Moving statue of O'Connell

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Where: 4 Cork Hill, Dublin, Ireland

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: 01 January 1868

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
A different day and a different hero, The Liberator in a spot we never saw him in our liftimes?

This photograph of Hogan's Statue of Daniel O'Connell "The Liberator" brings us an interesting story of a Civic Council's struggle to find the perfect location for this important sculpture.

To get the full story you must read the comments below, in summary Carol Maddock tells us that the statue was inside City Hall in May 1957. O Mac tells us it was outside after 1966, Carol then confirms that the move outside happened circa Feb 1867, she then suggests that because of exposure to weather it was moved inside again circa Feb 1969. Confused? - you will be!!!

I think all of the above gives a date range of Feb 1867 to Feb 1869 - a very narrow range for the Stereo Pairs Collection.

Thank you all for all the research work so far, now can someone tell me who made the plinth and when it was made?

Photographers: Frederick Holland Mares, James Simonton

Contributor: John Fortune Lawrence

Collection: The Stereo Pairs Photograph Collection

Date: between Feb 1867 to Feb 1869

NLI Ref: STP_1387

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 15400
thestereopairsphotographcollection lawrencecollection stereographicnegatives jamessimonton frederickhollandmares johnfortunelawrence williammervynlawrence nationallibraryofireland danieloconnell theliberator johnhogan cityhall damestreet dublin ireland leinster codublin royalexchange pristineblockofmarble saravezza rome 1845 feb1867 feb1869 jamescahill sculptor aldermanreynolds lordmayor councillorsullivan

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    sharon.corbet

    • 22/Jul/2015 07:46:46

    Both the statue and the plinth are still at City Hall - the statue has been moved inside (seen on the left in this panorama photo), whereas the plinth has been moved to the side (Streetview of plinth.)

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 22/Jul/2015 07:51:39

    Well done Sharon, now show how good you are by getting Dan's baptismal records in his parish register:-)

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    sharon.corbet

    • 22/Jul/2015 07:59:41

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Unfortunately, the Caherciveen recordsdon't go back that far :-)

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    Carol Maddock

    • 22/Jul/2015 08:02:29

    The sculptor was Waterford-born John Hogan:

    For at the time that he began to work on the statue, about 1844, O'Connell was long past the prime of manhood . He was, in fact, nearly seventy and had only a few years to live. There was no longer anything of the Greek athlete about him — if ever there had been. Always a big man, he had grown rather fleshy. But Hogan, being a great and highly sensitive artist, was able to give refined statement to the unrefined fact of O'Connell's prodigious physique. Thus, without denying that here and there O'Connell tended unduly to bulge, he designed the classical folds of the mantle to carry one over to the dignity, one might indeed say to the majesty, of the figure as a whole, to the heroic proportions and movement, the splendid shoulders, the magnificently poised head. Again, there is no denial of the unclassical pugnaciousness of the O'Connell chin, but how Hogan balances it by insisting on the fine lines about the mouth, suggestive of mobility, of eloquence, of charm, of humour. Here is where one realises that all the stories of O'Connell's genius as an orator must be absolutely true.
    Some Statues by John Hogan by Thomas MacGreevy in The Father Mathew Record, August 1943

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    Carol Maddock

    • 22/Jul/2015 08:16:40

    Three degrees of separation from Library Towers - John Hogan was apprenticed to Thomas Deane, father of Thomas Newenham Deane, who designed the National Library and National Museum buildings...

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    sharon.corbet

    • 22/Jul/2015 08:26:33

    The statue was sculpted at Rome: "While the posthumous bronze portrait of O’Connell (1856) in Limerick’s Crescent follows in the quiet, pensive mode of his earlier Davis statue, Hogan’s monumental marble sculpture of The Liberator in Dublin City Hall is perhaps his most towering achievement. Hogan carefully selected a pristine block of marble at Saravezza for this which was to bring Rome to a standstill when hauled through the city in 1845. "

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    O Mac

    • 22/Jul/2015 08:30:03

    Man in Black.... The statue got a mourning robe when O Donovan Rossa was lying in state at City Hall late July 1915. www.nli.ie/glassplates/KE/KE_164.jpg

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    Carol Maddock

    • 22/Jul/2015 09:07:00

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Also on the theme of mourning, there was a long and very florid obituary for John Hogan in the Nation, 3 April 1858. His old employer, now Sir Thomas Deane, was in attendance.

