Sunday, 25 August 2013

‘There’s no need to hurry,
There’s no need to worry’

‘For Dublin can be heaven ... at eleven’ ... Saint Ann’s Church in Dawson Street, seen from Grafton Street in the summer sunshine today (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)

Patrick Comerford

For Dublin can be heaven,
With coffee at eleven
And a stroll in Stephen’s Green.
There’s no need to hurry,
There’s no need to worry ...

– ‘The Dublin Saunter’ (Noel Purcell/Leo Maguire)

It was less coffee and more heaven at 11 this morning, as I was preaching at Morning Prayer near Saint Stephen’s Green in Saint Ann’s Church in Dawson Street.

After a leisurely mid-day saunter down Grafton Street, I joined five others for lunch in The Larder in Parliament Street. Later, three of us headed back up Grafton Street for a stroll around the Open-Air Photographic Exhibition on the railings on the north side of Saint Stephen’s Green, followed by a short stroll through the Green.

Enjoying the Open-Air Photographic Exhibition on the railings of Saint Stephen’s Green this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)

The two-day exhibition, yesterday and today, was organised by People’s Photography, a non-profit group of volunteers, which donates all surplus monies remaining after administration costs to registered charities.

In this afternoon’s sunshine, we found the truth of those words from Noel Purcell and Leo Maguire:

There’s no need to hurry
There’s no need to worry

Many of the exhibitors were award-winning members of well-known camera and photographic club, and many had also exhibited last month in Pearse Street Library in Photo 2013, the annual exhibition of the Dublin Camera Club.

There were photographs taken in Cuba, New York, Spain, Morocco, Italy, Nepal, France and Cambodia, and photographs taken in many familiar places throughout Ireland. But even when the locations were familiar and well-known, in each case it was interesting to see how someone else looks through a view-finder and uses a lens.

Inside the open, seven-bay pavilion by the lakeshore was erected in 1898 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)

In Saint Stephen’s Green, I wondered how many people walking through it this afternoon knew the names given to the different tree-lined walks as they were being laid out in the mid-18th century.

As we walked along Beaux Walk on the north side, we stopped to admire the open, seven-bay pavilion near the north-east corner, by the shores of the lake, erected in 1898.

Enjoying the artificial lakes in Saint Stephen’s Green this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)

We left the Green by through the Royal Dublin Fusiliers’ Arch, designed by J Howard Pentland and Sir Thomas Drew to commemorate the Irish casualties in the Boer War, and erected in 1907 on the north-west corner of Saint Stephen’s Green, facing the stop of Grafton Street.

‘The Dublin Saunter,’ written by Leo Maguire in the 1940s and first recorded by Noel Purcell, continues:

Grafton Street’s a wonderland,
There’s magic in the air.
There are diamonds in the lady’s eyes
And gold-dust in her hair.
And if you don’t believe me,
Then come and meet me there,
In Dublin on a sunny summer’s morning.

In the sunny summer’s afternoon, we strolled back down the wonderland that is Grafton Street. It was my third time along Grafton Street today, and each time I stopped every now and then to photograph buildings of architectural interest. But they make up a story for another day.

The Royal Dublin Fusiliers’ Arch, on the corner of Saint Stephen’s Green and Grafton Street (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)

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