Anna Livia statue finds new Dublin home

 

THE “FLOOZIE in the Jacuzzi”, the “Hoor in the Sewer”.

Sticks and stones, washing-up liquid which made it overflow with bubbles and too much litter may have afflicted the Anna Livia statue but our name-calling only added to her fame.

Yesterday the 18ft-long bronze work that once called O’Connell Street home made a dramatic return to the capital after 10 years in exile, which was spent in a wooden box in a potting shed in St Anne’s Park, Raheny.

Designed by Eamonn O’Doherty to mark Dublin’s 1988 millennium, the sculpture of a woman reclining with water flowing around her was said to represent the river Liffey.

Having drawn critics and fans in equal measure, in 2001 Anna Livia was evicted from her O’Connell Street home, for “not fitting in with the plans for its regeneration”.

Gerry Barry, parks superintendent with Dublin City Council said finding a new location for her proved problematic: “Working with the sculptor, we wanted to find a site close to the Liffey and in water,” he said.

“The angle she was sitting at wasn’t suitable for relocation either, she was too upright.”

Now partly reworked and refurbished by the sculptor and staff at the Cast bronze foundry in Dublin’s Liberties who originally fashioned it 22 years ago, Anna Livia has found a new home at “Croppy Acre” memorial park on Dublin’s north quays.

“Someone said it would be nice to float her down there, along the Liffey on a barge,” said Mr Barry.

Entering the water at Ringsend yesterday, she made her way by water to what is hoped will be her final resting place.

“We hoisted her out of the water again on a big crane at Victoria Quay opposite the Guinness brewery,” said Mr Barry.

“We placed her on the plinth in the park and bolted her down. She ain’t going anywhere from there,” he said.

“She’s sitting in a pond, facing west at the people coming into the city,” he added. “There was a gentle round of applause. It’s nice to have closure.”

Sculptor O’Doherty said: “It should never have been taken away from O’Connell Street in the first place”. However, he is pleased with the outcome: “This little park is a perfect setting for her. She looks absolutely great.”