Tuesday 25 July 2017

Floozie, with no jacuzzi, back home

Icon revisits old haunt en route to new park residence

Sculptor Eamon O'Doherty's Anna Livia on a truck in O'Connell Street, Dublin, yesterday before it goes to her new home in the park opposite the Aisling Hotel Dublin
Sculptor Eamon O'Doherty's Anna Livia on a truck in O'Connell Street, Dublin, yesterday before it goes to her new home in the park opposite the Aisling Hotel Dublin

Shane Hickey

SHE hasn't had the easiest of lives. From being dubbed a 'Floozie' and a 'Skank' to having drunks collapse on top of her and finally living the last nine years in insolation in a wooden box, it has been a rough road for one of Dublin's most infamous residents.

But after almost a decade in darkness, the Anna Livia statue, which took up residence in the middle of O'Connell street for 13 years, is finally to be given a new home.

Yesterday, the sculpture known variously as the Floozie in the Jacuzzi and the Skank in the Tank took a fleeting visit past her old home.

The large statue was put in place in 1988 for the millennium anniversary celebrations in the capital but quickly developed a controversial reputation.

It become synonymous with litter and drunks hanging out around it before the decision was taken to move it. Since 2001, the statue -- the stonework on which it sat has been demolished -- has been living in a coffin-like box in a Dublin City Council facility.

Yesterday, her creator Eamon O'Doherty brought Anna Livia through O'Connell Street on a flat-bed truck on her way to being refurbished. She will be placed in a pool in a small park opposite the Aisling hotel on Parkgate Street next month.

"I thought it was meant to be popular and it was popular with everyone except Dublin Corporation who found it very difficult to keep it clean," he said.

"The traders in O'Connell Street blamed it for attracting rubbish, attracting crime, all the usual stuff.

"You are always disappointed when something doesn't work for some of the people but it did work for a lot of the people. "I thought it enlivened this part of O'Connell Street.

"There was always a plan that it would be relocated somewhere so between myself, the parks department and Dublin City Council, we looked around for an appropriate place to put it and the powers that be decided this little park would be appropriate."

As she lay on the back of the flatbed truck with her successor, the Spire, in the background, passers-by reminisced about the short-lived icon.

"There she is -- the whore in the sewer," one woman said to her son. "Are they bringing it back?" said another warily.

A French tourist however, was more positive. "I prefer this one," he said pointing at the Anna Livia, before referring to the Spire -- "they should put that one in the Dublin mountains."

Irish Independent

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