top of page

Merrion Square Scavenger Hunt

Answers to the Merrion Square Scavenger Hunt.

Q1: Ireland sits in the corner but her Harp does not sing in Gaelic, what language does it speak?

A1: Latin

Q1 Extra points: What is the harp saying – in English?

A1x: “donatus filius thadet mefcit spes me”: “The gift of a son makes me cry for hope”.


Q2. This cold sounding country owes a debt of gratitude to this grandson of Ireland. What one word sums up what he did (it is his star feature)?

A2: LIBERTAD - Liberty


Q3. Dermot stood by the high chair of the king, but behind the throne we hear of a magical land, what is it?

A3: The Land of Oz. “Somewhere over the Rainbow” from the Wizard of Oz.

Q3 Extra points: why does the chair have balls on top of it?

A3x: They represent the balls on a jester’s hat, the jester typically mocked the king and Dermot Morgan was a satirist who cast a critical eye on Irish society and the Church in Ireland.


Q4. Was the lord Mayor of Dublin ahead of his time recognizing this leader who would later become head of his country—Who was the leader?

A4: Nelson Mandela.


Q5. If three castles fly on blue, what does their harp fly on?

A5: Green

Q5 Extra points: What famous beverage also uses the Harp as its logo?

A5x: Guinness


Q6. This tree blossoms in Japan, but it also blossoms in Merrion Square in memory of what historical event?

A6: The dropping of the first atom bomb on Hiroshima August 6th 1945

Q6 Extra points: What does the famous CND (Peace) sign represent?

A6x: It is the superimposition of the semaphore letters for N (Nuclear) and D (Disarmament)


Q7. What do the cranes chant, according to these three figures?

A7: ‘As cranes chanting their dolorous notes traverse the sky’. Their ‘dolorous notes’.

Q7 Extra points: The words ‘As cranes chanting their dolorous notes traverse the sky’ come from a famous Italian poem, what is it?

A7x: Dante’s Inferno or The Divine Comedy. The words come from Canto V (the Canto of Queens) from Inferno, the first part of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem the Divine Comedy (the other parts being Purgatorio and Paradiso).


Q8. You would expect one of these to honour a Pharos, but this one honours members of what Irish organization?

A8: The Irish Defence Forces or “Óglaigh na hÉireann”

Q8 Extra points: During World War II, on which side did the Republic of Ireland fight?

A8x: No side. Ireland declared and maintained neutrality for the duration of WWII, called in Ireland “The Emergency”.


Q9. Oscar was sculpted in stone of many colours, but what colours are on his tie?

A9: His tie is Green, White and Red, on a background of Black, indicating a graduate of Trinity College Dublin.


Q10: Who did Oscar think were “brilliant” at breakfast?

A10: Dull People

Q10 Extra point: Oscar sued a man in court who was famous for writing down the rules of boxing, who was that man?

A10x: Marquess of Queensberry Rules


Q11. How are the gates to the park be shut?

A11: Gently


Q12. How many people have lost their heads at the Duke of Rutland’s drinking spot?

A12: Three of the figures on the rectangular frieze have no heads

Q12 Extra points: The Duke’s wife was Mary Isabelle, but what does her frieze tell us she was?

A12x: “PULCHE FORMA ILLA”: “She has a beautiful form”   


Q13. The sides of Merrion Square are called North, South, East and West, but what is the Irish word for “South”?

A13: Theas

Q13 Extra points: Merrion Square falls into South Dock Ward and Trinity Ward. What was a “Ward”?

A13x: An electoral district for local government


Q14: He wasn’t sure if his cat was alive or dead – but we do know he worked in this house from 1940 to 1956. What is the house number?

A14: Number 65


Q15: Founded in 1894, you wouldn’t go there for a broken arm, so why would you go there?

A15: To have a baby, it’s a maternity hospital.

Q15 Extra points: Where would you find the oldest continuously operating Maternity Hospital in the world?

A15x: The Rotunda Hospital (Hospital for the Relief of Poor Lying-in Women, Dublin), Dublin.


Q16: Violet could be violent if the thought something was too right – Where did she live?

A16: Number 12

Q16 Extra points: Who did she try to shoot?

A16x: Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini, on 7 April 1926, Gibson shot Mussolini, Italy's National Fascist Party leader, as he walked among the crowd in the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome. Her shot grazed his nose!


Q17. Oscar’s mother had a wild nickname name, what was it?

A17: Speranza (the Italian word for Hope).


Q18. This grand building was once home to the Duke of Leinster but is now home to Ireland’s national parliament. How many of its window look out onto Merrion Square?

A18: 32. The main building has 3 floors of 11 windows – except the ground floor where the centre window is a door.

Q18 Extra points. The lower house of the Irish parliament calls itself by its Irish name, what is that name?

A18x: Dáil Éireann ('Assembly of Ireland').


Q19. When was the Dead Zoo opened?

A19: The National Museum of Ireland Natural History branch opened in 1856. It is called the “dead zoo” because of its extensive collection of stuffed animals and skeletons.


Q20. The grand Iron gates to Government Buildings have 3 shamrocks and the year that Ireland became in independent country. What was that year?

A20: 1922

Q20 Extra Points: What two famous Irish scientists guard the doors to Government Buildings?

A20x: William Rowan Hamilton and Robert Boyle


Q21. What famous General was born near Merrion Square (Hint: ABBA sang of his greatest victory, but never mentioned his name!)?

A21: Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, the ‘Iron Duke’

Q21 Extra points: What item of clothing did he popularise and also has his name?

A21x: The Wellington Boot

bottom of page