smock alley theatre dublin ireland liberty bell exchange street
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November 10 2017 2:30 AM
The bell on the roof of the Smock Alley Theatre at Exchange Street in Dublin 8 is often described as Ireland's Liberty Bell. The theatre became a church back in the early 19th century, with a bell mounted on the roof - illegal under the penal laws.
The priest, Fr Michael Blake, went a step further and rang the bell one Sunday in 1811, 18 years before Catholic Emancipation. The history of Smock Alley describes it as the first time a Catholic bell had been rung in Ireland for 300 years.
The church was prosecuted and got representation from a then student lawyer named Daniel O'Connell. The rest is history, at least until the Roman Catholic Relief of 1829, when it is said O'Connell struck the bell a mighty blow and cracked it.
The church closed in 1989, and was finally converted back into a theatre in 2012.
The bell is still there on the roof, now restored, and you can enjoy a bird's eye view of it from 33 Scarlet Row, at the back of the Smock Alley Theatre at Essex Street West.
Number 33 is a penthouse apartment (on the fourth floor of the building) and has views over the south of the city, as well as the Smock Alley Theatre, from its corner balcony.
You reach the balcony from the main living room - an open-plan kitchen, with floor and eye-level units, dining room and sitting room, dual-aspect and with a glass door to the wraparound balcony.
There's one double bedroom with a wood floor off the entrance hall, and there's another glass door to the balcony from there.
The shower room is also off the entrance hall.
The total floor area of the penthouse comes to 452 sq ft.
Management fees are €1,165 a year.
Number 33 Scarlet Row is for sale for €295,000 with Keane Thompson (01) 298 9384.