What is the point? — 27 Comments

  1. The half blown pillar has a ‘lot more about it’.
    I’m not fond of the thingy either. I use it as a directional beacon each time I get lost in Dublin.

    That’s its only purpose as far as I can tell. Did they have a webcam on it before?

  2. Do they have a webcam on it now? [I don’t think so] That would be something – the most expensive webcam in the world!

    I’m fairly sure they didn’t have a webcam on Nelson’s Pillar. It would have been a bit of a waste, with no Internet to connect it to.

  3. I have almost been knocked down several times looking up at the top from the base of the Spire.

    That’s its purpose. Get country bumpkins like me killed.

  4. That seems fair enough.

    But why would you want to look at the top? It’s exactly the same as the bottom, except that it’s smaller, further away, and it gives you a sore neck looking at it?

  5. Ahhh! memories. 8th March 1966 changed the look of Dublin. How many First Dates started at the Pillar? If not at the pillar then within sight of it outside Mc Dowells the Jewellers.

    Grandad you mentioned the fruit and flower sellers at the base but forgot about the mobile Xray van. They had one record played continuously – Green Sleeves.

  6. I liked the floozie! We used to meet at her all the time and tell her our woes. You can’t talk to a big prick. Just ask anyone who’s been interviewed on the Late Late.

  7. @Dario – so you are a moth in real life?

    @Grannymar – I’d forgotten about the x-ray van! I don’t remember the Green Sleeves though. Be thankful for small mercies, says I.

    @K8 – Classic!!!!

  8. Those bastard blue lights have almost killed me several times …so pretty …

  9. Hmmm what can be done with a big prick?

    Elect him as head of the DUP and name him first minister lol

  10. No Sean. We already did that ten years ago and named him Taoiseach.

    Welcome to the Motley Crew, SID. You could have it there – a Sundial!!! All I have to do now is find the numbers 1 to 12 scattered in a circle somewhere around it.

  11. What about forming the IAGT? The Irish Army of Good Taste. You could then blow it up and then run for office.

  12. Grandad,

    This is the story we heard in the States about the destruction of Nelson’s Pillar. It was said that the IRA blew it up and the only thing damaged by the blast was the pillar itself. Not wanting to leave it in that state of disrepair, they called on the Irish Army to demolish the rest of it so the area could be cleared. When the Army blew it up they say windows were shattered all over Dublin and buildings shook miles away. Is any of this true?

  13. Nancy,

    The story of the Defence Forces causing more damage than the IRA is true.'s_Pillar

    Calling the new thing the ‘Stiletto in the Ghetto’ must have come from prissy Southsider who only ventured across the river for the first time when the rugby chaps played at the jolly GAA ground.

    Anyone who has been in the North Inner City will know:

    1. that the place is vibrant
    2. that the people are a lot more friendly

    I walked down Gardiner Street one Saturday morning and everyone spoke. Walk down the road in Killiney and they wouldn’t even nod at you.

  14. Nancy, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. The original bomb caused no deaths, but a fair bit of damage, and while the controlled demolition did cause some damage, windows being shattered all over Dublin is seriously pushing it; no atomic weapons were involved.

  15. I kind of like the idea of putting holes in it. Wonder what tunes it would play. There could be a contest daily, to name the tune.

  16. @Ian – If you were bleeding to death on the road in Killiney they’d step over you and tut about the mess you’re making. It’s a strange place!

    @Betty – In this modern technological age, I’m sure it could be programmed like a gigantic organ pipe. In a force 8 gale, ‘Molly Malone’ would be heard as far away as Kildare!!

    If my memeory serves me, the original blast caused very little damage [except to the pillar]. Even the army were impressed. I remember a taxi driver being interviewed, and he was beside it at the time.

    When the army blew up the stump, quite a few windows were shattered and alarms went off some distance away. The army came in for some stick at the time. They were a bit embarrassed.

    I still have a chunk of the pillar somewhere….

  17. Whoops, typo… the old eye-to-hand coordination ain’t what it used to be! 🙁

  18. Thanks everyone for all the great explanations.

    Grandad, believe it or not, I still have a chunk of it, too!

  19. Good article. I’ve blogged before on my thoughts and childhood trips up Nelsons Pillar.

    I thought Nelsons Pillar was a terrific working monument. I liked the general idea of the spire and I do admire modern minimalsit shapes, but I don’t think it has worked out to be near as interesting as it looked on paper. There was so much going for Nelson’s Pillar – it matched the GPO pillars, it was alive and always full of tourists. A great attraction. We are the worse for not having it and folk like you and I are sadly amongst the few people even aware of the great loss. It’s good that you wrote about it.

  20. It’s art. It doesn’t need a function.

    It’s point,though, in my opinion is to make the world just a wee bit more magical. Which I think it does. Imagine that street without a bizarre sci-fi rocket coming up out of the ground. Normal.

    But now? It’s got this oddity. This strange thing. And it’s ours. St. Louis have their arch. Paris has their tower. We have this. It makes the city just a wee bit different. Odder.

    I like it.

  21. Hiya Roosta,

    I dunno. It’s too bland even for art. Like putting up a white canvas with one vertical line on it. Maybe if they had put a kink in it half way up? Or had made a giant corkscrew?

    As you say though – it does add that odd touch to the city!

  22. Ha!

    A giant corkscrew would be very fitting for this country..haha!

    Or if the spire went up through a massive statue of Charlie Haugheys head.

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