St. Patrick’s Festival 2012
Image by infomatique
Merrion Square is a Georgian square on the southside of Dublin city centre. It was laid out after 1762 and was largely complete by the beginning of the 19th century. It is considered one of the city’s finest surviving squares. Three sides are lined with Georgian redbrick townhouses; the West side abuts the grounds of Leinster House (seat of the Oireachtas), Government Buildings, the Natural History Museum and the National Gallery. The central railed-off garden is now a public park.
The park in the square was called "Archbishop Ryan Park", after Dermot Ryan, the Catholic archbishop who transferred ownership to the city. The square was leased to the Archdiocese of Dublin by the Pembroke Estate in 1930 to permit the building of a Cathedral on the site to replace to the pro-Cathedral. 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. In 2009, Dermot Ryan was criticised in the Murphy Report; in January 2010, Dublin City Council sought public views on renaming the Park. In September 2010, the City Council voted to rename the park as Merrion Square Park.