Footage: Nelson’s Pillar blown up 1966

As the Dublin Opinion called it at the time, “A terrible fate of a stairs”. Erected in 1808 and blown up in 1966, Nelson’s Column stood 130ft high on Sackville Street/O’Connell Street. The explosion blew Nelson himself and twenty foot of the column off and famously the head of the admiral was stolen. Guards were put on the sites of the war memorial in Islandbridge and on the Wellington testimonial as it was thought there might be more bombs in the aftermath. Calls were made for a replacement statue, suggestions of Pearse, Connolly, Casement etc., but of course never materialised. The 60 steps to reach the platform were nicknamed by some in Dublin as corkscrew alley, and in 1966 it cost six pence to enter. The head of Nelson is still on view in the Gilbert Library on Pearse Street. I’ve seen on short book/pamphlet on the pillar by Bernard Share and William Bolger but a book I can’t wait to see and will be a great read is “The Pillar: The Life and Afterlife of Nelson’s Pillar” by the excellent historian Donal Fallon. Here’s the short clip link:

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