ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting the City Hall, Dublin, Ireland: 18th century neo-Classicism by Thomas Cooley

Updated on May 10, 2012
Flag of the Republic of Ireland
Flag of the Republic of Ireland | Source
Dublin City Hall
Dublin City Hall | Source
Bertie Ahern
Bertie Ahern | Source
Map location of Dublin, Ireland
Map location of Dublin, Ireland | Source

Municipal hub in Georgian splendour

This is one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in Dublin (Irish: Baile Átha Cliath ), Ireland.

Some history and features

The structure is the City Hall (Irish: Halla na Cathrach ), and it was built between 1769 and 1779, with the lines of familiar neo-Classical style being very evident. The architect was Thomas Cooley (1740-1784)(1). Portland stone was used for the building.

Features of the building include a central, domed entrance hall with twelve pillars, in which there are statues of prominent figures in Irish history, including Daniel O'Connell and Thomas Davis; paintings depicting religious and historical scenes.

Originally housing the Royal Exchange, since 1852 the building has been the headquarters of Dublin Corporation, now known as Dublin City Council (Irish: Comhairle Cathrach Bhaile Átha Cliath ). The building is located at the junction of Dame Street with Parliament Street; its pillared frontage is a familiar landmark in central Dublin.

Among the prized contents of the City Hall are the mace and the sword of the city. In the building there is an historical display 'The Story of the Capital', tracing Dublin's past since Medieval times. In recent years the building has undergone a program of refurbishment.

The title of Lord Mayor of Dublin (Irish: Ardmhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath ) has been in existence since 1665, with the previously used title of Mayor of Dublin dating from 1229. Some of the more well-known former Lords Mayor of Dublin have subsequently gone on to careers in national politics, including former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern (2), Frank Cluskey and Seán Haughey. Some of the holders of the office have been strongly Republican: for example, Tomás Mac Giolla had previously served as President of Sinn Féin and in other prominent rôles; before Kathleen Clarke assumed her Lord Mayoralty in 1939, she had previously been prominent in Sinn Féin .

In 1922, the lying-in-state of Michael Collins was held at the City Hall.


(1) Another building for which Architect Cooley is known is the Four Courts, continued after his death by James Gandon.

(2) A brother to the former Taoiseach , Maurice Ahern, also served as Lord Mayor; another brother, Noel Ahern, also served on Dublin Council and as a government minister.

Also worth seeing

Dublin has numerous examples of fine architecture; a few of these include: the Four Courts (Irish: Na Ceithre Cúirteanna ), the GPO (Irish: Ard-Oifig an Phoist ), Dublin Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath ) the Custom House (Irish: Teach an Chustaim ), the Old Houses of Parliament (Irish: Tithe na Parlaiminte ), Trinity College (Irish: Coláiste na Tríonóide ), Leinster House (Irish: Teach Laighean ), Government Buildings (Irish:Tithe an Rialtais ), and many others.


How to get there: Aer Lingus flies from New York and Boston to Dublin Airport (Irish: Aerfort Bhaile Átha Cliath ), from where car rental is available. Car parking can be difficult in Dublin City centre and a good way to get around the city is by Dublin Bus (Irish: Bus Átha Cliath ). You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)