Re: Re: O’ Connell Street, Dublin
All in all, a distinguished event – one that is considerably added to by the salutes, laments and anthems of the Army Band. Indeed a little more by them during the ceremony certainly wouldn’t go amiss.
Unfortunately, it really is the standards we set ourselves for managing and presenting events of this kind that so let us down. For example, why does O’Connell Street have to be turned into a giant galvanised dipping plant on Easter Sunday?
The giant steel barriers with army plastic thrown over them, believe it or not, are the entrance gates for dignitaries, which are hastily pulled apart when they arrive! Yet this is by now a long-established event – a civic event at that – so why isn’t there more appropriate infrastructure in place for it? The same purpose-designed elements could be used for countless civic occasions and should be in the possession of Dublin City Council or the Garda to be rolled out as required.
The same can be said even of the plaza at the GPO itself. Embarrassingly, even here galvanised metal pens are used to surround the ceremonial site. A cattle shed has more dignity. Again, in most European cities elegant timber or metal fencing is held in the possession of the city authority and brought out for civic events. Indeed, the question has to be asked, why wasn’t temporary ceremonial furniture designed as part of the O’Connell Street project? Presumably for the same reason why a multitude of design elements for the street never came into being.
Likewise, the positioning if the large screens – incidentally with 16:9 aspect ratio mushed into 4:3 – is nothing short of a farce. They are dumped by Mongey Communications, complete with associated paraphernalia, speakers and control units, slung over with plastic tarpaulins, in front of the GPO itself!
Who on earth manages these events? Evidently someone who excels in organising the Killorglin Puck Fair. What’s even worse is that the screens aren’t even positioned for the benefit of the public, but rather apparently for ease of draping cables through the window of the parcel office behind. Can you just image the Queen standing at the Cenotaph with a pair of giant plastic-wrapped Mongey screens looming down on her? This is primitive stuff chaps.
And need it be confirmed?
A rank of Woodies domestic plastic planters ‘dresses’ the ceremony. No really… honestly… who are these people?
And the icing on the cake – where does the ceremonial wreath go after the event? You guessed it!
Marvellously versatile things these Woodies planters. They can host everything from petunias on your patio to, er, State wreaths under the portico of the General Post Office. The cut out plastic ribbon-on-a-roll is a particularly eloquent touch.
Is this what they died for? Jaysus, they’d sooner expire for Queen and Country than be honoured like this. Truly, the dignity of Irish State ceremonial knows no bounds.
Annnyway, it’s genuinely lovely to see O’Connell Street used in a truly civic way. Some fine tuning and it will soon be worth writing home about.