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02nd Dec 2022

Move over Grafton Quarter there’s a new glitzy aspirational sign in town

Emily Mullen

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some unwonted festive lighting appearing in Town

When Christmas 2019 comes to mind, for most the memories of festive cheer and gaiety will come to mind, others (the ones who spend too much time on our fearless leader Elon’s platform) will remember it differently.

Let me jog the memories of the well-adjusted amongst us, and put the phrase “Grafton Quarter” to you. Lights are flashing now, you remember that Christmas 2019 was the year of the Grafton Quarter light debacle, when the strangest rebrand since the 2000 rebrand of Jif to Cif, came to light.

Cleaning products aside- the move was met with a lot of headshakes and muffled “forfucksakess” from onlookers who frequented the area stretching from the entrance of St. Stephen’s Green at Grafton Street to Nassau Street over to Dawson Street: otherwise known as near Grafton street.

The main critique of the rebrand appeared to lie with the “yankification” of Dublin as BlindBoy put it in 2019. He added that the move in his view ignored the culture, language and history of the city, “where people feel their lived culture and nightlife is being eroded by hotels, tourism and tech companies it’s really tone deaf and some people are fairly irked by it, because of what they see it symbolizes”.

Nobody knows if this erudite level of criticism led to the vanishing of the Grafton Quarter lights but something did because in 2020 there was no sign of them. Even the then Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu, went on a quest to find them with her adorable daughter and couldn’t:

To borrow a phrase oft-used in a different context, it seems that they are at it again. With a glittering sign for another newly branded shopping district just dropped on Henry Street, bearing the words “Welcome to Dublin One”. While the Christmas light designer has definitely eased up on the Yankey doodle phrasing, the vagueness of the rebrand does make you wonder, if the lights be embarking on a journey akin to Jack Kerouac during its lifetime, touring the outer reaches of Dublin 1, taking in the Jeanie Johnston and the Spire.


New shopping district just dropped ✨

♬ original sound – Lauren Wisken

What will be next? Personally, I can’t wait until the Portobello Plaza is immortalised in LEDs.

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