June 18th, 1932
FROM THE ARCHIVES:Preparations for the 1932 Eucharistic Congress reached down to ground level in the days before its formal opening, according to this report headlined “A City of Colour and Light”. – JOE JOYCE
THE RESIDENTS of the North City continue unabated their work of decoration for the Congress, and day by day one can see new touches of beauty being added to the streets.
Yesterday for the first time in connection with the decorative scheme, flags appeared over the Custom House, while from many other buildings in that vicinity further decorations were added. A number of private houses along Amiens Street have been brightened up with flowers, bunting and flags, and these will convey a spirit of joyous fervour to the many visitors from the North as they alight from the trains at the Great Northern Railway terminus.
Other houses have erected on the windows and fanlights miniature altars. These principally consist of religious pictures surrounded by flowers, and in front of which a light has been placed. On the walls of a number of houses the Congress shields have been placed, surrounded with a series of coloured electric amps in the form of a heart.
It is marvellous the pains that have been taken, particularly in the poorer districts, with the decorations. A few nights ago the womenfolk of Dominick Street stayed up until all the traffic had ceased, and then each produced a bucket of water and scrubbed the footpath outside their houses. In another instance, some of the residents went as far as whitewashing the footpath near where an altar had been erected, and, to make the picture still more complete, laid a carpet at the altar
Yesterday morning window-boxes made their appearance in many of the streets, and later in the day these were filled with flowers. The various colours to be seen are delightful. It was remarked yesterday morning by business people hastening to their city offices that all over the southern suburbs of Dublin a fresh crop of flags had appeared, mushroom-like, overnight
The suburban dweller is more secretive in his methods. When he wishes to hoist his contribution to the general scheme of decoration he does so under cover of darkness, and endows the little ceremony with a ritual of its own. On his return from daily employment in the city, he does not apply himself immediately to the contemplated hoisting; instead, he patiently awaits the fall of night, and then, when the light is fading from the sky, his flags break from their mastheads under the stars.
All around thousands of his fellow-dwellers in the suburbs are engaged upon the same task with the same degree of dignified secrecy. Then they all come out in the morning and view the newly-hoisted banners with an astonishment which would have been creditable in the lad in the fairy tale who awoke to discover the magic bean-stalk climbing to heaven outside his window.