Fragment of Nelson’s Pillar, Dublin
Plinth Dates: 19 – 21 August 2011
Nelson’s Pillar (not to be confused with the later Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square), stood in the centre of Dublin from 1808 until March 1966, when it was destroyed by a bomb planted by former members of the IRA (not considered at the time to be an active organisation).
I was in Dublin that night, on a school rugby trip from Belfast, and naturally we went to see the devastation. The pile of rubble was being ‘guarded’ by a policeman, but he wasn’t taking the whole thing very seriously and would give you a piece, if you asked.
Since this piece of granite has spent so many years on a plinth in Dublin, I thought it appropriate to give it three days more on the Fourth Plinth. If that seems short in relation to its 158 years on display in Dublin, we might remember that granite such as this from the Wicklow Mountains is about 445 million years old.