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09-03-2012, 00:00   #16
golfwallah
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Originally Posted by pedroeibar1 View Post
The IRA tried to demolish the Pillar and failed miserably – they blew a gap which caused the top to fall off. That left a considerably weakened structure, which was a nightmare for anyone to tackle. All commercial explosive experts would – then as now - have run a mile; the Army did a good job considering the size and mass of the stump.

Before it was initially blown up there was a growing movement to replace ‘it’ or rather replace the statue of Nelson with one of Mary; thankfully that did not happen. Trafalgar was a huge victory in its day, very popular in Ireland because a considerable number of the RN sailors were Irish and that is why the public subscription was completed so quickly – the Dublin Pillar was one of the first to be erected, long before the one in Trafalgar Sq in London.
Very informative .... thanks for that!
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09-03-2012, 00:43   #17
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Found this newspaper report from the Indo - as can be seen from one report 'souvenir' hunters were early on the scene - someone is reported as making off with the sword - and of course Nelson's head went missing for a time. I seem to remember students stole it.






And interesting to see the headline from the Evening Press -


Last edited by MarchDub; 09-03-2012 at 01:05.
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09-03-2012, 16:19   #18
thecommietommy
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I remember my Father telling me about the demolition. His main point was that when the Irish army undertook the demolition of what remained of the pillar that they used to much explosives and caused more damage to surrounding properties than the IRA bomb had done. The pillar would have been an impressive monument if it still stood, it would have been 200 years old recently. Before the 1950's the main criticism of it seems to have been either for its aesthetics or its disruption of traffic as opposed to what it represented.

I studied the design of the pillar previously (in a comparison with the spire). It was revised by the Architect Francis Johnston so that it fitted in with his scale of structures on O'Connell street (then Sackville) such as the GPO.
Not trying to be smart with you, but when the IRA's bomb blew up the Nelson statue at the top, the force dissipated into the surrounding empty air. However, when the army had to blow up the rest at the base, the force had to dissipate into the surrounding area which included the nearby buildings.

The surviving head of Nelson's statue can be seen in the upstairs library on Pearse St, Dublin.
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09-03-2012, 16:46   #19
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when the IRA's bomb blew up the Nelson statue at the top, the force dissipated into the surrounding empty air. However, when the army had to blow up the rest at the base, the force had to dissipate into the surrounding area which included the nearby buildings.
Could you clarify this point- I don't fully see what you are saying? Did the IRA bomb cause more damage?
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09-03-2012, 16:46   #20
thecommietommy
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Sad to see some of the usual urban myth Pillar rubbish coming up again in the earlier posts. The IRA tried to demolish the Pillar and failed miserably – they blew a gap which caused the top to fall off. That left a considerably weakened structure, which was a nightmare for anyone to tackle. All commercial explosive experts would – then as now - have run a mile; the Army did a good job considering the size and mass of the stump.
If the IRA wanted to demolish the whole tower with a single explosion they would have placed the explosives at the base, not the top. Whether you agree or disagree with it, they made their point and the pillar had to be demoished as a consequnce, therefore a totally successful operation for the IRA.

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Before it was initially blown up there was a growing movement to replace ‘it’ or rather replace the statue of Nelson with one of Mary; thankfully that did not happen.
Never heard that and I listened to a documentary on radio about it and read a few articles down the years, link please

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Trafalgar was a huge victory in its day, very popular in Ireland because a considerable number of the RN sailors were Irish and that is why the public subscription was completed so quickly – the Dublin Pillar was one of the first to be erected, long before the one in Trafalgar Sq in London.
I'd very much doubt if any British victory was popular with the vast majority of the ordinary decent of people in Ireland as it was in 1805 just 7 years after the 1798 rebellion when approx 30,000 Irish people were murdered by British forces. Country's don't celebrate those who murder their own people - except collaborators etc

As for a large number of RN sailors been from Ireland, I'm sure quite a lot of them were press ganged and the others due to the ecnomic extortion imposed by the British on Ireland were sadly economic conscripts. It's one of the consequences of occupation and the economic extortion that goes with it, that the victims often have to serve the state to survive, whether it be the Romans, Nazi's or British.

