‘The Thing’ is Removed from O’Connell Bridge – Amharc Éireann: Eagrán 240

Newsreel, Irish Culture, Entertainment, History, Irish Language
Directed by:
Gael Linn
Produced by:
Gael Linn


1 min
Irish with English subtitles

The ‘Bowl of Light’ or ‘The Thing’ as it was more commonly known, was removed from O’Connell Bridge after a controversial 10 year tenure in Dublin.

The copper bowl sat in the middle of O’Connell Bridge and plastic flames lit up inside it. It was one of many public art installations around the capital, but no piece captured the attention of the public quite like ‘The Thing’.

Built in 1953 for the Tóstal (an event aimed to help encourage visitors to come to Ireland as a tourist destination) it was one of many public sculptures that were located in Dublin from 1953 – 1958. ‘The Thing’ however was met with much controversy and disdain from its arrival and the removal of it was a cause of celebration for many. It was still vandalised and attacked on numerous occasions, even after several attempts to improve it (flowers were planted in it). Engineers declared it too heavy for the bridge and it was finally removed.

Produced by Gael Linn, Amharc Éireann (A View of Ireland) is Ireland’s longest-running indigenous newsreel series. It was distributed to cinemas throughout the country to  promote the Irish language. Between 1956 and 1964, 267 editions of the newsreel were produced for cinema exhibition.

To see more of the Gael Linn Collection, click here.

With kind permission of Gael Linn.