Replacing The Liberator


 John Hogan’s statue of Daniel O’Connell outside City Hall, Dublin in 1868. It is now housed in the building’s rotunda




This afternoon.

The O’Connell Plinth, City Hall, Dublin 2.


Dublin artist Alan Phelan was last year commissioned by Dublin City Council to create a sculpture for the granite plinth on Dame Street that once supported a statue of Daniel O’Connell. The plinth, while still inscribed with the name of the great Irish politician, has been vacant since the statue was moved inside City Hall 150 years ago.

Phelan won the €50,000 Sculpture Dublin commission for his piece called RGB Sconce, a 5m tall red, green and blue “sconce” – a type of candle holder –“referencing stucco plasterwork and Georgian architecture, and symbolising hope in the form of a torch or eternal flame,” the council said.

It’s progress, philistine.

Brexit glue tariffs delay production of Dublin sculpture for outside City Hall (irish Times, April 5, 2021)

Pics by Przemyslaw Zbieron

Top pic via National Library of Ireland

37 thoughts on “Replacing The Liberator

  1. John F

    I know the appreciation of art is inherently subjective. But in my opinion the new “art” piece does not look at all good. It just stands out like a sore thumb.

  2. Jono

    Woeful by any stretch. Even the mount is at 90 degrees to the way it should be or else the sculpture is facing the wrong way.

    Amature hour as usual!!!

  3. Spider

    The sculpture was commissioned for that exact location…. So why the f*** couldn’t they make the base fit onto the plynth properly?

    1. John F

      Yeah, it reminds me of the quote from a cantankerous priest in Father Ted.

      “These won’t last. Would you look at that? Sure ya could talk that into coming down.”

    2. Cú Chulainn

      Dear god.. it doesn’t fit on the plinth.. how in the name of the dear lord was that allowed to happen… and having happened, how was it allowed to proceed.. that is just shocking and indicative of how art is viewed by the council..

  4. Free Lunch

    Unbelievable to think this was the decision.

    Amateurish, ugly, poorly positioned.

    Mannix Flynn on holiday?

  5. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

    I actually don’t mind the theme but detest the colors and find the flames ( everything from the arms up ) a bit clumsy, I feel like this was a draft that needed more tweeking

  6. Paulus

    If it were a contemporary abstract piece in those colours, it just might work. But painting a period sconce-theme in those colours looks like a garish mish-mash.

  7. johnny comment,might be a racist to say anyhting, but Mayor Chu but was this ‘art’ not done under the mayors watch-thanks,can’t wait go see it….

    -She speaks candidly about the racism she suffered while in office, saying she lost track of the amount of times people told her to “go home” or that she, a woman from the Dublin suburb of Tallaght, “brought Covid over with me”.
    “When the abuse started coming in I was very conscious that this was something that would happen. And then it started coming in the mail and I thought well this is again, what happens,” Chu said.
    “It got very creepy at one stage with people cutting out bits of paper to write letters, and then weird random packages as well.
    “And then the phone calls started coming in with heavy breathing, and you kind of go: OK, this is again maybe part of it, but then when they arrive at the house – when they know that there’s a 3½-year-old there – and when there’s comments online talking about how some sexual act should happen to her, you’re going: what the f*** is wrong with you people? So you get to a point where the threshold gets passed-

    ps-you would have wonder does Ryan,santion his Chair openly and publicly, criticizing Irish foreign affairs and our minister,on the record in The South China Morning Post,while ranting about racism.

    1. Truther

      Is your point that what former Mayor Chu describes experiencing can not be described as racism, Johnny?
      Actually, you know what, I don’t care.

      1. johnny

        ..speaking of creepy,your incessant pointless sub commenting most certainly is,are you breathing heavy while manically reading my comments….

          1. Johnny

            The lady doth protest too much… was up 5 mins,did you even read her rant about Eire in the SCMP,before duh doing the very thing in the opening sentence,ffs…where does the ‘sheet get them from…

          2. Truther

            Mindless insult,
            Boring insult about mental capacity
            That’s all you’ve got to offer is it Johnny?

  8. Nigel

    If you’d used the title ‘Hiding The Liberator’ it would have sounded more like a naughty euphemism. On the other hand ‘garishly painted sconce’ just sounds like a slur or some kind.

  9. Lookalike 7

    How many people care?
    It is a statue. Pigeons are gonna poop on it. and desecrate your Master.

    Use your brain good people.

  10. Lilly

    Regardless of the merits of the sculpture, it’s out of place there. Plus it looks as if it might topple over any minute now.

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