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O'Connell Street (Dublin)

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O'Connell Street, Dublin

O'Connell Street, Dublin

© 2006 Bernd Biege licensed to About.com, Inc.

The Bottom Line

Everyone has to see O'Connell Street when visiting Ireland - and most visitors will not be able to avoid the main thoroughfare anyway. Most buses run through this street. A street of superlatives. O'Connell Street is reputed to be Europe's widest urban street. And it is home to the "Spire", the world's tallest piece of sculpture. All this puts the relatively short street into the list of the top ten sights of Dublin.

Pros

  • Dublin's main thoroughfare with some impressive architecture - including the historic GPO.
  • Effectively the center of Dublin.
  • Home of the "Spire", the world's tallest sculpture.

Cons

  • Can be very crowded during office hours.
  • Can be "rough" at night.

Description

  • Formerly named "Sackville Street", O'Connell Street is the most impressive street in Dublin.
  • Though short, it is reputed to be the widest urban street in Europe.
  • Numerous monuments, historic buildings and the GPO await the visitor.

Guide Review - O'Connell Street (Dublin)

While O'Connell Street is ultimately just a typical city street and has some ugly spots thanks to misguided attempts at modernization (e.g. the former Eircom and council offices, both now closed), its sheer domination of the city center north of the Liffey makes it unmissable in every sense. Walking southwards from Parnell Square to O'Connell Bridge you will see

  • the Parnell Monument showing the leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party,
  • a taxi rank with its small Sacred Heart Shrine and a statue of Father Matthew nearby,
  • the Carlton Cinema with its painted fake windows,
  • the "Spire", the world's tallest sculpture and nicknamed "The Stiletto in the Ghetto",
  • a statue of James Joyce a few yards away, "The Prick with the Stick",
  • the GPO,
  • Cleary's Department Store,
  • the statue of Jim Larkin and finally
  • the massive O'Connell Monument, still displaying bullet holes from the Easter Rising!

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