With statue removing all the vogue (or statue defending) I was amused by this account of the removal of Queen Victoria from Leinster House in Dublin. Let’s face it that Victoria survived in Dublin until 1948 (26 years after the creation of the Free State) was something of a miracle. She had a somewhat chequered history in Ireland to say the least having been monarch when Ireland was beset by the famine and millions starved or emigrated.
Still it was an inglourious though dignified end and she was simply craned away with the media and politicians watching as the weather rained on the day. Lets face it a worse fate befell Nelson and George II who were disposed of summarily with gelignite!
Some weeks after the ‘removal’ the writer Flan O’Brien commenting on the weathered green look of the somewhat neglected statue said in any case ‘her statutes were more harmful than her statues’:
(Irish Times) The same “green hue” would catch the eye of Myles na gCopaleen (Brian O’Nolan/Flann O’Brien) the following month – albeit, he had a much different take. Over all, the writer was not overly bothered with its removal – her statutes were more harmful than her statues, as he put it. “Besides, look at it this way,” he wrote on October 2nd. “Time has given the mere Irish their revenge. The fact is that Victoria has turned green. Of hue she approaches our decent Irish letterbox. And it is the price of her.”
Here’s the link:
Personally I’m glad Victoria was removed. Standing outside Leinster House being interviewed some years ago by BBC Wales I would have felt positively overwhelmed if the old sage had been hovering in the background!
Post Leinster House after gathering dust in Ireland for some decade Victoria got a trip to Sydney, Australia to be ‘planted’ outside the Queen Victoria Builiding – I wonder how long she’ll survive the current mood?
Assistant General Secretary Celtic League (14th June 2020)