Amharc Eireann: Eagrán 73, ‘THE THING’ IS REMOVED FROM O’CONNELL BRIDGE
The “Bowl of Light’ or ‘The Thing’ as it was more commonly known, was removed from O’Connell bridge after a controversial 10 year tenure in Dublin.
The copper bowl sat in the middle of O’ Connell Bridge and plastic flames lit up inside it. It was one of many public art installations around the capital, but no piece captured the attention of the public quite like ‘The Thing’.
Built in 1953 for the Tóstal, an event aimed to help encourage visitors to come to Ireland as a tourist destination, it was one of many public sculptures that were located all over the city from 1953 – 1958. “The Thing” however was met with much controversy and disdain from its first arrival and the removal of it was a cause of celebration for many. It was the only An Tóstal installation to remain a permanent fixture, and even after several attempts to improve it (flowers were planted in it but it was still vandalised and attacked on numerous occasions) engineers had ruled it was too heavy for the bridge, and it was finally taken down.
Produced by Gael Linn, Amharc Eireann ( A view of Ireland) is Ireland’s longest running indigenous newsreel series. Made in the Irish language for the purpose of promoting its use, each episode featured a broad range of topics, from hard news stories to lighter magazine like items. Between 1956 and 1964, 267 editions of the newsreel were produced for cinema exhibition.
To see more of the Gael Linn Collection, click here.
With kind permission of Gael Linn.