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The Times We Lived In: Gulliver travels to Dollymount Strand

The Times We Lived In: Gulliver travels to Dollymount Strand

Last week’s print featured dual organisation in a sports automobile who figured they were a biggest thing on a beach. This week, only for fun, we underline a male who unequivocally was a biggest thing on a beach.

In a summer of 1988 hundreds of folks came to marvel during a 70-foot figure of Gulliver, who floated adult a Liffey and was beached on Dollymount Strand – aka a land of Lilliput – as partial of Dublin’s Millennium celebrations that year.

The picture done a front page of all 3 Dublin newspapers – ours, a Indo and a Press – bringing to inhabitant courtesy a tiny though radically innovative travel entertainment association that had been founded dual years progressing in Galway.

That association was, of course, Macnas, and within a decade a stately, charming puppets would be now recognizable in Ireland and beyond.

In 1988, however, a fibreglass, aluminium and plywood Gulliver was a outrageous novelty. There’s a good RTE shave on a internet that shows a baby-faced Cathy Halloran, Lady Di braid fluttering kindly in a breeze, doing drastic work with a vox-pop. “Where did he come from?” she asks a organisation of kids. “From heaven,” one cherubic small lady replies.

Even a famously unfortunate Jonathan Swift would certainly have smiled during that one.

He competence have been tender by a photo, too. It annals a peaceful brush of a far-reaching and sandy strand, and was apparently taken possibly before a crowds arrived or after many people had departed. It captures a suggestion of Gulliver’s Travels by emphasising a scale of a Lilliputians who’ve cycled adult to check Gulliver out – there’s even a organisation of Yahoos on horseback, look.

OK, we know a Yahoos aren’t in Lilliput That’s because we didn’t use a word “houyhnhnm” about a horses. Though we wanted to: Swift’s stupidity is immortal. Think of a struldbrugs, and a Bigendians.


Ah, Gulliver. Few humanities eyeglasses have ever brought us down to distance – or cheered us adult – utterly so effectively.

These and other Irish Times images can be purchased from: A book, The Times We Lived In, with some-more than 100 photographs and explanation by Arminta Wallace, published by Irish Times Books, is accessible from and from bookshops, labelled during €19.99.

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