    John Hogan Within the vaulted circle in Glasnevin Cemetery, where rest the ashes of O’Connell, were laid on Tuesday last the mortal remains of one whose name will ever remind an Irishman of his country’s glory and her shame—of her glory in that she bore a son so gifted, of her shame in that she honoured him so coldly. Tears may fall and marble rise above his grave; the great and proud ones of the land may come to place a wreath upon his tomb and grieve for past indifference and cold neglect; but all the grief of ages will not restore the life tinge to the pallid cheek, or put a life throb into the noble heart that moulders silently below…
    And the statue of O'Connell also featured peripherally in photos of Michael Collins lying in state at City Hall in August 1922.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 22/Jul/2015 09:23:27

    The balustrade was only replaced in 1866 after the previous ones collapsed in 1814. The Irish Times has a nice article on the restoration in 2000, which includes this bit: "Reinstatement of the ground floor meant getting rid of the south staircase, inserted in 1852. But before that could happen, the architects had to show that its removal would not create a safety hazard in the event of fire. So they lit a fire in the middle of the rotunda, with city fire chiefs and a fire tender on hand to observe it. What they demonstrated was that the dome would act as a smoke reservoir for long enough to allow people to get out of the building if it went on fire. Not only did this exercise permit the removal of the south staircase, it also allowed the matching stone staircases on the north front to be kept open, with no need for fire screens." They also suggest that "The gargantuan statue of Daniel O'Connell should also be moved back outside to re-occupy the vacant pedestal made for it."

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    sharon.corbet

    • 22/Jul/2015 09:24:57

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] But I note that Michael Collins apparently didn't merit the mourning robe...

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    Carol Maddock

    • 22/Jul/2015 09:57:34

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] You're right! Tempting to see machinations. Would have to poke around to see political make up of Dublin Corporation. Although far more dramatic use of mourning drapes/curtains in 1922 than in 1915 - so maybe just a matter of style?

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    swordscookie back and trying to catch up!

    • 22/Jul/2015 10:16:05

    Nice to see that Limerick got a wee mention and I did always admire the statue in the Crescent! I remember political meetings taking place in the shadow of the great man! This is a shot of the Crescent with the old Jesuit church on the right and the Crescent College just past that. [https://www.flickr.com/photos/swordscookie/19288527654/in/dateposted/]

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    O Mac

    • 22/Jul/2015 10:22:16

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] We're getting very sombre here this morning ! It's a busy statue. Here overlooking the remains of Parnell...No mourning robes in Oct 1891 ? So a link to yesterdays picture. www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/19290241603/in/datepos...

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    sharon.corbet

    • 22/Jul/2015 10:35:39

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] It may be just that they had a lot more time to prepare in the case of O'Donovan Rossa - he died in Staten Island after all.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 22/Jul/2015 10:40:28

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Yes, and the country was in such a state of chassis in 1922. Do we know why and when he was moved inside City Hall?

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 22/Jul/2015 11:22:15

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] It was a summer just like this one and he was perished with the cold:-)

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    Carol Maddock

    • 22/Jul/2015 11:31:13

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Given today's weather, I'm perfectly willing to accept that explanation, but I'm still going to have to push you for a date. :)

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    Carol Maddock

    • 22/Jul/2015 12:39:42

    There was an article in the Freeman’s Journal on 20 May 1857 about John Hogan’s colossal bronze statue of O’Connell, destined for Limerick, but on public display for 10 days in Dublin Society House (aka Leinster House next door to Library Towers). The article writer is not too happy with the standard, location, and subject matter of Dublin’s public statues, e.g. those commemorating the “virtues of the worthless Georges”! However he (almost certainly he) does acknowledge that there are “fine statues of Grattan and O’Connell in the hall of the Royal Exchange”. (City Hall was previously the Royal Exchange until a vote to change the name was passed in September 1852.) This means the statue had been moved indoors before May 1857, so this image had to have been taken before then. And that’s also before the alleged start date for the Stereo Pairs collection of ca. 1860.

