strongly encourage readers to take some time to research these people and events further for a deeper understanding.