When you visit Dublin it is most likely that your tour guide will tell you the following story: “The famous writer George Moore lived next to another famous writer, Oliver St John Gogarty, in Ely Place. Both were more than a little eccentric and it’s said that Moore painted his door green so that the drunken Gogarty would not come knocking on it, thinking it to be his own door. Gogarty then painted his door red so that the drunken Moore would not come knocking on his door.” Of course there is no truth to this story.
During the Georgian Dublin time period (1714-1830) houses maintained the same uniform look and lacked any originality. Eventually, to break away from the strict structural rules, residents began adding their own personal flair to their doors. Colourful painted doors with ornate knockers and elegant fanlights above the door was a result of this push for individuality.
It was 1970 around St. Patrick’s Day that a colourful collage of Dublin doors appeared in the window of the Irish Tourism offices on Fifth Avenue in New York. There were so many requests for information about the doors that Bord Fáilte at the time, commissioned the poster that has since become an icon of Ireland.