Wednesday 11 March 2015

Dublin wall

I work across from the Guinness brewery in Dublin, a cluster of massive 19th-century brick buildings with a maze of narrow cobblestone streets, massive wooden gates, alleys -- and many horse-drawn carts for the tourists. It is perhaps not the cheeriest neighbourhood -- damp, pungent, with sunlight falling in thin shafts between the barrelhouses. It will, however, have for one week each March, a man in a giant leprechaun costume.

It does, however, have character -- and if I turn an unexpected corner, I come upon something like this picture. If you can't read it, it says, in giant letters four metres up the wall, "STONE UPON STONE UPON FALLEN STONE," and then in the Irish language, "CLOCH OS CLON CLOICHE OS CLON CLOICHE LEATHA."

I'm not certain what it means, but I like that such a thing exists for its own sake.


Ronald Langereis said...

Hi Brian,
When you Google it, you'll find, as an object, it's a subject of much debate, none of them conclusive..
There's a reference to an American artist who conceived it around 1968, and some guy named Wheland used it in a poem in 1971.
It seems a work of art and, as such, open to interpretation.
It's not clear why it is on a wall of the Guinness brewery. Could be, one of its board members was taken in by the quote for personal reasons, or it reminded him of something in the Guinness' past. Has the brewery ever burned down and been rebuilt in the same spot, stone upon fallen stone?

Brian Kaller said...


Thanks! The brewery might easily have burned down at some point in the last 250 years, although these buildings are quite old. I could do more research, but I'm content with enjoying the mystery.