The Lamplighters of the Phoenix Park
The Phoenix Park in Dublin holds a special place in the collective memory of Irish people. From the assassinations of 1882 and the destruction of several imperial monuments, to the arrival of Douglas Hyde as Ireland’s first president and Pope John Paul’s 1979 visit, it has been at the centre of Irish society for centuries. But the park is also part and parcel of daily life for many Dubliners – none more so than the Flanagan family, who have been lighting the gas lamps within its walls since 1890.
Here, historian Donal Fallon speaks to brothers Frank and James Flanagan, lamplighters of the park, to give us a snapshot of a fading tradition, and a unique history of one of Ireland’s most beloved places. With stunning photographs, historical events and personal stories, The Lamplighters of the Phoenix Park shines a light on the park at the centre of our national identity, through the prism of this singular family, whose histories have been intertwined for more than 150 years.
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