“Meeting Place” is a statue located in one of Dublin’s most popular shopping areas. Unlike many of the city’s statues, which honor famous Dubliners such as James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and George Bernard Shaw, “Meeting Place” was designed to reflect everyday city life.
The bronze sculpture was created by Jackie McKenna and put in place in 1988 in one of Dublin’s busiest shopping areas. It shows two women chatting together while sitting on a stone bench. At their feet are two shopping bags, also sculpted in bronze. One of the bags is from Arnotts, the oldest and largest department store in Dublin, which has its flagship store on nearby Henry Street. Shortly after the statue’s inauguration, one of the bags was stolen. It was replaced, and now both are securely attached to the ground.
“Meeting Place” is a tribute to the women of the city, but has nonetheless become widely known by a less-than-flattering nickname. Like many Dublin statues, it has been rechristened by the locals and is commonly referred to as “Hags with the Bags” (and occasionally “Slags with the Bags”).
In 2017, the two women were given a voice. “Meeting Place: was included in the Talking Statues Dublin project, whose aim was to bring Dublin’s statues to life using some of Ireland’s most celebrated writers and actors.
Passersby can use their phones to scan the QR code located on the statue’s plaque, or type in the provided URL. Upon doing so, the phone will ring and the statue will start to talk. Ten statues were included in the project, allowing you to hear the likes of Joyce, Wilde, Bernard Shaw, George Salmon, and Molly Malone.
Meeting Place was voiced by Brenda Fricker, the Irish stage and screen actress who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in My Left Foot. So before you visit Dublin, download the Talking Statues map and take a few calls from some famous Irish figures.
Know Before You Go
"Meeting Place" is located at the southern end of Lower Liffey Street, close to the Ha'penny Bridge in the heart of Dublin. Don’t forget your smartphone.