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Irish culture and history



Nissan Huts (Demolition of H Blocks)
Oil on canvas
60cm x 60cm / 23.6 in x 23.6 in




Notes
"Long Kesh / Maze prison was infamous as the major holding centre for paramilitary prisoners during the course of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Some of the major events of the recent conflict centred on, emanated from, and were transformed by it, including the burning of the internment camp in 1974, the protests and hunger strikes of 1980-1981, the mass escape of PIRA prisoners in 1983, and the role of prisoners in facilitating and sustaining the peace process of the 1990s.  Now, over a decade after the signing of the Belfast Agreement (1998), Long Kesh / Maze remains one of the most contentious remnants of the conflict and has become central to debates about what we do with such sites, what they mean, and how they relate to contemporary rememberings of the difficult recent past."
An Archaeology of the Troubles: The dark heritage of Long Kesh/Maze prison
Laura McAtackney (2014)
See:
http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199673919.do






The Rise and Fall of James Connolly,
Beresford Place, Dublin.

Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
50cm x 60cm / 19.7 in x 23.6 in
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Notes
'In “The Rise and Fall of James Connolly”, the statue of Larkin’s partner during the Dublin lock-out of 1913 stands outside Liberty Hall. Today the building shelters the offices of the Services, Industrial and Technical Union (SIPTU trade union) and until it was superseded by the Elysian building in Cork in September 2008, the Liberty Hall building in Dublin was the tallest storeyed building in Ireland. [...] In the years leading up to the 1916 insurrection it harboured the Irish Transport and General Workers Union when it was created in the early years of the 20th century and the Irish Citizen Army (ICA). As in the other paintings, the past is juxtaposed onto buildings of present-day Dublin creating a city-space in which different moments of history collide. [...] The plinth of Connolly’s statue is invisible and the statue almost seems alive. Connolly himself seems suddenly overwhelmed and his arrogant posture melts into a shadow onto the pavement, as the orange shape in the sky, reminiscent of the fall of Icarus, hints at Connolly's failure to fulfill his dreams.'
See: 'Post Celtic Tiger landscapes in Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin's paintings' by Marie Mianowski in
Post Celtic Tiger Ireland: Exploring New Cultural Spaces

Edited by Estelle Epinoux and Frank Healy (2016)
http://www.cambridgescholars.com/post-celtic-tiger-ireland





Bob Doyle (1916-2009) Commemoration
(The last Irish Brigadista)

O'Connell Street, Dublin
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
50cm x 60cm / 19.7 in x 23.6 in




Notes

"Robert Andrew "Bob" Doyle (12 February 1916 – 22 January 2009) was a communist activist and soldier from Ireland. He was active in two armed conflicts; the Spanish Civil War as a member of the International Brigades and the Second World War as a member of the British Empire's Merchant Navy. [...] He initially attempted to travel to Spain by stowing away aboard a boat bound for Valencia, where he was detained and expelled. He eventually returned by crossing the Pyrenees from France. After he returned to Spain, he reported to a battalion at Figueras. He was initially required to train new recruits because of his IRA experience, but disobeyed orders to get to the front. After fighting at Belchite, he was captured at Gandesa by the Italian fascist Corpo Truppe Volontarie in 1938, along with Irish International Brigade leader Frank Ryan. He was imprisoned for 11 months in a concentration camp near Burgos. There he was once brought out to be shot and he was regularly tortured by Spanish fascist guards and interrogated by the Gestapo before being released in a prisoner exchange."
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Doyle_(activist)






Great Famine Memorial,
Custom House Quay, Dublin.

Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
50cm x 60cm / 19.7 in x 23.6 in
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Notes
"Among them, Great Famine Memorial, Custom House Quay, Dublin (2007, 50 x 60 cm) depicts with accuracy the Bronze statues commemorating the Great Irish Famine, mainly caused by potato blight, between 1845 and 1851. These sculptures were made by Rowan Gillespie and were placed in 1997 on The Customs House Quay, on the bank of the Liffey River, because they were inspired by the following text: “A procession fraught with most striking and most melancholy interest, wending its painful and mournful way along the whole line of the river to where the beautiful pile of the Custom House is distinguishable in the far distance”, a quotation from The Irish Quarterly Review, dated 1854. [...] Another allusion to Ireland’s riches corresponds to the function of the buildings in the background of Great Famine Memorial. Indeed, the largest can easily be recognised as the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), which is part and parcel of Dublin’s business district, implemented by The Finance Act (1987) in order to attract foreign companies with low taxation rates. This area, devoted to offices, shopping facilities, restaurants and housing for businessmen and women is highly criticised today, some accusing the government of allowing companies to enjoy tax reductions whereas the rest of the country suffers from austerity measures."
'Post Celtic Tiger Expressionism: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin’s Great
Famine Memorial, Custom House Quay, Dublin (2007)' by Amélie Dochy in
Post Celtic Tiger Ireland: Exploring New Cultural Spaces

Edited by Estelle Epinoux and Frank Healy (2016)
http://www.cambridgescholars.com/post-celtic-tiger-ireland



Larkin's Despair,
O'Connell St, Dublin

Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 80cm / 23.6 in x 31.5 in
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Notes
"The three colours of the Irish flag are repeated in most paintings as a sort of background colour scheme, especially in ‘Larkin’s Despair’ where the colours of the statue, the plinth and the inscription mirror those of the Irish flag, although not in equal proportions. In ‘Larkin’s Despair’ however, the irony appears through the exaggerations of the painter: a huge white Limo stretches its arrogance along three blocks of buildings as if to emphasize the grotesque exuberance of Celtic Tiger wealth. Also the packed crowd of the 1923 photograph [of Larkin speaking, upon which the sculpture is based], although less enthusiastic than the 1913 one is reduced to nothing in the late Celtic Tiger period. The streets are almost deserted with only a few people crossing O’Connell street on both sides of Larkin’s statue but ignoring it. Larkin is left all alone, with his arms stretched in despair and his head down as if he were quietly sobbing."
See: 'Post Celtic Tiger landscapes in Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin's paintings' by Marie Mianowski in
Post Celtic Tiger Ireland: Exploring New Cultural Spaces

Edited by Estelle Epinoux and Frank Healy (2016)
http://www.cambridgescholars.com/post-celtic-tiger-ireland


The left hand side of the painting depicts the GPO [General Post Office].

"During the Easter Rising of 1916, the GPO served as the headquarters of the uprising's leaders. The building was destroyed by fire in the course of the rebellion and not repaired until the Irish Free State government took up the task some years later."
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Post_Office,_Dublin

"The famous photograph of James Larkin that inspired the monument [by Dublin sculptor Oisín Kelly (1915–81)], was taken by Joe Cashman in April 1923."
See: http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/an-inspiration-to-all-who-gaze-upon-it/

The right hand side of the painting depicts a stretch limo, popular form of celebratory transport used by working class people during the Celtic Tiger years.





Larkin's Delight,
O'Connell St, Dublin

Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 80cm / 23.6 in x 31.5 in
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Notes
"By contrast in ‘Larkin’s Delight’, the crowd is there, demonstrating and taking its destiny in hands, claiming its own rights out on the street with Larkin’s statue thrilled with delight."
See: 'Post Celtic Tiger landscapes in Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin's paintings' by Marie Mianowski in
Post Celtic Tiger Ireland: Exploring New Cultural Spaces

Edited by Estelle Epinoux and Frank Healy (2016)
http://www.cambridgescholars.com/post-celtic-tiger-ireland






Parnell's Providence,
O'Connell St, Dublin

Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 80cm / 23.6 in x 31.5 in




Notes
"Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin’s “Parnell” painting ironically shows Parnell’s statue pointing at a passing bus on O’Connell street. On the painting, Parnell’s stretched out hand points at a passing bus decorated with a huge ad that reads: ‘wealth warning’. More explicitly than on the others, the irony is blatantly visible on that painting where ‘wealth warning’ replaces ‘health warning’ as if the statue had in turn become a viewer of our contemporary world, revealing how, through landscapes, the past continues to work in the present."
See: 'Post Celtic Tiger landscapes in Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin's paintings' by Marie Mianowski in
Post Celtic Tiger Ireland: Exploring New Cultural Spaces

Edited by Estelle Epinoux and Frank Healy (2016)
http://www.cambridgescholars.com/post-celtic-tiger-ireland


'Wealth Warning' was the tag line used in an advertising campaign by the travel agency Budget Travel in the middle 2000s.

