Memorials are another way in which man can impinge on the physical landscape. The dictionary defines a memorial as ' a thing that honours or commemorates a person or an event'. It is fascinating to research the background of various memorials, to understand why people at a particular time, felt the need to honour a person or an event in their history.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown has several memorials, all of which have an interesting story behind them. Here is just a selection of some of these. Firstly Kingstown, as the name suggests, had close ties with the Royal Family. Following the departure of King George IV in 1821, it was decided to mark the occasion with the erection of a monument in 1823.

This is one of the more controversial monuments in the area and has been subjected to vandalism/attacks during its history. It reflects Ireland's changing relationship with the British Crown. At the time the visit was of huge interest to people, with huge crowds turning out to catch a glimpse of the monarch.

The Provisional IRA attacked the monument in the 1970s and damaged one of the four balls forming the base. In 1993 a grenade was placed under the monument causing a blast but it was not damaged. Also the monument has been vandalised, as was the case in 1981, when paint was sprayed onto it. Despite all these attacks it remains today as a reminder of another period in the history of the area.

Another monument in Dún Laoghaire with historical significance is the Christ the King Monument. It took 46 years to be erected from the date it was first discussed. In 1931 a public meeting took place in the Town Hall concerning the erection of a statue to honour Christ.

Dún Laoghaire was chosen as in ideal location because it was regarded as the 'gateway to Ireland'. The statue chosen had been designed by Andrew O'Connor to commemorate the dead of World War I. It was first exhibited in 1926 in the Paris Salon. During World War II the statue was hidden, as it was considered valuable due to its high metal content.

A booklet was written in 1932 describing the monument and asking for contributions from people for its erection. The original site for the statue was to be at St. Michael's Wharf, however other developments like the car ferry meant that the location needed to be changed to a more elevated one.

Daithi P. Hanly designed the hexagonal base and it features five plaques providing a history of the monument in five languages. A sixth one contains the names of the Trustees and the Council who granted permission for the erection of the statue. Finally the statue was erected in 1978 overlooking the harbour and sea front.

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