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Clerys On O’Connell Street – Dublin Art

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Sometimes I learn as much about a city after the fact as I do when I visit. So often, when I’m there, I’m simply exploring and after the fact I look for the stories behind the places I saw. On the winter days that I stood on O’Connell Street outside Clerys Department Store, for instance, I had no idea how long it had been there. Nor did I know that the clock on the front of Clerys is long known as a rendezvous spot for Dubliners and visitors to the city from nearby.

The original Clerys opened on what is now O’Connell Street in 1853. The original building was lost in the 1916 Easter Rising but was re-built and re-opened in 1922. So, Dubliners have been meeting up outside Clerys for generations. And although I didn’t meet anyone there, I shopped inside Clerys and spent quite a lot of time wandering on O’Connell Street. I loved the classic architecture and how the sun shone so brightly up that wide boulevard on winter mornings. At least that was the case when there was sun! And that is a common Irish lament for any season so I understand.

This particular Dublin artwork is based off photos from one of my last mornings in Dublin. The sunlight that day was particularly strong and every inch of the street seemed to shine. And even if I didn’t know the story of Clerys, I simply loved the architecture. There’s something about the era when department stores were a new thing and built with a grand flourish. Compared to the strip malls of today… well, there’s really no comparison is there? These were the palaces of their era!

Have you met someone under Clerys Clock on O’Connell Street? Perhaps you call Dublin home or you had an Irish adventure like I did? Or do you simply love the grand style of the architecture? I hope you might take a moment to share what you find most striking about this particular print? I’d love to hear it!


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