Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Artistic, Historical, Social
Viscount FitzGibbon Memorial
In Use As
1950 - 1955
Freestanding carved ashlar limestone 1916 memorial, erected 1954, with bronze figurative statuary, depicting the Fenian Tom Clarke pointing to the Proclamation, and to the top Commandant Edward Daly, Athea born Con Colbert crouching and a chained allegorical figure representing Mother Ireland. Statuary erected on an elaborate limestone faced podium, enclosed by cast-iron railings with rail posts comprising neo-classical fasces and limestone piers to south side, which was erected in 1857. Multiple plaques, both bronze and stone to pedestal, comprising limestone stepped base with rectilinear block supporting plinth shaft with chamfered corners having Neo-classical inspired plaques to sides with victory laurel wreaths above. Podium elevation faced in limestone ashlar with south elevation consisting of square-headed central door opening and projecting cornice and chamfered soffits, reveals and limestone sills. All openings blocked-up. Limestone spiral stairs with large stone newel and wrought-iron railings which leads to street level from podium level.
Formerly the memorial to Viscount John Charles Henry FitzGibbon, killed in the Battle of Balaclava. He stood in uniform on the stone plinth decorated with the names of those who fell in the Crimean War. Erected in 1857, FitzGibbon's statue was cast by the sculptor Patrick MacDowell (1799-1870). Originally intended for The Crescent, but with political and religious sentiments running high, the site was changed to Sarsfield Bridge. The site at The Crescent was given over, instead, to a monument for Daniel O'Connell, erected 1857. It was blown up on 9th June 1930, leaving only the podium intact. The plinth remained unused for many years until the erection of the the current memorial by sculptor Albert Power. One of the original stone plaques was overlain by a bronze plaque which records in Irish the names and events of the 1916 Rising. Another plaque reads: 'This memorial was erected by means of voluntary public subscriptions in memory of the Limerick men and their comrades who died for ... during the Easter Rising of 1916'. It is suggested that the Mother Ireland figure is based on local woman Kathleen Daly, was married to Tom Clarke. An interesting example of an imperial memorial remade as a monument to those who fought against the empire.