Five Lamps & North Strand Bombing

Although not part of the canal, we have decided to cover this as on your walk you have to divert this way.

Five Lamps

When you ask any Dubliner for directions to the Five Lamps, he or she will send you to the junction of Portland Row and North Strand Road. There, on an island at the junction of five streets – Portland Row, North Strand Road, Seville Place, Amiens Street and Killarney Street – stand the Five Lamps, a highly decorated lamp post with five lanterns.

The Five Lamps were put up around 1880 as a memorial to General Henry Hall from Galway who had served with the British Army in India. They were originally a water fountain with four basins at their base. Water gushed from the spouts in the shape of lions’ heads. Cups hung from chains over the basins, so that the locals could have a drink. At that time people were poor and had no running water in their homes. The fountain was probably also used as a watering trough for horses to have a drink as well.

Some people think that the name “five lamps” comes from the five streets which meet at this point; others believe that they commemorate five major battles fought in India during the days of the British Empire. Either way we are lucky to still have the Five lamps.

During World War II, three bombs were dropped by German planes in the North Strand area, killing 28 people and injuring 90 in the space of 37 minutes. Three hundred houses were destroyed or damaged but the Five Lamps survived the attack.

Five Lamps


North Strand Bombing

On the night of 31 May 1941, aircraft of the German Luftwaffe dropped four high-explosive bombs on the North Strand Road area, killing 34 and injuring 90. Three hundred houses were damaged or destroyed.

It was not clear if this was a reprisal for the aid of the Dublin Fire Brigade during bombing raids on Belfast or if it had been a tactic to end Irish neutrality.

On 19 June, the Irish government announced that the government of the Nazi Germany had apologised and offered compensation.

Speculation over the reason for the raid has included the possibility that it was the unintended consequence of equipment used to jam radio navigation used by the bombers.

North Strand Bombing

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