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Dun Laoghaire 'Gateway to Ireland' Exhibition Runs In Lead-Up to Bicentenary of the Pier

11th April 2017
GATEWAY TO IRELAND? An exhibition in the dlrLexicon, explores 200 years of Dun Laoghaire Harbour and the theme of the travelling public. Afloat adds that the historic ferry service (Stena HSS) to Holyhead, Wales that closed in 2014, left neighbouring routes out of Dublin to serve the UK. Among them Irish Ferries whose HSC Jonathan Swift is underway beyond the East Pier bound for Anglesey. In the foreground, the Carlisle Pier was for many generations the main embarkation point to where ‘Mail-Boats’ were involved in large-scale emigration. Also seen is the obelisk erected after King George IV visit in 1821 to Dunleary which was renamed in his honour as Kingstown. Also in this present day view facing the harbour is the new retail development 'Marine Walk' under construction. GATEWAY TO IRELAND? An exhibition in the dlrLexicon, explores 200 years of Dun Laoghaire Harbour and the theme of the travelling public. Afloat adds that the historic ferry service (Stena HSS) to Holyhead, Wales that closed in 2014, left neighbouring routes out of Dublin to serve the UK. Among them Irish Ferries whose HSC Jonathan Swift is underway beyond the East Pier bound for Anglesey. In the foreground, the Carlisle Pier was for many generations the main embarkation point to where ‘Mail-Boats’ were involved in large-scale emigration. Also seen is the obelisk erected after King George IV visit in 1821 to Dunleary which was renamed in his honour as Kingstown. Also in this present day view facing the harbour is the new retail development 'Marine Walk' under construction. Photo: JEHAN ASHMORE

#Gateway2Ireland – In an exhibition that covers two hundred years since Dún Laoghaire proudly became the ‘Gateway to Ireland’, the flagship dlrLexicon Library that aptly overlooks the harbour explores the theme of travel and travellers to Ireland.

Utilising material from the Local Studies collection, the exhibition highlights how Ireland was presented during that time. A stranger’s fresh eye on Ireland shows much that was unseen and much that has changed.

Looking at these accounts, which attempted to present Ireland to a foreign audience, we can see afresh, through its beauties and the popular observation of its conditions, the Ireland of the past. Ireland’s famous ‘welcome to the stranger’ became, in time, a way for us to review and present ourselves to the world.

The exhibition Gateway to Ireland which began earlier this year concludes on 30 April, so now is the time to visit and get closer to this major aspect of the harbour’s history. Just over a month later, President Micheal D. Higgins will be attending the historic event to celebrate the harbour’s Bi-Centenary on 31 May.

On a related note, another exhibition: Bicentenary of the Pier (15-May-30 June) also takes place in the Lexicon. This exhibition will provide a fascinating account of the pier's past 200 years. The pier later became the East Pier, following the completion of the West Pier to form the completed harbour, though the original plans for a 'place of refuge’ proposed constructing just a single pier.

Colin and Anna Scudds of the Dun Laoghaire Borough Historical Society have carried out the research that includes numerous images of the East Pier from the 19th century to more recent times.

For further details of these exhibtions and events click here

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