Dublin’s Monumental (Rude) Jokes

Things to Do — By paul on April 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Dublin, and Ireland, are famous the world over for the craic (pronounced crack) which is basically Gaelic for fun/having a good time. The Irish, and Dubliners in particular have the great ability to poke fun at themselves and at anyone or at any symbol of authority or grandeur. Indeed, while many countries or cities would never think to make light of national or municipal symbols, here irreverence is almost expected!

The most famous statue to get” the Dublin treatment” is that of “sweet Molly Malone” seen with her famous wheelbarrow (opposite the front of Trinity College)

Aka The Tart with the Cart The Trollop with the Scollops and The Dish with the Fish – no doubt partly on account of the plunging neckline of her revealing blouse.The guides may tell you, with a knowing wink, that Molly had evening employment too, and used to make many a catch with her fishnets… but it’s all fishy blarney as Dublin’s flirty fishwife was also fictitious.

For a more erudite class of wit, nearby is a statue of the acclaimed 19th-century Irish poet, Thomas Moore, which shares its traffic island with a public toilet. Ireland’s most famous writer, James Joyce called it “The Meeting of the Waters” thus neatly honoring both the civic facility and the eponymous poem by Moore; look for the brass plaque on the ground which places it as a location in Joyce’s great novel, Ulysees.

There’s more rude fun with The Spire of Dublin on O’Connell Street. The Stiletto in the Ghetto was probably coined by a “south-sider” (a Dublin resident south of the river) keen to let the north side residents know his opinion on their half of the city. North-siders are probably happier   calling it the North Pole. It’s other nickname , The Stiffy by the Liffey, has no north-south bias, nor needs further explanation.

Finally there’s the statue of Oscar Wilde, reclining on a rock in the corner of Merrion Square.  Famous for his sharp wit and never afraid to poke fun at himself, we like to this that he’d approve of  The Fag on the Crag or The Quare in the Square (quare being Irish dialect for queer/odd) even if neither moniker would pass today’s PC police!

Tags: "Dublin humour", "Dublin monuments", "Dublin statues", "Molly Malone", "Oscar Wilde", "Spire of Dublin", "the craic", "The Tart with the Cart", Dublin