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The Anna Livia monument has been a bone of contention for Dubliners since it was erected in 1988. Designed by Eamonn O'Doherty to mark Dublin's own millennium, the gushing water sculpture features the goddess of the river Liffey in a suggestive pose and was immediately christened "the floozy in the Jacuzzi" by general consensus. Today, it is (unfortunately) the popular hang-out for customers of the numerous fast-food restaurants that line this part of O'Connell Street. With the erection of the new Monument of Light in this space, the fountain will shortly be relocated to a new site.
O'Connell Street has been rejuvenated. The spire monument, erected in January 2003, has replaced the Nelson's Pillar, following the removal of the Anna Livia Monument. This symbolizes the spirit of a new Dublin and a time capsule has been put under the Spire, to mark its unveiling. But this is not all. The construction of the plaza surrounding the squire has begun, so tourists and locals can look forward to it.
An arterial road of the city, O'Connell Street marks the historical area of the city. Many ancient and architecturally-rich buildings line its route. The O'Connell Monument named after the national leader Daniel O'Connell, is a memorial that is found at one end of the street. The street has remained in existence since olden times and has served as a witness to major wars, gatherings and demonstrations. The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade also passes through this street.
In 1814, planning started for the construction of a Catholic Pro-Cathedral (provisional cathedral) for Dublin. The Anglican ruling class was outraged at the idea that it should be built in central O'Connell Street, so the cathedral was constructed on a back-street site, hidden away, out of view. Located on Marlborough Street, Irish Catholics flocked here to hear Mass from as early as 1825, before Catholic Emancipation was fully in effect. The facade is based on the Temple of Theseus in Athens. The interior is more austere but has a beautiful depiction of the Ascension carved above the high altar. St Mary's Pro-Cathedral is home to the famous Palestrina Choir, where tenor, John McCormack, began his career. You can hear the choir singing every weekly for the Sunday Mass.
The shopping street in the northern part of the city offers a range of fashion boutiques and shopping centres.
Founded in 1904 by W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory, the Abbey is Ireland's national theater and remains a crucial promoter of established and emerging Irish playwrights. The theater's early years saw much controversy: the 1926 premiere of O'Casey's 'The Plough and the Stars' upset nationalist sensibilities and provoked Yeats to personally rebuke the audience, who felt offended by the depiction of the 1916 nationalist movement. Although generally less controversial these days, new Irish plays are still staged in the basement theater, the Peacock. The theater's Abbey Street premises has been open since 1961, but changes are afoot. The management is currently considering a move south of the river.