Liberty Hall

North of the Liffey

Dublin's second-tallest storied building is either a modernist masterpiece or an unconscionable eyesore, depending on how you see modern architecture. It was built between 1961 and 1965 to replace the original Liberty Hall, which had been a hotel before it was taken over by James Connolly's Irish Citizen Army in 1913. Today it's the headquarters of the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU), Ireland's largest trade union.

The original building also served as the HQ for SIPTU's predecessor, Jim Larkin's Irish Transport & General Workers Union – and so played a role in both the Dublin Lockout and the 1916 Easter Rising. Its replacement was originally fitted with non-reflective windows, but they were damaged by an Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) car bomb in 1972 and replaced with the current reflective glass windows. The car bomb also put paid to the viewing platform, which had just opened but has remained closed ever since.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby North of the Liffey attractions

1. James Connolly Memorial

0.03 MILES

Ireland’s most famous socialist, James Connolly (1868–1916), is depicted proudly in front of the plough and stars of his Irish Citizen Army. An…

2. Custom House

0.09 MILES

Georgian genius James Gandon (1743–1823) announced his arrival on the Dublin scene with this magnificent building constructed over 10 years between 1781…

3. Daniel O'Connell Statue

0.17 MILES

The big daddy of O'Connell St's collection of statuary is the 'Liberator' himself, Daniel O'Connell (1775–1847), whose massive bronze bulk soars high…

4. Jim Larkin Statue

0.18 MILES

The most dynamic statue along O'Connell St is that of trade-union leader Jim Larkin (1876–1947) by Oisin Kelly, just south of the General Post Office…

5. National Wax Museum Plus


More a mini history museum in wax than Dublin's version of Madame Tussauds. The quality of the waxworks remains inconsistent – some look like the result…

6. James Joyce Statue

0.21 MILES

Looking about with a bemused air from the corner of pedestrianised North Earl St is a small statue of James Joyce sculpted by US sculptor Marjorie…

7. Spire

0.22 MILES

The city's most visible landmark soars over O'Connell St and is an impressive bit of architectural engineering that was erected in 2001: from a base only…

8. St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral

0.22 MILES

Dublin’s most important Catholic church is not quite the showcase you’d expect. It’s in the wrong place for starters. The large neoclassical building,…