THE O’CONNELL MONUMENT PHOTOGRAPHED 3 DECEMBER 2019
Tour guides always refer to the four angels [winged victories] representing Patriotism, Courage, Eloquence and Fidelity as there are bullet holes on the arms and breasts of two of them. It is mentioned, by the guides, that British soldiers used them for target practice during the 1916 Easter Rising.
A two-ton Dalkey granite foundation stone for this monument was laid on 8 August 1864 by the Lord Mayor and a competition was initiated by Dublin Corporation to design and finish a sculpture by the centenary of O’Connell’s birth in 1875.
There was no resident Irish winner of the competition and John Henry Foley took on the project, followed by Thomas Brock after the death of Foley in 1874.
The Monument was unveiled on 15 August 1882, on the occasion of the Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition in the Rotunda Gardens. On the same day the newly-widened Carlisle Bridge was renamed O’Connell Bridge.
The large bronze cloaked figure of O’Connell stands on a tall cylindrical pedestal, encircled below by bronze frieze of people of Ireland in high-relief, having nearly thirty figures symbolising church, professions, arts, trades and peasantry. Central figure of Erin trampling upon chains, points upwards and holds 1829 Act of Catholic Emancipation in her left hand.