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Personally, I like the ballad ascribed to Brendan Behan on another statue – the Gough Memorial – and the pathetic effort by the ‘Patriots’
Gough was a unionist mouthpiece and one of the leaders of the Curragh Mutiny in 1914, pity someone didn't blow him up instead.

Last edited by thecommietommy; 09-03-2012 at 16:50.
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09-03-2012, 18:28   #21
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Gough was a unionist mouthpiece and one of the leaders of the Curragh Mutiny in 1914,
Yes, Brigadier General Hubert Gough was a great favourite of the Unionists and was in the forefront of the Curragh Mutiny.
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09-03-2012, 18:29   #22
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.

Personally, I like the ballad ascribed to Brendan Behan on another statue – the Gough Memorial – and the pathetic effort by the ‘Patriots’
Never heard of it being 'ascribed' to Behan before - who regarded himself as being a patriot and a nationalist. Behan was a close and lifelong friend of Cathal Goulding Commander in Chief of the IRA -

In fact the composer/writer of the quoted ballad is Vinny Caprini,a lightweight composer of what are usually referred to as 'rowdy rhymes'.
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09-03-2012, 18:32   #23
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Never heard that and I listened to a documentary on radio about it and read a few articles down the years, link please
The main promoters for putting Mary up there were the fanatics in the Irish League of Decency, headed by JB Murray and Mary Kennedy. However, long before them there were several other attempts. (Years later - 1978 - Murray had a heart attack while on the phone to de papers complaining about RTE’s first televised nude scene in ‘The Spike’ .) Also:-

Dublin Corporation frequently discussed the removal of Nelson from the top of the Pillar, with unimplemented plans announced in 1876, 1881, 1891, 1923 and 1928. Thomas Bodkin, a former director of the National Gallery was invited in the 1950s by the government to give a lecture on the Pillar. He was critical of the idea of replacing Nelson with a statue of the Virgin Mary: ‘I can’t help thinking that she would not like to take charge of a column that was subscribed for and erected to the memory of someone else.’ Yvonne Whelan, Reinventing Modern Dublin (Dublin, 2003), p.204.

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Originally Posted by thecommietommy View Post
I'd very much doubt if any British victory was popular with the vast majority of the ordinary decent of people in Ireland as it was in 1805 just 7 years after the 1798 rebellion when approx 30,000 Irish people were murdered by British forces. Country's don't celebrate those who murder their own people - except collaborators etc
As for a large number of RN sailors been from Ireland, I'm sure quite a lot of them were press ganged and the others due to the ecnomic extortion imposed by the British on Ireland were sadly economic conscripts. It's one of the consequences of occupation and the economic extortion that goes with it, that the victims often have to serve the state to survive, whether it be the Romans, Nazi's or British.
You are entitled to your views - however emotive and bigotted. The facts speak from themselve, the subscription was filled extremely quickly and the Pillar was arguably the second one erected - the first was in Scotland. The RN pressed sailors everywhere, including out of American ships (read up on HMS Leopard) which was one of the factors that fuelled the start of the British American war. You might also consider researching the economic merits of the RN to the poorer population of Munster (victualling, butter markets) and the bases in Queenstown and Berehaven, or even the horse trade from Ireland during the Napoleonic wars.

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Gough was a unionist mouthpiece and one of the leaders of the Curragh Mutiny in 1914, pity someone didn't blow him up instead.
You obviously don't know your history - you have your Goughs confused
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09-03-2012, 18:33   #24
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If the IRA wanted to demolish the whole tower with a single explosion they would have placed the explosives at the base, not the top. Whether you agree or disagree with it, they made their point and the pillar had to be demoished as a consequnce, therefore a totally successful operation for the IRA.

