By means of tides, locks and the city’s topography, the Grand Canal, the Dodder and the Liffey come together in this once semi-derelict part of the city, yet it’s just beyond the buzzing Grand Canal Dock, known lately – and rather ambitiously – as the ‘Silicon Docks’. It’s here at Grand Canal Dock that the impressive black and yellow building that houses Google’s European HQ asserts a functional presence on the cityscape.
This was also the place chosen for the cover shot of U2’s second album, October, in 1981. You can see them, fresh faced and barely out of their teens in that photo, with just sky where the Google building stands. There was no talk of the internet then, even the basic mobile phone was yet to appear.
You can see this part of the city on See Dublin by Bike’s ‘U2’s Dublin’ tour.
U2 photographed in 1981 at Grand Canal Dock, and (below) the same place now, with the Google building in the distance
Did they dream then they would one day challenge the Rolling Stones to be the ‘greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world’? Probably.