Irish tax payers have forked out €600,000 for a programme called Sculpture Dublin. The first art piece has just been unveiled as part of this Sculpture Dublin public fund.
According to GCN, a new sculpture at Dublin’s City Hall, next to Dublin Castle, explores Dublin’s queer history and diversity.
Alison Gilliland, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, unveiled the first sculpture in the Sculpture Dublin Programme outside Dublin’s City Hall.
The inaugural work, RGB Sconce, Hold Your Nose, by artist Alan Phelan.
The 5.5 metre high sculpture, is placed on the site of the O’Connell plinth, the original site of a marble statue of Daniel O’Connell. The statue was relocated inside the building in the 1860s leaving the plinth vacant for over 150 years.
In his launch statement, Mr Phelan said, “I wanted to make a sculpture that looked familiar yet was rooted in a tangle of historical references that bring different contexts and content to the work”.
The subtitle of the work, Hold Your Nose, is a quote from a collection of poems called the ‘Sanitary Songs’. The poem instructs ‘decent men’ to ‘hold your nose’ in order to avoid the perceived corrupting homosexuality of Dublin Castle.
The poems were published during the 1884 Dublin Castle Scandal.
According to the Burkean, in 1884, the newspaper United Irishman newspaper blew the lid on a story known as the Dublin Castle Scandal involving high ranking British officials secretly engaging in gay sex with a wide variety of different men.
Further investigation, both private and public, unveiled an underground sex and prostitution ring operating right across Dublin.
The entire scandal resulted in prosecutions, resignations, and ultimately a massive PR victory for Irish Nationalists at the time, undermining the authority of British rule in minds both at home and abroad.
The poem instructs ‘decent men’ to ‘hold your nose’ in order to avoid the perceived corrupting homosexuality of Dublin Castle.
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