The Dire Spire Will Go Green For St Patrick’s Day… But Will This Make Us Finally Love It?
The Ghetto Stiletto is going hyper-emerald, people. Be excited if you rate the spire…which you probably don’t…
By Nicole Buckler
The Erection at the Intersection, also known as the “Spire” will be floodlit with green light this St Patrick’s day. The Spire of Dublin, mostly appreciated by those who designed and built it and not many others, is being fired up with luminosity to impress foreign guests and locals alike. Also called the Liffey Stiffy, it is not known for the fondness that Dubliners hold for it.
The Nail in the Pale will go uber-jade, just for us, until St Patrick’s Day is over and we put away all out Eurosaver accessories for another year.
So while all this pomp and ceremony has been happening around The Pole of O’Connole, are we becoming more accepting of it? Umm..no.
However, Dubliners needed something for the space. It was formerly the site of Nelson’s Pillar, which was a monument to honour Lord Nelson, and represented the British takeover of Ireland. Deeming this to be a little much too salt in the mount, the IRA blew stone Nelson up in 1966.
The spire was then brought forth on the understanding that it would be the tallest sculpture in the world (it is) and it would revitalise the main Dublin thoroughfare. (Which was becoming a bit nasty with gross fast food restaurants and shops selling plastic crap.) While the area is a bit better than it was, the price was high for only a slight improvement. The Liffey Stiffy cost €8 million to build. According to everyone, “So not worth it.”
The Binge Syringe has far from lived up to its promise. That’s if you ask tourists, anyway. Perhaps it is a place where Godzilla will find refuge should he come crashing into our city. You will want to touch the Spire once you see it, but be sure to wash your hands after. God knows what Godzilla left on it.
Here’s why many people think the Rod to God is a bit crap. There’s no elevator, no observation deck, you can’t go up and buy hot dogs at the top…it is just where tourists can meet up the next day after shifting each other the night before. And tourists like it for that very reason…if you get lost, find your way back to the Croker Poker. You can see it from everywhere. But they don’t appreciate it for any other reason. And nor do Dubliners, who are collectively worried that its height will one day take down a Ryan Air flight returning from Majorca.
Others say it is modern urban art. But so is Tracey Emin’s famous unmade bed, and that is the most ridiculous thing to ever happen to galleries everywhere. Even art aficionados say it’s not so much art as a Spike at the Dike. You can’t even tag it with graffiti; it has protective paint on it that inhibits you expressing your art on the art. So as for an artistic work, we are still not sold. The Pin in the Bin, meant to symbolise the “Elegant and dynamic simplicity bridging art and technology” hasn’t really pulled it off. Perhaps I’m not hip enough to get it. But for me the Viewer Skewer defeats its original purpose…to represent modern Ireland.
First of all the designers—Ian Ritchie Architects—were English and based in London. There are even rumours that Ian Ritchie’s great grandfather was named Nelson. So I think the salt in the wound is still being rubbed harshly upon the Irish. While the spire was meant to be apolitical, and that should be a good thing, it hasn’t really pulled this off. It’s still political. Utterly. But anyway, it does provide all the inebriated people on O’Connell Street something a bit novel to urinate upon at 3am.
My main problem with it, is that no one really knows what the hell it is meant to symbolise. Ask any Irish person near you…they will say ‘I don’t know, why are you asking me? Why aren’t we drinking wine? Get me some wine. Stop asking me stupid questions.’
It also costs millions per year to clean, a plan that went ahead even though the country was in the trenches of a recession. And it seems a bit out of place in front of an iconic building like the GPO. But if the damn Spire fell down, thousands of backpackers tumbling out of the Airlink bus would never find each other. So we are going to have to learn to love it eventually.
To try to encourage this arranged marriage that we have found ourselves ensconced in with the Rod to God, Paddy’s Day people will illuminate that glorified lamppost up for us to show us the way. Let’s hope loves comes and soon. I think a daredevil stunt is in order…where are those wingsuited people when you need them? Hey wingsuited people, come dive off our Liffey Stiffy. It needs serious sexing up.
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