Memorials Of The Great War
War Memorial Of The Month - May 2017
Irish National War Memorial, Dublin
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To protect and promote the spirit and substance of the work of Sir Edwin Lutyens OM
Location: Islandbridge, Con Colbert Road, Dublin
It was in 1929, eleven years after the end of the War and eight since the creation of the Irish Free State, that the Irish Government proposed that the national memorial could form part of a 150 acre park at Islandbridge, across the River Liffey from Phoenix Park in Dublin. Lutyens was duly engaged and produced a design that incorporated various components that comprised memorials in their own right elsewhere – a War Cross, a Stone of Remembrance, two fountain cum obelisks, pergolas, rose gardens and four “Book Room” buildings that represented the four Irish provinces and contained lists of the 49,400 men who had died in the War.
Construction work started in 1931 and, by the time that the memorial was completed in 1939, World War II was on the horizon and so it was opened without any official ceremony. It was, however, formally dedicated on 10 September 1988 when it was restored, having been shamefully neglected for many years due to the political situation in Ireland and the fact that the memorial commemorates the dead of both Ireland and Northern Ireland.