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    O Mac

    • 22/Jul/2015 13:39:04

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] ....Can't have been before 1857 as the stone balustrade evident in the picture replaced an iron railing soon after May 1866. There is another STP showing the old railings (pre 1866) but no Statue or pedestal on the side. catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000564020/Image?lookfor=http:... Maybe the statue was brought out for special occasions? and hence thats why the outside pedestal was never removed. Could it be that it was brought out in 1875 for the centenary of OConnell's birth in 1775 or in 1880 when Foley's Statue was revealed on O Connell Street? Very odd.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 22/Jul/2015 14:19:35

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Hmmm, that's discombobulating alright. But that May 1857 article definitely says it was in the hall. I found an article in the 1860s too where there was a big discussion in the City Council as to the statue's location within the hall - will dig it out again. Hogan's son, who I think was a doctor, said that his father (who died in 1858) had never been happy with the location at the edge of the central hall, and had wanted it to be in the centre under the dome, but the consensus was that the area under the dome had to be clear for citizens to freely move about. As you say, the stone balustrade means it had to be outside after May 1866 for this photograph to have been taken. What a hoo hah to be moving a huge heavy marble statue about the place! Hmmm. Another example of Moving Statues in Ireland?

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    swordscookie back and trying to catch up!

    • 22/Jul/2015 14:28:57

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] I don't know! Since I retired I've had to move the furniture most weeks so a lot would depend on who was housekeeper in City Hall in my opinion! I was always under the impression that it was moved inside in the 1860's but I don't know where I got that!

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    O Mac

    • 22/Jul/2015 14:41:53

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Apparently the present position is on the spot where O Connell made his first public speech on 13th January 1800. The weathering on the statue would suggest it was outside for a while. I agree moving it about wouldnt have been easy. This is a real mystery. My guess would be that it was initially erected inside and was moved out in 1866 when some city manager thought it would look good with Turners all new stone balustrade and steps. There it stayed 'till another city manager said it would look better inside,

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    Carol Maddock

    • 22/Jul/2015 15:10:31

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] A Mystery indeed! Humming Lanigan's Ball to myself here - he stepped out, he stepped in again. :) We have DEFINITELY INSIDE in 1857 from the article above, and the following… “There is the fine colossal statue of O’Connell, by Hogan, stowed away in the Royal Exchange. The place is wholly unsuited to its size, and every person sees it fails to harmonise either with the building or the life-size statues around it.” (Freeman’s Journal, 15 October 1857) But was DEFINITELY OUTSIDE AGAIN in the late 1860s from the stone balustrade evidence, and this from Dublin Builder, 1 February 1869:

    The O’Connell Statue at the City Hall … This statue … has shown signs of decay in consequence of being exposed to the weather:— I understand you have resolved, and wisely, to remove the O’Connell Statue from its present position to the interior of the City Hall… [signed] John Reilly
    And from a little earlier, in 1867 - an account of a Dublin Corporation meeting in Saunders’ Newsletter, 5 March 1867:
    O’Connell’s Statue in the City Hall Mr Sullivan [a Councillor] asked whether the removal of the O’Connell statue to the front of the City Hall was being conducted under the supervision of any professional gentleman. As at present placed it was an abortion, in an artistic point of view. … Alderman Reynolds said Mr Sullivan was one of a number of gentlemen who gave unconditional power for the removal of the statue … to create mischief. [Apparently long standing acrimony between Reynolds and Sullivan. Lord Mayor intervened before “unpleasant discussion” could arise!] Alderman Reynolds said he didn’t care a fig for what Sullivan said “for I believe the highest recommendation to the public of what has been done will be the disapproval of Mr. Sullivan. The removal of the statue has been from the commencement under the supervision of Mr. Cahill, the sculptor, of Mercer-street.”

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    Carol Maddock

    • 22/Jul/2015 16:06:57

    The removal from INSIDE to OUTSIDE happened in February and March 1867… 15 February 1867: “The work of the removal of O’Connell Statue to the front of the City Hall … is being proceeded with by Mr. James Cahill, of Mercer-street.” (Dublin Builder) At the end of Dublin Corporation's meeting in March 1867, payment of £50 was ordered to be paid to Mr Cahill for moving the statue. Earlier in the meeting, Alderman Reynolds who we met above, reported that

    The committee of which he had the honour to be chairman had succeeded in removing this statue from a dark corner in the City Hall to the centre pillars in front of the Town Hall … performed by Mr Cahill, sculptor, of Mercer-street, that the removal of the statue had been effected without a particle of accident. It was there now in all its beauty in front of the Town Hall, and its being placed there had met with the entire satisfaction of the citizens. … The removal was done well because Mr. Cahill thoroughly understood what he was at. Mr Cahill ought to be a master of his art, for he had served an apprenticeship of five years to the immortal Hogan…
    (Freeman’s Journal, 16 March 1867) And then as we saw in the Dublin Builder, 1 February 1869 above, the statue was being affected by exposure to weather, etc. so it was around then that it was decided to bring it back INSIDE again...

