Perfectly picturesque with its wind-swept branches, lily pads and rushing locks, over 250 years of Dublin life have played out over the Grand Canal's canvas. Unfurling by the birthplaces of artist Francis Bacon and playwright George Bernard Shaw, its waters stirred poet Patrick Kavanagh's soul enough to compose the beautiful Canal Bank Walk:
"Leafy-with-love banks and the green waters of the canal
Pouring redemption for me"
Kavanagh enjoys a permanent presence on his beloved canal thanks to John Coll's commemorative sculpture of the Monaghan poet, which sits facing the water along Mespil Road.
Samuel Beckett was also a regular stroller on its iconic towpath. In the 1950s, the Nobel Prize-winner would follow the canal up to Portobello Harbour to visit artist Jack B Yeats who was convalescing at Portobello House. The house is still there today, facing idyllic Portobello Lock and historic La Touche Bridge.