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Dublin: 4°C Monday 19 April 2021

Double Take: The Bride St plaques featuring stories of life in Dublin 8

Quotes, stories and jokes from inner-city residents, all cast in bronze.

plaqueSource: Instagram/princessmelissa17

THE LIBERTIES IS of Dublin’s busiest inner-city neighbourhoods, and it has been that way for hundreds of years.

Dublin 8 was the epicentre of whiskey distilling, the textile industry, market stalls and family-owned businesses at the turn of the twentieth century, and many of those industries still exist today.

Take a walk through The Liberties today, and you’ll spot quotes and testimonies from residents on the walls of flats around Nicholas Street and Bride Street, all cast in bronze.

They’re the result of a collaboration between artist Chris Reid and those living around the Christchurch and St Patrick’s Cathedral areas, as part of a 2008 Dublin City Council project.

Source: Mellow Cat Source: Mellow Cat

“Lived history can be transmitted from generation to generation… However, the voices of these local people are generally not heard or included in the heritage of the area,” writes Reid in an artist’s statement on his website.

#bridestreet #tenementwall #dublin #history

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During the four years between 2004 and 2008, Reid recorded conversations with residents from the flats and people associated with the area.

These recordings culminated in two hundred and twenty-two short texts, and one hundred longer anecdotes, later compiled as a book.

Of those, twenty of the shorter texts were chosen to be individually cast in bronze. By recording the stories and displaying them publicly Reid hoped to “make a new heritage” for The Liberties.

Amongst the anecdotes adorned on the walls include various hidden histories and everyday happenings, from a recovering drug addict’s plans for a new life, to a recollection of the British Army’s historical presence in Ireland.

Art by Chris Reid on Nicholas Street - Dublin - 17VIII15

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So next time you’re strolling past Christchurch or heading for Thomas St, take a detour and soak up a slice of the past, in bronze form.

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