FIDELITY - O'CONNELL MONUMENT
written by: Paula Meehan
animated by: Ruth Negga
"As a child I assumed the monument was all about the magnificent winged women at its base. Though I later found out they represented abstract qualities, I can never pass them without the lift of spirit that restores the child’s sense of wonder to me.”
Known as "the Liberator" for successfully campaigning for the right of Irish Catholics to become Members of Parliament, Daniel O'Connell is celebrated by the O'Connell Monument on the street which bears his name. O'Connell himself is surrounded by a frieze of figures depicting elements of Irish society. Below these are four winged women representing Patriotism, Courage, Eloquence and Fidelity - one of which has her own story to tell.
Dublin poet Paula Meehan imagines Fidelity as a wise, compassionate figure 'rest[ing] in the stillness / between one human heart beat and the next'. Sitting with her faithful hound, Fidelity watches over the people coming and going on O'Connell Street.