Smashing statues. It has something of a Biblical fervor to it, as an act of the righteous wreaking a revenge on the idol makers; even an Oedipal complex fantasy of destroying the father and crashing an Isis pyjama party.
Sometimes, even the innocents suffer. Lord Nelson, who never had anything to do with the subjection of Ireland, was in 1966, dynamited from atop a 134-foot column in the center of Dublin in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rebellion in 1916. Evidently, it is always a lot easier if a Lord Nelson, or a Lord Kitchener or even a tyrant like Stalin isn’t around at the time….
(see link at end)…In a 1969 article on Dublin’s vanishing statues for The Irish Times, John Armstrong wrote that the Gough statue was often praised, stating that “The Gough was, from all accounts, the finest piece of work in the country and reputedly one of the finest Equestrians in Europe.”
The beheading of the Gough statue on Christmas Eve 1944 led to a very funny Cruiskeen Lawn column by the unrivaled Myles na gCopaleen in early January 1945. In it, Myles wrote that:
Few people will sympathise with this activity; some think it is simply wrong, others do not understand how anybody could think of getting up
Myles went on to write that:
The Gough statue in question was a monstrosity, famous only for the disproportion of the horse’s legs, its present headlessness gives it a grim humour and even if the head is recovered, I urge strongly that no attempt should be made to solder it on.
After some time, Lord Gough’s head would be found. Where? In the River Liffey, at Islandbridge.
The bombing of the statue in 1957, which resulted in its placement in storage, is a very well known story among Dubliners of course. It joins a list of monuments including Nelson’s Pillar, King George II and William of Orange which can claim the dubious honour of being deemed ‘unfit for Dublin life’ by militant Irish republicans. Read More:http://comeheretome.com/2012/01/24/now-he-sits-in-chillingham-castle/