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    O Mac

    • 22/Jul/2015 20:12:59

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] That Italian marble must be very soft as it's hard to imagine the statue "showing signs of decay" after what appears, by your accounts, to have been only two years outside.* So then-- your photograph was taken between late March 1867 and sometime shortly after Feb 1869.? .--- It would take some time for that coal/smut/grime to show so I'd guess taken shortly before it was brought back in......1869.....Unless it was moved again in later years..which I doubt...... you would have found a mention. It seems 1866/67 was a busy time at City Hall-- between the new balustrade works and a DIA mention of new doors and windows being installed----- it would have been the right time to have moved a statue outside? Its still a puzzle as to why the chunky pedestal was left outside these last 146 years when the reason they replaced the railing in the first place was because of lack of access space.. Thanks for looking up all that stuff...did ye know....It's 30 years this week since the statues moved in Ballinspittle....spoookie!! *( I'll bring a chisle and a loud cough next time I visit City Hall.)

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    O Mac

    • 22/Jul/2015 20:29:24

    STP 700-- City Hall-- No Statue and showing railings---pre Nov 1866 www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/19293472354/in/datepos... "1865-66 New entrance steps and balustraded terrace. Tenders invited Jul 1865. In progress, Nov 1866. Contractor: Meade, Gt Brunswick St " DIA.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 22/Jul/2015 20:47:56

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] If you and your chisel and your cough get in trouble at City Hall, we can all club together to bail you out! Actually between March 1867 and before 11 May 1869 (and at this point, I’m giving up!), because the Freeman’s Journal reports that at a Council Meeting, Mr Sullivan said:

    it would be observed the O’Connell statue had been removed from the front of the City Hall to the place in the interior in which the Committee of Sculptors had decided upon having it placed. … The statue would remain on a temporary pedestal, and they would not go to the expense of a new one until the position was determined on. … Mr Vereker considered it must be desirable that the site should be chosen deliberately, so as that it would never become necessary again to remove the statue!!! [exlamation marks mine]

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    O Mac

    • 22/Jul/2015 21:32:59

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Quod Erat Demonstrandum.....Dats dat. : )............. and it's good to know that the STP ca 1860 start date is safe--------- for the moment.

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    DannyM8

    • 22/Jul/2015 22:41:38

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Mr Vereker, I wonder if he is any relation to Leo Varadkar?

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    DannyM8

    • 22/Jul/2015 22:43:29

    The title is in MHO one of the best ever - excusing [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] et al.

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    O Mac

    • 23/Jul/2015 00:20:36

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] The Vereker mentioned was John Prendergast Vereker M.A. who was Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1863 and who also - for a while- chaired the O'Connell Steet, O'Connell Monument Committee in 1867 when Foley was chosen to sculpt it .

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    sharon.corbet

    • 23/Jul/2015 02:50:34

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Thanks, I was getting a bit confused yesterday by looking at various tour guides to Dublin from the 1850s-1880s as they kept swopping where the statue was... An article from the The Building News and Engineering Journal from March 1867 "THE O'CONNELL STATUE- A BIT of IRISH HUMOUR- Mr Auditor Benson, says the Athenaeum, put up a bust of Milton in Westminster Abbey with an inscription in which, as Dr Johnson remarks, Mr Benson has bestowed more words upon himself than upon Milton. This incident has narrowly escaped being repeated in Dublin in connection with the O'Connell statue which is now in front of the City Hall. At a recent meeting of the Corporation Alderman Reynolds requested the Lord Mayor to move that the following inscription 'be placed on the statue' - 'This statue of the Liberator was executed in Rome at a cost of 2,000 guineas by the great Irish sculptor John Hogan and removed to its present site (by order of the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor and the Corporation of Dublin) on the motion of O' Connell's staunch and sincere friend Alderman John Reynolds JP February 1867.' What followed was a bit of old Irish humour. On the motion of Mr Sullivan, the Corporation voted to Alderman Reynolds their thanks and then separated!"