Smithfield is an area on the Northside of Dublin. Its focal point is a public square, formerly an open market, now officially called Smithfield Plaza, but known locally as Smithfield Square or Smithfield Market.
Notable landmarks include the Old Jameson Whiskey Distillery and the Observation Tower.
Notable businesses include the children's animation studio Brown Bag Films.
Historically, Smithfield was a suburb of Oxmantown and lay within the civil parish of St. Paul's. There is no general agreement on the extent of the area known as Smithfield, but it roughly incorporates the area bounded by the River Liffey to the south, Bow Street to the east, Queen Street to the west, and North Brunswick street in the suburb of Grangegorman to the north.
Smithfield Market was laid out in the mid 17th century as a marketplace. Until its renovation in the early 21st Century, the square was lined with inner city 'farm yards' housing livestock. In 1964 Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor spent time here, as Burton worked on the film set in Smithfield for the film adaptation of John le Carré's novel The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Smithfield featured as Checkpoint Charlie in the movie.
Smithfield was rejuvenated under the HARP (Historic Area Rejuvenation Plan). An architectural competition was held and won by McGarry NiEanaigh Architects in 1997. The restoration involved lifting more than 400,000 one hundred and twenty-year-old cobblestones, cleaning them by hand and re-laying them.
Contemporary architecture and twelve 26.5 metre gas lighting masts, each with a 2-metre flame, now flank the square. Although the flames are rarely lit, the lighting mast shades can at times be seen in different colours, reflecting cultural events throughout the year. For example, they change to a vivid green shade as part of St Patrick's Day celebrations, and were changed to rainbow colours for the opening night of the 2015 GAZE International LGBT Film Festival at Smithfield's Light House Cinema.
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