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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 13 December, 2019

6 facts you might not have known about Dublin city

It’s gone through some changes down through the years.

DUBLIN’S FAIR CITY. Nowhere in the world like it.

Like it or not (and you may not, if you’re from Cork), for better or worse, throughout history, through thick and thin… Dublin is ours. It’s our country’s capital and you’ve gotta love it for all its charm and warmth.

And there’s always something new to learn about something you love. So let’s see if you knew all these little facts about Dublin…

1. Nice weather (for ducks)

In this centenary year of the Rising, we’ve all learnt lots about the Irish men and women who came before us. But what about the ducks?

Hold on now, bear with us.

Shooting around St Stephen’s Green (at first occupied by the Irish Citizen Army, who then moved to the College of Surgeons) actually stopped regularly during the Rising – to allow the ducks in the pond to be fed. The keeper James Kearney insisted on a ceasefire each day to allow the ducks to be looked after. So next time you’re in there throwing some Brennans at them, ask them about their ancestors.

St. Stephens Green - Dublin Source: infomatique

2. A constant fixture

Pop quiz: how many statues of women are there in Dublin city centre*? Let us know if you can get them all in the comments section – the answer is at the bottom of this article. And speaking of 1916, did you know that there is a statue of Constance Markievicz just off Pearse Street – with her little dog Poppet?

Countess Markievicz Source: infomatique

3. Shot me down

Bang Bang (also known as Thomas Dudley) was an eccentric Dublin character in the 1950s and 1960s. He was a Western movie fan, and he used to travel the buses and trams of the city staging mock shoot-outs with people, pointing an oversize key at them and saying “bang bang” like a cowboy.

tntgngn An homage to Bang Bang near Grattan Bridge Source: William Murphy/Flickr

4. Bridge over troubled water

Did you know that the River Poddle flows under a large part of the south city centre? It starts off in the Cookstown area near Tallaght village before flowing via Harold’s Cross into town. Much of its lower course is contained in a brick tunnel under the city streets and near Dublin Castle. It is visible where it joins the Liffey, in an opening behind a grate at Wellington Quay.

So now you can tell your pals when you’re walking down Dame Street, you’re walking on water.

dodd Source: Wikimedia

5. Up the walls

The Phoenix Park is Europe’s largest walled park. And Irish people probably don’t stop enough to marvel at the fact that our capital’s park has deer wandering around it, do we? They were introduced in the 1660s, and the current herd of between 400 and 500 deer are descended from the original herd. Bonus facts: there are 351 identified plant species in the park and 30% of its area is covered by trees. Nice.

Wellington Denkmal in Dublin, Irland Source: dronepicr

6. All changed, changed utterly

Do you know what date Grafton Street was pedestrianised? Got a guess in mind?

Well, it was officially opened by the Lord Mayor as a pedestrian-only zone on… 1 December 1982. It was initially done for a one-year trial period, but sure here we are 34 years later and still going strong. Snatches of a car-laden Grafton Street can be seen in this deadly music video for Old Town – along with lots of other Dublin sites from long ago and some still knocking around today. (And check out Philo vibing on the trumpet in the bandstand!)

Source: TallicLizzy/YouTube

*Answer to the pop quiz: Constance Markievicz, Molly Malone, Anna Livia, Two Women on Liffey Street, Lady Laura Grattan Font. Any we missed? Let us know in the comments.

What’s your favourite fact about Dublin? Share your knowledge down below.

And speaking of big changes in Dublin… To create the vital connection between the Green and the Red lines across O’Connell Street, we have to close a section of the Red Line between Jervis and the Point from the 21st May  to the end of July.

Bus transfers will be available for passengers. For further information go to luas.ie and luascrosscity.ie

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