21 May O’Connell Street, Dublin, County Dublin
A statue of Daniel O’Connell, ‘The Liberator’, stands at the Southern end of the street named after him, overlooking O’Connell Bridge, the city’s main North-South link. Around the plinth fly bronze angels of victory, their wings pierced with bullet holes from the Easter Rising of 1916. Behind the victor in the struggle for Catholic emancipation runs a central, tree-lined pavement with more statues and, at its north end, the massive bronze of Charles Stewart Parnell who led the Home Rule movement in the 19th century.
The central walk between the two statues gives the best views of Dublin’s most famous street, and without doubt its most impressive building is the General Post Office of 1814-18. Above its gleaming white portico of fluted columns are figures of Hibernia, Mercury and Fidelity, and in the main hall is a superb bronze status of the dying Cuchulainn, hero and leader of the Red Branch Knights in Irish mythology. During the 1916 Rising, the GPO was he headquarters of the rebel Irish Volunteers. It was relentlessly shelled and shot at by the British, and the great Ionic columns of the portico still show the scars.
A short walk from O’Connell Street, along Henry Street, leads to the Moore Street Market where modern day ‘Molly Malones’ sell cockles and mussels, as well as fruit and vegetables.
O’Connell Street is a real must see attraction on your Ireland tours.