Friday, 22 January 2010

a metaphor for our times

Early last year i was walking down O'Connell street,Dublin.And I passed a building I had passed Hundreds of times in my life.It was the former main bookings office of Aer lingus,
the Irish national airline.This was in its day a beautiful example of Irishness, both in its look and in its ambiance.My lasting memory of this office the warmh which exuded from the people who confidently greeted you from behind the the service counter,as they tapped away on their green screens to bring you up to the minute information on pricing and availability of flights out of and into all of the main capitals of Europe and the U.S.A.

The entrance to the this building was beautifully crafted in polished steel and glass,very clean modernist lines,with a large double glass door which effortlessly swung open with the timidest of pushes.
The crowning feature of this design had to be the winged handles.
You could say this doorway was in itself a beautiful framing of all of Irelands aspirations as it prepared to fly as close to the sun as any other nation could manage.
Anyhow, this all changed when in the nineties aer lingus suspended selling seats from this, and all offices and retired to web based sales.
the Office closed and was never reoccupied.
So back to the day of my stroll.
In the past I had mused over the possible meanings of the wings being bound in chains but never ever read it as a curse.So on this snowy sunday morning in february 2009 I was shocked to pass the building to find,that not only had the chains been taken from the doors, but the wings too had been removed!Two months later the whole building was gone, around about the same time the country almost ground to a halt as the huge bubble that was the irish property development industry imploded on itself!

Personally I feel saddened that such apretty piece of our past can go almost unlamented.
I can only draw sollace from the fact that on two of the hundreds of times that i passed this way I was carrying a camera to document the passing of this little treasure!

for a gallery of both images click here
Please comment on this post as it will help shape the content in the future postings


  1. When I saw the image, I thought, that about sums up whats going on there, then I read and now know the whole building is gone... and so much more with it. What about the fact that the chain is green

  2. thanks Eileen,
    I suppose in an image that has so few elements everything is anplified.
    the colour of the chains sheath, therefor, is hugely significant.Also the fact that one side of it is perished away right up to the start of the handle could have connotations,

  3. Whoever was given the task of chaining the doors probably made a special effort to sheath the chain so as not to scratch the handles. That's one way fine details can affect what one does and how one thinks. It was his or her way of believing that this move towards eliminating human contact, because it’s doesn’t make economic sense no doubt, might be temporary and that the office would open again.

  4. a beautiful reading mark!
    thanks, heres to optimism!!