The fifth of the famous Five Lamps will be switched on should Dublin claim the Five-In-A-Row this Sunday

Five Lamps - All Ireland Final
The Five Lamps – Rights Free (Flickr)

Ask any Dubliner for directions to the Five Lamps. He or she will send you to the junction of Portland Row and North Strand Road. There, on an island at the junction of five streets – Portland Row, North Strand Road, Seville Place, Amiens Street and Killarney Street – stand the Five Lamps, a highly decorated lamp post with five lanterns.

And as Dublin prepares itself for a potential history making weekend, so too do the five lamps. Today, a team of council workers have installed blue bulb inside the five lamp chambers, but have only lit four of the five. These four lights represent Dublin’s four All Ireland Successes from 2015 to 2018. And should Jim Gavin’s record breaking panel beat their oldest rivals Kerry this Sunday, that final lamp will be lit in celebration. They will be the first time to have ever recorded five back to back All Ireland Senior Football titles.

As he prepared to fit the final bulb into the fifth lamp chamber, Council worker Fran Dorman told the Independent “Sure you’d have to do your bit. It’s history in the making after all”.

A Landmark steeped in history

The Five Lamps were put up around 1880 as a memorial to General Henry Hall from Galway who had served with the British Army in India. They were originally a water fountain with four basins at their base. Water gushed from the spouts in the shape of lions’ heads. Cups hung from chains over the basins, so that the locals could have a drink. At that time people were poor and had no running water in their homes. The fountain was probably also used as a watering trough for horses to have a drink as well.

Some people think that the name “five lamps” comes from the five streets which meet at this point; others believe that they commemorate five major battles fought in India during the days of the British Empire. Either way we as Dubliners are lucky to still have the Five Lamps.

Elsewhere in the city, Dublin City Council will be decking the quays with blue and navy flags. They’ve already installed a massive banner at the Civic Offices and their office at Palace Street. The Mansion House has also done it’s bit. The Building has been bathed in blue lights. And Lord Mayor Paul MacAuliffe has give 1,200 flags to 60 GAA Clubs around the county.

The celebrations will culminate in Smithfield Plaza this Sunday where a large TV Screen will be erected to show the All Ireland Final live to anyone in Dublin that would like to gather and watch together.