Ulster bid for Dublin’s Lord Nelson (June 1954)

From the News Letter of June 1954 From the News Letter of June 1954

Friday, 25th June 2021, 10:00 am
9th March 1966:  During the 50th anniversary year of the 1916 Easter Rising the Irish Army remove the remainder of Nelson's Pillar in the centre of O'Connell Street, Dublin, after it was demolished by an explosion.  (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
9th March 1966: During the 50th anniversary year of the 1916 Easter Rising the Irish Army remove the remainder of Nelson's Pillar in the centre of O'Connell Street, Dublin, after it was demolished by an explosion. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

The Port St Anne Society of Killough, Co Down, had told the Dublin Corporation that it wanted to acquire the figure of Nelson which stood at the top of Nelson’s Pillar in O’Connell Street, Dublin, if the corporation decided to get rid of it, reported the News Letter during this week in 1954.

The society had written to the Lord Mayor and to the Clerk of the Dublin Corporation stating that it was prepared to negotiate for the acquisition of the complete figure in connection with its work for the restoration of Killough Port St Anne Harbour in Co Down.

The Corporation had been told that the society, if it acquires the figure, would “yearly honour the Dublin Corporation and the people of Dublin”.

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The remainder of Nelson's Pillar in the centre of O'Connell Street, Dublin, after it was demolished by an explosion, during the 50th anniversary year of the 1916 Easter Rising. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

The News Letter reported that it was probable that the offer would be considered at the next meeting of the Dublin Corporation which was to be held on July 6, 1954.

The Corporation considered a resolution of the Dublin Brigade Old IRA, who werepressing for the removal the Nelson Pillar and the erection in its place of memorial to the men who died in the 1916 rebellion.

The Nelson Pillar had been discussed many times and when legal advice was sought six years previously the Corporation had been advised that although the pillar was a public monument it was private property which could only acquired agreement with the trustees, or by special Act of the Chamber of Deputies.

It was also stated that the promotion of such an Act might require a plebiscite of everyone on the register of electors in the City of Dublin.

9th March 1966: The remainder of Nelson's Pillar in the centre of O'Connell Street, Dublin, after it was demolished by an explosion, during the 50th anniversary year of the 1916 Easter Rising. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Nelson’s Pillar had been erected in 1808 at cost of £7,000 and six years previously it was stated that it would cost between £12,000 and £15,000 to remove it.

Every year thousands of visitors paid 6d to climb the 168 steps inside the pillar to view the city from the platform below the figure. Part of the admission money was given to charity by the trustees.

Belfast buses go too fast

Criticism of Belfast Corporation bus drivers for speeding during and after the “rush” period was made by Mr A T Robinson at a meeting of the Belfast Chamber of Trade in the Kensington Hotel in Belfast during this week in June 1954.

Mr Robinson said that the speeding occurred mainly when “drivers were on their way to the depots”. He said that he thought the authorities should instruct the drivers to exercise more care.