Hello, my name’s Aidan O’Rourke and in this video we’re going to look at the bridges over the River Liffey in Dublin
1. The West Link bridge – Droichead an Nascbhóthair Thiar carries the M50 motorway over the River Liffey. It’s 42 metres or 130 feet above the river and was completed in 1990. It’s actually a pair of bridges. The second was added in 2003.
2. The Farmleigh Bridge – Droichead Farmleigh built in the 1870s once carried water and electricity across the river.
3. The Anna Livia bridge – Droichead Abhainn na Life is in Chapelizod in the west of Dublin. It’s mentioned in the book ‘Dubliners’ by James Joyce. It was opened in 1753 and widened with walkways in 2011. Anna Livia – Abhann na Life is the personification of the River Liffey.
4. Island Bridge – Droichead na hInse also called Sarah’s Bridge is near the Phoenix Park. The present bridge was built in 1791 and named after Sarah Fane, Countess of Westmorland, wife of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. It was renamed Island Bridge in 1922.
5. Seán Heuston Bridge was originally called Kings Bridge and opened in 1828. The nearby station was also named Kingsbridge. In 1941 both were renamed in memory of Sean Heuston, who took part in the Easter Uprising of 1916. My father always referred to the bridge and the station as ‘Kingsbridge’. Today it carries trams over the River Liffey. Dublin’s light rail system is called ‘Luas’, the word in Irish for speed.
6. Frank Sherwin Bridge – Droichead Phroinsias Uí Shearbháin – is next to Heuston Bridge and was built in 1982. It’s named after the Dublin politician Frank Sherwin
The Anna Livia sculpture is in a small park near the river. It used to be located on O’Connell Street. It was designed by Eamonn O’Doherty
7. Rory O’More Bridge – Droichead Ruaraí Uí Mhóra is located near the Guinness Brewery. The present cast iron bridge was opened 1859. It was made in St Helens near Liverpool. Rory O’More was an organiser of the Irish Rebellion of 1641
8. James Joyce Bridge – Droichead James Joyce was completed in 2003 and designed by Santiago Calatrava. James Joyce’s short story ‘The Dead’ is set in a house overlooking the bridge. With its modern design it contrasts strongly with the surrounding buildings.
9. Mellows Bridge – Droichead Uí Mhaoilíosa, opened in 1768 is the oldest bridge in Dublin. It’s named after Liam Mellows, who took part in the Easter Uprising of 1916. He was born in England and spent part of his childhood in Ashton-under-Lyne, near Manchester.
10. Father Mathew Bridge – Droichead an Athar Maitiú was built in 1816 and is on the site of the oldest bridge in Dublin, Dublin Bridge, dating from 1014. In 1938 it was named after Father Mathew Catholic priest and teetotalist reformer.
11. O’Donovan Rossa Bridge – Droichead Uí Dhonnabháin Rosa is next to the Civic Offices of Dublin City Council. It was built in 1816. Its former name was Richmond Bridge and was renamed in 1923 after the Fenian leader O’ Donovan Rossa.
12. Grattan Bridge – Droichead Grattan is also known as Essex Bridge and Capel Street Bridge. It’s named after the politician Henry Grattan and is known for its ornate lamps. In the mid-1700s, the centre of Dublin was here and this was the last bridge before the sea. East of here there were no more bridges. The river was full of sailing ships moored along the quays. Later the centre shifted towards the east.
13. The Millennium Bridge – Droichead na Mílaoise is a pedestrian bridge. It was designed by Howley Harrington Architects and constructed in the town of Carlow. It was opened in 1999.
14. The Ha’penny Bridge – Droichead na Life, originally Wellington Bridge, is an icon of Dublin and one of the most photographed bridges in Europe. It was built in 1816 there was a toll of one half a penny to cross the bridge and so it became known as the Ha’penny Bridge. In later years it was increased and I remember my mother saying it was also called the Penny Ha’penny Bridge. It was renovated in 2001 and new lighting was installed. I think it’s too bright. It ought to appear as it did in 1816. It’s estimated that around 30,000 people cross the Ha’penny Bridge every day and I’ve crossed it many times too.
15. O’Connell Bridge – Droichead Uí Chonaill originally Carlisle Bridge, was built 1794. It was widened and rebuilt in 1882 and renamed O’Connell Bridge after the politician Daniel O’Connell. It’s said the bridge is an exact square but that’s not true. It spans 45 metres or 148 feet across the river and is 50 metres wide or 164 feet wide. The sculpted head represents Anna Livia looking westwards.
16. Rosie Hackett Bridge – Droichead Róise Haicéad was opened on 20 May 2014 and carries trams, buses, taxis, bikes and pedestrians caross the river. Rosie Hackett was a trade union leader.
17. Butt Bridge, in Irish Droichead na Comhdhála or Congress Bridge was built in 1932 It replaced a swivel bridge opened in 1879 and was named after Isaac Butt, lawyer and politician
18. The Loop Line Bridge – Droichead Iarnród na Lúblíne is a railway bridge built in 1891 to link lines to the north and south of the river. From trains crossing the bridge, there are great views of the river but the Loop Line Bridge is controversial because it blocks views of the Custom House.
19. The Talbot Memorial Bridge – Droichead Cuimhneacháin Talbóid was built in 1978 and named after Matt Talbot, who is still revered for his religious devotion and abstinence from alcohol.
20. Sean O’Casey Bridge – Droichead Sheáin Uí Chathasaigh is a pedestrian bridge and opened in 2005. It was designed by architect Cyril O’Neill and named after the famous Irish writer.
21. Samuel Beckett Bridge – Droichead Samuel Beckett was opened in December 2009. It has a striking design – similar to a harp and has become an icon of Dublin and of the entire Irish nation. Samuel Beckett was a famous writer who wrote both in English and French. It’s a swing bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava and built in Rotterdam. The bridge was brought on a raft to Dublin and floated into place.
22. The East Link Bridge, renamed Thomas Clarke Bridge, Droichead Thomáis Uí Chléirigh was opened in 1983. Thomas Clarke was an Irish Republican leader. It’s a toll bridge and is crossed by 14,000 to 17,000 vehicles every day.
The river, the bridges and the quays of Dublin give the city its unique character and are ideal to photograph at any time of the day or night.
Thank you for watching. My name’s Aidan O’Rourke. See you again soon in Dublin.