Brendan Behan's play set in Nelson Street in Dublin, where a young English soldier is kept prisoner in a boarding house frequented by sailors, prostitutes, policemen and the IRA. His presence leads to heated discussions about Irish nationalism and British colonialism. When a country girl called Teresa comes to stay, love happens between her and the British soldier. Written in a farcical style Behan touches the serious subject with comedy and with characters frequently singing bawdy song with dance routines. Itwas originally written in Gaelic and performed as 'An Giall' in Damer Hall, Dublin in June 1957 and subsequently in English for the first time in London in October 1958.
Statues in Dublin
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Dublin's most prominent monument, Nelson's Pillar, which stood near the General Post Office (GPO) in the centre of O'Connell Street, was blown up by a group of former Irish Republican Army (IRA) members in 1966, as their way of commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising. The IRA only demolished the top of the pillar, what remained was known as "The Stump", until it was blown up by the Army bomb squad for safety reasons two days after.
Nelson was pre-dated by a 1759 statue of Lord Blakeney, the heroic but unsuccessful defender of the Siege of Fort St. Philip (1756) on Minorca. This was said to be the first statue of an Irishman in Dublin, and was sculpted by John van Nost the Younger.
On the site of the Pillar, a new monument was erected in January 2003. Officially named the Monument of Light but more commonly known as the Spire of Dublin, this tall needle-like structure has already received a number of nicknames including The Spike, The Stiletto in the Ghetto and The Nail in the Pale (see the Pale). A 1980s monument to the personified river Liffey, Anna Livia was moved from O'Connell St to make way for the Spire. A woman sitting on a slope with bubbling water running down past her represented the river. It rapidly came to be nicknamed the Floozie in the Jacuzzi, the Hoor in the Sewer ("hoor" is a dialectal Irish version of "whore", and in a "working class" Dublin accent, rhymes with sewer).
Other monuments still surviving on O'Connell Street include statues honouring Charles Stewart Parnell byAugustus Saint-Gaudens at the north end of the street; at the southern end stands a statue of Daniel O'Connell by John Henry Foley. Other statues on the street include one of trade union leader James Larkin.
Nearby, outside St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral stands a statue honouring the Dublin Martyrs, Mayor Francis Taylorand his grandmother-in-law Mayoress Margaret Ball.
North Earl Street runs right onto the base of the Spire. At this junction is a statue of James Joyce, the world-famous Irish writer, walking with a cane in his hand. It is known to the Dublin populace as "The Prick with the Stick".
Just by the Ha'penny Bridge is a statue of two women sitting on a bench engaged in conversation with their shopping bags at their feet — they are known famously as "The Hags with the Bags".
A short distance away from O'Connell Street by the banks of the Liffey lies the site of an ill-fated millennium clock, erected in the mid-1990s to count down the hours, minutes and seconds to the year 2000. The clock, with a green-illuminated digital face, was placed underneath the surface of the river by the bank so that the time shone up through the water. A postcard booth was placed on the bridge above the clock that printed postcards for 20p, each bearing the exact amount of time left at that moment until the dawn of the new millennium. However, the clock entered a period of chronic ill health: it had to be temporarily removed to allow a rowing-boat race to pass by and in the months that followed, it had repeated problems with letting in water and failing to display the time correctly. It was removed after a brief period, but not before it had been variously nicknamed "The Time in the Slime", and "The Chime in the Slime". A rectangular hole left in the side of the bridge was later filled with a hoax plaque commemorating a fictitious priest, Father Pat Noise.
On College Street, outside Trinity College, the traffic island that a statue to the nineteenth-century lyricistThomas Moore shares with a public toilet has long been known as "The Meeting of the Waters", thus neatly honouring both the civic facility and a famous poem of the writer.
Another statue to earn a dubious but comical nickname is a monument at the bottom of Grafton Street representing Molly Malone, a fictitious fishmonger featured in Dublin's anthem, Molly Malone, who is shown, with ample cleavage, wheeling a cart. The statue was erected to celebrate Dublin's millennium in 1988 (although Dublin was more than 1,000 years old at the time, see History of Dublin), and is generally known in Dublin as "The Tart with the Cart" and "The Trollop with the Scallop".
On the north-east corner of St Stephen's Green, a semicircle of rough stone pillars commemorating the Irish Famine and surrounding a statue of Wolfe Tone, is sometimes called Tone-henge (after Stonehenge). In Merrion Square, inside the north west corner gateway, there is a statue of Oscar Wilde composed of different coloured stone, sitting on a large granite boulder. This has been nicknamed The Quare in the Square ("quare" being a dialectal Irish pronunciation of queer).
James Connolly is the only leader of the 1916 Easter Rising to have a statue in Dublin. It is situated facing Liberty Hall, the headquarters of Ireland's largest trade union, SIPTU. Constance Markievicz has a statue on Tara Street and a bust in St Stephen's Green. There is also a bust of Michael Collins in Merrion Square. One of the few elected politicians commemorated with a statue is Henry Grattan, a leading politician of the 1780s in the old Irish Parliament. A nearby statue of patriot Thomas Davis has earned the nickname "Frankenstein" due to the out of scale hands and odd shaped body given to the nationalist leader in the 1960s work.