WOLFE TONE PARK NOW CLOSED TO PUBLIC IS THE REGENERATION NOW UNDERWAY?
I have never liked this public space in its current form and I am `aware that many locals agree with me.
Wolfe Tone Park, sometimes known as Wolfe Tone Square, is a public space in Dublin City centre near the Jervis tram stop.
Named in honour of Theobald Wolfe Tone (1763–1798), the park is the site of a graveyard that was attached to St. Mary’s Church. The graveyard was deconsecrated in 1966 and laid out as a green park. In 1998, Dublin City Council held an international competition to redesign the park, which was won by Peter Cody of Boyd Cody Architects. The park in its current form was completed in 2001.
St Mary’s Church was designed in 1697 by Sir William Robinson, the architect of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham. It was built in 1702 by Thomas Burgh under the direction of the duke of Ormonde.
The church has been associated with many famous names. Wolfe Tone, who was born in the adjoining Stafford Street, was baptised in St Mary’s, as were the earl of Charlemont (1728), Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751) and Sean O’Casey (1880).
Among those buried in the adjoining graveyard (now Wolfe Tone Park) is Lord Norbury, the ‘Hanging Judge’ of 1798. John Wesley, founder of Methodism, preached his first Dublin sermon in St Mary’s in 1747. Arthur Guinness, of brewing fame, was married there in 1793. In the 19th century attendance at the church waned as the north side of Dublin became less fashionable. The final burial took place in the cemetery in the 1950s. The Church of Ireland ceased using St Mary’s as a parish church in the 1970s and leased it to the Greek Orthodox community for a short time before selling it to a retailer in 1988.
Lord Norbury, the ‘Hanging Judge’: According to some accounts Lord Norbury (born John Toler) “was Ireland’s most hated man in the 1700s” as he had a reputation for condemning prisoners to be hanged. It was the hanging of Robert Emmet which made him public enemy number one in Ireland and there is a legend that he returned as a black dog walking the streets of Dublin following his death in 1831.
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