Saturday, 29 July 2017

The Sheela-na-gigs of Stoneybatter

There's no general agreement on how to spell them (Sheela na gig, Síle na gcíoch, Síle na gCíoc...) or what they stand for.  But there are at least four tiny stone-like figures that might very well be sheela-na-gigs in Stoneybatter, making it the sheela-na-gig capital of Ireland.

They're all on Arbour Hill - on the gates of the prison and on the wall and back gate at the rear of Collins Barracks at Temple Villas, across the road from the Greek Orthodox Church (that particular one was recently vandalised in red spraypaint).

All four are relatively recent additions. Blink and you'd miss them. But who made them? How did they get there? Why do they all appear to have such very different styles? It's a mystery alright.