AT THE INTERSECTION OF GRAY STREET AND REGINALD STREET
A number of memorial fountains were erected in Dublin commemorating the visit of Queen Victoria to Ireland and I must admit that my favourite is the one in Dun Laoghaire. As you may have guessed I really like these old Victorian memorial fountains
While searching, many years ago, for Marian Statues in Dublin I was informed by a local historian that there was one in the Liberties area of Dublin known as the “Holy Mary” statue. According to her it was located on Gray Street.
As soon as I located it I realised that it was not a Marian Statue and that it may have been a a Queen Victoria fountain that had been modified or converted.
Over the years since publishing a series of photographs on Flickr I discovered that it was known at various times as ‘The Fountain”, “The Sacred Heart Statue” or “The Catholic Emancipation Memorial” or “the 1929 memorial”.
I now know that the large canopied structure was originally built as a water fountain until the top was knocked off during the War of Independence. In 1929 the local community converted it into a Sacred Heart shrine [not a Marian Shrine] and then in 1979 it was rededicated for the Papal visit to Ireland.
According to some accounts much of the current structure is not original as the roof was replaced after the fountain had been demolished by a lorry. I do not know if the lorry accident and the War Of Independence incident were in fact the same event and to complicate the story even more some local historians maintain that pieces were shot off by British ‘Black And Tans’.
The inscriptions read as follows:
“Erected by the parishioners of St. Catherine’s to the glory and honour of God and in commemoration of the Centenary of the Emancipation, 1929″
“Restored to mark the visit of Pope John Paul II to the Liberties 29th Sept. 1975″
As described by the National Inventory Of Architectural Heritage: ‘Carved stone statue of Jesus Christ, erected 1929, set within structure erected over former drinking fountain c.1900 comprising of decorative cast-iron columns having bands of stylised shamrock to shafts and connecting wrought-iron railing panels, supporting copper roof with cross finial and cast-iron shields with storks. On octagonal-profile ashlar limestone base, formerly base to fountain erected c.1900. Restored 1979.’ and ‘The original fountain was made by the MacFarlane foundry of Glasgow and was erected to provide a reliable water source to the surrounding houses. The canopy suffered damage during the War of Independence and again in the late twentieth century. The statue of Jesus replaced the fountain in 1929 to commemorate the centenary of Catholic emancipation. The structure was restored to commemorate the Papal visit to Dublin in 1979. It provides a focal point to the junction of Gray Street and Reginald Street.’
I am still testing my Sony FX30 camera and today I used a Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA. Vario-Sonnar Zoom lens are optimised for the demands of Sony’s high quality picture cameras using Carl Zeiss’ expertise in creating both analog and digital lenses. It produces high quality, bright and sharp pictures, enabling sensitive and precise images.