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Nelson's Pillar

Nelson's Pillar on O'Connell St.
Nelson Pillar (referred to as Nelson's Pillar and sometimes Nelson's Column) was a large granite pillar with a statue of Lord Nelson on top, located in the centre of O'Connell Street in Dublin. Erected in honour of Admiral Horatio Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar in 1808, it offered Dubliners the city's best public viewing platform. It was designed by Francis Johnson, the architect who built the General Post Office (to the left of the picture opposite). Johnson and later architects laid out Sackville Street (now O'Connell Street) so that the buildings, the GPO and the Pillar were in scale to the size and length of the street and to each other.

At 2am on March 8, 1966, a bomb planted by an Irish republican destroyed the upper half of the pillar, throwing the statue of Nelson into the street. Two days later, Irish Army Engineers blew up the rest of the pillar. The rubble from the monument was taken to the East Wall dump, and the lettering from the plinth moved to the gardens of Butler House, Kilkenny. The area was then simply paved over. The Nelson Pillar Act was passed in 1967, transferring responsibility for the site of the monument from the Nelson Pillar Trustees to Dublin Corporation. Nelson's Pillar was controversially blown up without warning early one morning in 1966 by republicans. A number of pedestrians and motorists had near escapes as large chunks of stone from the monument were flung around the vicinity.

A new monument, known as the Spire of Dublin, was erected on the long vacant site in January 2003.

The remains of Nelson's Pillar on O'Connell St. after its destruction.