My recollection of the time was just what you say - that the issue was the statue not the pillar - so the explosive was placed purposely so as to blow up the statue of Nelson. That was why only the top was touched.
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09-03-2012, 18:40   #25
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Never heard of it being 'ascribed' to Behan before - who regarded himself as being a patriot and a nationalist. Behan was a close and lifelong friend of Cathal Goulding Commander in Chief of the IRA -

In fact the composer/writer of the quoted ballad is Vinny Caprini,a lightweight composer of what are usually referred to as 'rowdy rhymes'.
Ulick O'Connor maintained that Behan wrote it; Behan never denied or affirmed it, according to O'Connor because he did not want to cause offence to his IRA friends. Caprani is another possible source that is often mentioned. I'm open....
P.
PS what's wrong with my 'ascribed' ? = credited or attributed
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09-03-2012, 18:46   #26
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My recollection of the time was just what you say - that the issue was the statue not the pillar - so the explosive was placed purposely so as to blow up the statue of Nelson. That was why only the top was touched.
No, the explosion was about half way up; the IRA used a necklace charge, which would have caused the weight of the upper part to fall down 'vertically' - that can be seen by the way in which the rubbles was spread around the sides. They wanted to destroy the pillar, not just the statue.
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09-03-2012, 18:57   #27
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Ulick O'Connor maintained that Behan wrote it; Behan never denied or affirmed it, according to O'Connor because he did not want to cause offence to his IRA friends. Caprani is another possible source that is often mentioned. I'm open....
TBH I think that O'Connor may have been just stirring it up a bit - as he likes to do but not getting into that. The controversy over Behan between O'Connor and Goulding went into the courts AFAIK.
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09-03-2012, 19:02   #28
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I remember my Father telling me about the demolition. His main point was that when the Irish army undertook the demolition of what remained of the pillar that they used to much explosives and caused more damage to surrounding properties than the IRA bomb had done.
<<-SNIP->>. The reality was because the remains of the pillar was below the level of the surrounding building the explosion was going to be somewhat contained. Several international demolition companies looked at the job and declined because they knew it couldn't be done in one go without damaging the surrounding buildings. Some of the damage claims submitted were believed to have happened as far back in the shelling in 1916 (some cracks were found to have moss growing in them). Several of the buildings owners did not comply with basic instructions such as leaving windows open etc.

Men present that day went on to distinguish themselves throughout the troubles and abroad. They were the forerunners of today's elite EOD teams that make safe viable devices on your streets weekly. <<-SNIP->>

Last edited by dubhthach; 09-03-2012 at 20:42. Reason: Removed insulting passages
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09-03-2012, 20:26   #29
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Learning from history

Some good informative posts and interesting pics, but reading the tetchy ones, it would seem that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing – especially on an internet forum. Don’t believe people would behave like this if they met in person.

I’m not interested in being controversial - just looking for memories and, perhaps, a few ideas for the future. Remember we are in a recession, need to learn a bit from the past and move forward with solutions to problems, especially for young people, who are the future of this little country of ours.

If history teaches us anything it is the importance of toleration and respect for views that are different from our own.

So, guys, can we please get away from the blame game and all the negativity. Let's focus on the positives – how can we all make something good come from the lessons of the past – particularly the 100th anniversary of 1916 – and in an inclusive way, for people from all shades of political opinion.

Brings to mind the quote that “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.
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09-03-2012, 20:42   #30
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<<-SNIP->>. The reality was because the remains of the pillar was below the level of the surrounding building the explosion was going to be somewhat contained. Several international demolition companies looked at the job and declined because they knew it couldn't be done in one go without damaging the surrounding buildings. Some of the damage claims submitted were believed to have happened as far back in the shelling in 1916 (some cracks were found to have moss growing in them). Several of the buildings owners did not comply with basic instructions such as leaving windows open etc.

Men present that day went on to distinguish themselves throughout the troubles and abroad. They were the forerunners of today's elite EOD teams that make safe viable devices on your streets weekly. <<-SNIP->>
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Insulting other users, or in this case their father is against the spirt of this board. Infraction given. If you persist in such behaviour I will issue a ban
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