Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Éire 1798 Memorial [St. Michan’s Park]

Because of the very active playground I have had difficulty photographing this memorial but today the park was almost empty.

Making a guess I would say that very few are aware of this memorial or the park in which it is located. The fact that the artist is unknown does not help.

The statue of Éire is the central feature of St. Michan’s park and it is positioned on a raised area of the green with on a high pedestal dated at the base to 1903. Apparently the pedestal designed to hold a memorial was installed before 1899. Some historians suspect that an already existing statue was purchased and installed as Éire but unfortunately there are no records of the statue being purchased, commissioned or installed.

Éire’s demeanour is subdued and downcast, holding a funerary wreath, a wolfhound looks up at her from one side and in the background the nationalist symbol of the high cross is clearly visible. The base of the monument has an inscription in Irish script with reference to the history of the prison that was adjacent to the park. It reads:

Within this park once stood Newgate prison
Associated in dark and evil days with the doing to death of
Confessors of Irish liberty who gave their lives to vindicate
Their country’s right to National independence
This memorial is erected to perpetuate their memory
To honour their motives and to inculcate a grateful reverence
In Irish minds for sacrifices thus nobly made
For freedom and to proclaim Ireland’s fidelity
To the principles of the men whose names are heron inscribed
In the belief that these will yet redeem and
Regenerate our fatherland for subjection

Éire 1798 Memorial [St. Michan’s Park]-123061

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