I LIKE THIS 1929 SACRED HEART SHRINE AT THE JUNCTION OF REGINALD STREET AND GRAY STREET
The inscriptions read as follows:
“Erected by the parishioners of St. Catherine’s to the glory and honour of God and in commemoration of the Centenary of the Emancipation, 1929″
“Restored to mark the visit of Pope John Paul II to the Liberties 29th Sept. 1975″
A number of memorial fountains were erected in Dublin commemorating the visit of Queen Victoria to Ireland and I must admit that my favourite is the one in Dun Laoghaire. As you may have guessed I really like these old Victorian memorial fountains
While searching, about ten or twelve years ago, for Marian Statues in Dublin I was informed by a tourist guide that there was one in the Liberties area of Dublin known as the “Holy Mary” statue.
When I eventually located it I realised that it was not a Marian Statue and that itcould have been a a Queen Victoria fountain that had been modified or converted.
After I published some photographs on Flickr I discovered that it was known at various times as “The Fountain”, “The Sacred Heart Statue” or “The Catholic Emancipation Memorial”.
I now know that the large canopied structure was originally built as a water fountain until the top was knocked off during the War of Independence. In 1929 the local community converted it into a Sacred Heart shrine [not a Marian Shrine] and then in 1979 it was rededicated for the Papal visit to Ireland.
According to some accounts much of the current structure is not original as the roof was replaced after the fountain had been demolished by a lorry. I do not know if the lorry accident and the War Of Independence incident were in fact the same event and to complicate the story even more some local historians maintain that pieces were shot off by British ‘Black And Tans’. To be honest, if I was the lorry driver I would have blamed someone else.