Dubliner humour at its finest
Many people would walk by this unassuming plaque on the left-hand balustrade of O'Connell Bridge and assume that it was a memorial for some great historic figure who worked tirelessly for the good people of Dublin. But this standard-looking 6 x 8 inches bronze plaque is dedicated to a fictitious Roman Catholic priest called "Fr.Pat Noise" and can tell you a lot about contemporary Irish history.
Erected in 2002, it went unnoticed for two years until Sunday Tribune journalist Eoghan Rice pointed it out to Dublin City Council in 2006. Rumour has it that the plaque was erected by two brothers as a hoax, a comment on the flaithiúlach spending seen during the Celtic Tiger. With speculation about the plaque reaching fever pitch, a "friend of the artist" approached The Irish Times with a statement expressing their delight that the work had caught so many people's imagination, "I hope that this experience has lifted people a little and added in some way to their lives and, until its removal, may it bring a smile to all who pass the location of this ‘suspicious’ crash."
The plaque is believed to have been professionally sand cast using materials and techniques estimated to have cost about €1,000 to produce, there are also only a handful of foundries in Dublin that would have the ability to produce it.
The plaque reads:
THIS PLAQUE COMMEMORATES
FR. PAT NOISE
ADVISOR TO PEADAR CLANCEY.
HE DIED UNDER SUSPICIOUS
CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN HIS
CARRIAGE PLUNGED INTO THE
LIFFEY ON AUGUST 10TH 1919.
ERECTED BY THE HSTI
The message has been the subject of great speculation, with the name 'Father Pat Noise' believed to be a play on the Latin for "our father" pater noster. While 'Peadar Clancy' which is misspelt in the plaque, could have been linked to IRA Army officer that was killed on Bloody Sunday, the accreditation of 'HSTI' is believed to be an anagram of the word "shit".
The plaque was later removed in early 2007, before being replaced by the pranksters once more. Dublin City Council planned to remove the second plaque in 2007 before Cllr. Dermot Lacey stepped in, a move which ultimately saved the piece.