Dublin Victorian fountain to be restored


A fountain erected in Dun Laoghaire in 1900 to commemorate the visit to Ireland of Queen Victoria, and seriously damaged in the 1980s, is to be restored.

Located at the bottom of Marine Road, opposite the town hall, the cast-iron fountain lost its 18-foot high canopy when it was vandalised in 1981.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, which is responsible for the monument, has now applied to the local authority for planning permission to restore and reinstate the structure, as well as two adjacent lamp standards. The immediate vicinity leading down to the harbour is also to benefit from new paving and landscaping.

The fountain was one of a large number celebrating Queen Victoria erected in Ireland and throughout other British colonies to a standardised design by Glasgow manufacturers Walter McFarland & Co. That company has since ceased trading but much of its business was inherited by another Scottish firm, Industrial Heritage, which will be responsible for the structure's repair and restoration.

However, certain details of the fountain's appearance remain unclear, in particular the decoration of eight plaques fixed to the canopy.

Ms Grainne Shaffrey of Dublin architectural practice Shaffrey & Associates, which is associated with the project, says one plaque contained an inscription, but its wording is no longer known. Both she and the Harbour Company are hoping residents may remember the fountain and be able to provide details of the missing information.

Costing about £200,000, work on the monument is expected to be completed by spring 2002 with all necessary funds provided by revenues from "Pay and Display" parking in the harbour area.