Three Fates Fountain

Three Fates Fountain, Dublin, Ireland, public art

Public Art: Three Fates Fountain

Sculptor: © Joseph Wackerle (15th May, 1880 - 20th March, 1959)

Description: The sculpture consists of a group of three bronze figures from Norse mythology, representing the Three Fates, Urd (past), Verdandi (present) and Skuld (future). In Norse mytholgy these three female figures are known as norns, who rule the destiny of Gods and men.

Date Unveiled: 1956

Location: The Three Fates Fountain is located at the Leeson Street entrance in St Stephen's Green, a park in Dublin, Ireland.


This fountain, designed by the sculptor Josef Wackerle, is the gift of the people of the German Federal Republic to mark their gratitude for Ireland's help after the war of 1939-45. The bronze group portrays the three legendary fates spinning and measuring the thread of man's destiny.

Background: The Three Fates fountain, by German sculptor Joseph Wackerle, was given as a gift to the Irish people by the German Government as a thank you for assistance they gave to refugees during World War II,  namely through the "Save the Children German Society" and Operation Shamrock.

Operation Shamrock : Following World War II Dr Kathleen Murphy founded the "Save the German Children Society" with the aim of inviting traumatize German Children to Ireland to help them recover from the nightmares they witnessed during World War II. The idea was pretty much a hot potato, as Europe was still reeling from the extent of the Nazi horrors and the Irish government  didn't want to be seen as  "saving German blood" so they quickly hand balled it over to the Irish Red Cross. In 1946 the Irish Red Cross applied to the Allied Control Council for 100 children to be sent to Ireland. Despite much reservations the ACC eventually approved the mercy mission on the 31st of May, 1946 and on the 27th of July the first wave of children refugees arrived in Dun Laoghaire financed by the Irish Red Cross. Within a year 462 children age between 3-10 were living in Ireland. By 1949 most of the children had returned home to their families in Germany, with about 50 choosing to stay in Ireland with their foster families.


The St Stephen's Green was opened as a park in 1664 to the upper class only. The general public had to wait until 1877 before they could enjoy it too. This was thanks to Arthur Guiness. Prior to it being a park the site was used for public executions and burnings.

The park features on the cover of Thin Lizzy's album "Shades From A Blue Orphanage".


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