James Joyce says howaya as Dublin’s statues are brought to life


Visitors to Dublin will now be able to get an earful from James Joyce or Oscar Wilde as 10 of the cities most famous statues have been given a voice.

Talking Statues Dublin is a new initiative from Failte Ireland whereby one swipe of your smartphone gets you a call back from James Joyce (written by Roddy Doyle and voiced by Gabriel Byrne), Oscar Wilde (written by John Banville and voiced by Andrew Scott), or Fidelity on the O’Connell Monument (written by Paula Meehan and voiced by Ruth Nega)

So how does it work? New plaques have been placed at the statues with QR codes and passers-by simply scan the code with their phone, which will immediately ring.

Using drama, humour and location technology, Talking Statues breathes new life into the statues that surround us.

Some approaches are dramatic, others comic and others flights of pure fantasy. All aim to persuade the public look at the statues with new eyes, almost viewing them as animate characters with feelings and backstories instead of just objects to walk past.

The project was launched this month with the help of non-profit organisation Sing London, which has undertaken similar initiatives in London, Manchester, and Leeds.

More Dublin statues are being considered for animation in 2018, but for now, you can check out the current statues and their respective narrators on the Talking Statues Dublin website.

As well as being funded by Fáilte Ireland, additional support for the project has been given by Dublin City Council, An Post, the Abbey Theatre, Trinity College Dublin and Audible.co.uk.