The advent of Southside Georgian Dublin heralded the movement of some of the wealthiest and most influential Dubliners making the big move from the trendy Northside to what had often been considered the inferior side of the Liffey. When the Earl of Kildare had constructed his palatial mansion Leinster House the surroundings areas soon become a hotbed of construction with Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square popping up soon after.
When the battle for independence raged the Georgian area of Dublin was looked down upon as being a representation of British rule and excess. Throughout the decades the buildings that surround these leafy squares have swung between being occupied as residences and businesses. Today many lie vacant, as offices have had to move due to the economic crash.
However, the gardens at the centre of each of these squares are still open to the public and often play host to outdoor gigs and fairs. Merrion Square contains statues and sculptures – in particular one of Oscar Wilde. The surrounding railings also provide the setting for a weekly art fair where artists hang their work for sale.