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1954 – Something More Solemn for Nelson’s Column?



The Tipperary Star, 23 October 1954

The erection of Nelson’s Pillar on Sackville Street in Dublin was completed in 1809, and from that day on it was the preoccupation of many Irish Nationalists as to how they could take it down again. The monument was dedicated to British Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson and his heroic victory over a Franco-Spanish alliance at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, a victory which cost him his life but ensured that “Britannia ruled the waves” for another century. Both politically and aesthetically it found opposition from many Irish people, and several suggestions were made down through the years as to what should be done with the Pillar and the man atop it. The winning argument was made by Republicans in March of 1966, when, through the use of explosives, Nelson and the upper third of the Pillar were brought crashing down to earth, never to be repaired. Twelve years previous, with Ireland in the pious throes of a Marian Year, a less violent and much more devout idea was espoused in the letters section of the Tipperary Star:

Tipperary Star 23 Oct 1954

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