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Oscar Wilde In Merrion Square
Image by infomatique
Merrion Square (Cearnóg Mhuirfean in Irish) is situated on the south side of Dublin city centre and is considered one of the city’s finest Georgian squares. The square was laid out after 1762 and was largely complete by the beginning of the 19th century.
Several notable buildings face on to the square, including Leinster House (seat of the Irish parliament), the Natural History building of the National Museum of Ireland, the National Maternity Hospital and the National Gallery of Ireland. The Irish Red Cross, the Central Catholic Library, the Irish Traditional Music Archive and the Irish Georgian Society have their headquarters on the square.
The park in the square is now known as "Archbishop Ryan Park". The square was leased to the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin by the Pembroke Estate in 1930 to permit the building of a Cathedral on the site. Despite efforts over the next 20 years to advance the project, no progress was made and the site was transferred to the city of Dublin in 1974. Now managed by Dublin City Council, it contains a statue of Oscar Wilde, who resided in No 1, Merrion Square from 1855 to 1876, many other sculptures and a collection of old Dublin lamp standards.
Until about 50 years ago, the houses in the square were largely residential, but today most of them are used for office accommodation.
The poet W. B. Yeats lived at No 82 Merrion Square (tours are free if you inquire within), and Daniel O’Connell, Catholic emancipator of Ireland, called "The Liberator," resided at 58 Merrion Square (now home to the Keough-Naughton Notre Dame Centre). A number of houses in the square have plaques with historical information on former notable residents, including A.E. (George William Russell) and Sheridan Le Fanu.