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Tuesday 24 April 2018

The men behind these iconic sculptures

DANIEL O'Connell (1775-1847) was born in Kerry and is known as the Liberator.

Politician and patriot, he gained the right for Irish Catholics to enter the UK Parliament and later campaigned for the repeal of the Act of Union of 1801, when Ireland officially became part of the UK.

His statue was produced by John Henry Foley.

The bottom of the 40ft monument has four Victories representing Patriotism, Courage, Eloquence and Fidelity -- virtues associated with O'Connell.

At the top sits a 14ft statue of O'Connell. Bullet holes from the 1916 Rising and War of Independence can still be seen on the statue.

WILLIAM Smith O'Brien (1803-64) was born in Clare and was a Conservative MP representing Ennis and later Limerick.

A member of the Young Irelanders, he was arrested for his role in the 1848 rebellion.

Found guilty of high treason, he was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, but his sentence was commuted and he was transported to Australia.

His statue was erected in 1870 and was the work of artist Thomas Farrell.

SIR John Gray (1816-75) founded the 'Freeman's Journal' -- which later merged with the Irish Independent -- and a statue in his memory was erected to recognise his role in bringing fresh water to Dublin.

Born in Claremorris, Mayo, he qualified as a surgeon and as political editor of the Journal which championed O'Connell's call for a repeal of the Act of Union.

The marble statue of him, by Thomas Farrell, was erected in 1879.

JIM Larkin (1874-1947) was born in Dublin and his statue was erected by trade union SIPTU in recognition of his dedication to workers' rights.

In 1909, he founded the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, which catered for unskilled workers who lived in conditions of abject misery in the slums of Dublin.

His statue, by Oisin Kelly, was unveiled in 1979.

Irish Independent

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