Monday, February 02, 2004

For some strange reason one of my favourite places in the city is City Quay. If I can I try and make my way down to that end of the city and position myself just down from the Dockers pub. Through the rush of traffic there’s a semblance of the sea. In the distance you can observe cars and lorries crossing over the toll bridge. Behind that you can see the massive car ferries bringing the populous toward depressing Hollyhead.

If you walk toward Matt Talbot Bridge you come to a brass statue entitled “The Linesman” by Donie McManus. It is I suppose a homage to a bygone era in Dublin social life. The era of the great ships coming into Dublin port from the four corners of the World. The era of the stevedore and wages paid in the pub.

On the far side of the Liffey there is a piece, which consists of seven statues entitled “The Famine” by Rowen Gillespie. It commemorates the Great Irish Famine (1848), when over a million people died of starvation and a million more were forced by emigrated from this fair land. This sculpture is one of the most eerie I have ever encountered. The figures are representations of emaciated figures from the famine period.

Towering over “The Famine” you encounter the flagship of Ireland’s economy, the Irish Financial Services Centre House. Next door to that you have the AIB Trade Centre. Rather ironic I think. Who, I wonder, is laughing at whom? Who is judging who?

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