Thursday, December 6, 2012

More Liffey Trivia

1-Victim of the The Recession: The U2 Tower in the south docklands would have been Ireland tallest building if the economic crash hadn’t halted its progress. Designed by Lord Foster as a luxury apartment block it also featured an egg shaped recording studio for the band on the roof.

2-Fallen Idol: The Irish House, famed for its exterior depicting Irish historical scenes was sadly demolished to make way for the Civic Offices at Wood Quay in 1996. Some of the figures from the fa├žade of the pub were saved and are on display at Dublin Civic Trust on Castle St.

3-An Act of Vandalism: The original Viking settlement of Dublin was located at Wood Quay. In 1979 thousands marched in protest against the building of the Civic Offices on this archeologically important site as many important artifacts had been found in the area. The building controversially went ahead.

4-The Call of the Wild: People have been swimming (& drowning) in the Liffey for years. There are several youtube clips of people jumping in for a dare and a scan of the Irish Times archives reveals a litany of Liffey exploits including one from 1890 that relates the story of a Miss Marie Finny, “a professional swimmer” who was arrested just before she attempted to jump into the river off O’Connell Bridge.

5-Scuppered by the Slime: The Millenium Clock was commissioned by the National Lottery and installed in the Liffey west of O’Connell Bridge in 1995. It counted down the minutes to the Millenium but was plagued with problems, especially visibility and was removed two years later costing over €250,000 in funding.

6-Dancing on Water: In 1929 a floating ballroom (with a band imported from London) was moored near O’Connell Bridge to entertain the impoverished of the greater Dublin area. It resides now, a rusting wreck, on the scrub-lands at Bull Island.

7-A Celebrity Seal: A few years back a young seal appeared in the Liffey in the vicinity of the new Samuel Beckett bridge in the Docklands. The Irish Seal Sanctuary were inundated with calls but apparently the Liffey is a natural environment for seals and several more seem to have joined him in the meantime.

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