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Literary Parks In Dublin: Writers And Walks Galore

dublin

A leaflet that I picked up somewhere inspired the topic of this ‘out and about’ in Dublin post. I think I might have mentioned before that I tend to be a bit of a magpie where leaflets and brochures are concerned. Being on an email list is just not the same; the random quality of picking up stray information leaflets appeals to me more.

To return to the leaflet in question: produced by Dublin City Council and Dublin UNESCO, it highlights city parks with a literary connection. Now assuming that the wind and rain ever stop, this would be a great idea for strolling around on a weekend. A couple of the parks have obvious literary glitz (I will come back to those) but I did not realise that Sandymount Green had a W.B. Yeats connection. I used to go to Sandymount quite often a few years ago but obviously failed to spot the memorial bust erected in the park. Yeats was born at 5 Sandymount Avenue hence the sculpture in the green. Perhaps there is a house plaque too; I must check that out as well next time. Sandymount Village is a lively and attractive location to visit and is handy for a beach walk too so this could be a more strenuous literary pilgrimage than most.

Not only have I missed Yeats in the park, it turns out that I failed to spot an entire park in north Dublin. Bram Stoker Park is completely new to me, being apparently near to Fairview Park (which I do know) at Marino Crescent. I have just been doing a spot of research and it seems as though this park is a quiet oasis in the middle of the busy area. Stoker lived in 15 Marino Crescent, next door to which more recently Neil Jordan set the plot of his novel Mistaken. So that’s two literary connections for the price of the Dart fare to Clontarf Station (then just cross the road to the park).

I will just finish up with one of my favourite parks, Merrion Square which has a wealth of literary connections to explore. W.B. Yeats gets in here too, as does his brother Jack according to Dublin Council’s leaflet. The flamboyant star of the park is Oscar Wilde whose statue reclines elegantly near his old home at 1 Merrion Square. I suggest that you have a walk around the square and indulge in a little plaque spotting before popping into the park. I mentioned Bram Stoker above but Merrion Square can boast its own vampire connection too as Sheridan Le Fanu was once a resident here at number 18 (now 70) with his wife Susanna. In complete contrast, a much loved memorial (well by us anyway) is the Jester’s Chair which immortalises Dermot Morgan, star of Father Ted. Many a visitor has posed for a picture on its imposing seat.

There are more parks with literary connections for you to explore, (if the spring ever comes that is) so check out the following links for details:

www.dublincityofliterature.ie

www.dublincity.ie/RecreationandCulture/DublinCityParks/Pages/parks.aspx

Image courtesy of templebar.ie

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