The statues of historical figures such as Jim Larkin, Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, and James Connolly look down on a new city that sits uncomfortably with their varieties of nationalism and socialism.

These symbols of the past, standing in silent judgment of the follies of the present, act as control rods in the current economic fission reminding its old and new, wealthy and poor citizens alike of past struggles and hardships. 





'Young Ireland' vs Old Ireland,
College Green, Dublin

Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 80cm / 23.6 in x 31.5 in
Sold



Notes

"
In the painting “Young Ireland vs Old Ireland”, the sculpture of Thomas Davis’ silhouette is represented from a very low angle so that the statue seems to be overlooking both the crowd and College Green. The title of the painting echoes the “Young Ireland” movement to which Davis’ belonged in the 1840s, a phrase coined in the first place as a dismissive term by Daniel O’Connell to describe his inexperienced allies in the Repeal Movement. Thomas Davis subsequently became the chief leader of the Young Ireland movement and in the 1870s, the term came to refer to the nationalists inspired by him. The statue overlooks College Green as a tribute to Trinity College where he was educated and to the University education he wished to promote for Irish students of all backgrounds and confessions. [...]
In ‘Young Ireland vs Old Ireland’ the ironical contrast also stems from a discrepancy between the past and the present. Davis’ statue outside College Green is surrounded by a cheering crowd gathered there to watch a Macnas parade. ‘Macnas are master storytellers who inspire and engage audiences by creating big, bold, visual shows and performances through world-class theatrical spectacle ’. On the painting a colourful drummer advances, playing on exotic looking drums to an anonymous crowd of hooded youths, and Davis’ famous ballad ‘A Nation once again ’ resonates in the ears of the viewer of Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin’s painting. As Christie Fox points out, Macnas reinterprets folk tales through contemporary issues, the priority being entertainment over education, a choice that might have startled Davis whose preoccupation with education was paramount."
See: 'Post Celtic Tiger landscapes in Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin's paintings' by Marie Mianowski in
Post Celtic Tiger Ireland: Exploring New Cultural Spaces

Edited by Estelle Epinoux and Frank Healy (2016)
http://www.cambridgescholars.com/post-celtic-tiger-ireland


Macnas (Irish for "Joyful Abandonment") incorporated Primitivism / Tribalism in its artistic style, hence the reference to 'Old Ireland'.





O'Connell's Delight,
O'Connell St, Dublin

Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
80cm x 120cm / 31.5 in x 47.2 in
Sold



Notes
O'Connell's Delight refers to the wealth of the middle classes symbolised by the profusion of SUVs [Sports Utility Vehicle] in Dublin. O'Connell  fought for the rights of the middle classes but was less sympathetic to the rights of the working class:

"O 'Connell, long revered in Irish history as 'The Liberator' was a consistent enemy of the working class and laid the foundations for the anti English and anti socialist premises at the root of much of Irish nationalism. O Connell's family background is of interest as are some of his less publicised political activities. O Connell was born into a family of the minor landowning catholic gentry. He received his education in France during the period of the French Revolution, which swept away the reactionary catholic ancient regime forever. These experiences are held as the formative influences on a political career in which he famously declared the Irish freedom was not worth the shedding of a drop of blood. It is a less well known fact that O Connell was a volunteer with the Lawyers Yeomanry Corps which rounded up supporters of Robert Emmet's failed rebellion in 1803, was the suppression of Irish freedom worth paying such a price?"
"Against the Red Flag" Socialism and Irish Nationalism 1830 - 1913
Mags Glennon [See: http://struggle.ws/cc1913/flag.html]

"O'Connell 'cherished a romantic attachment for his "darling little Queen" (Victoria)' [p100] and when he took his seat as a supporter of the Whig Government in the House of Commons 'voted against a proposal to shorten the hours of child labour in factories' in 1838 [p104/5]."
[See P. Berresford, Ellis, A History of the Irish Working Class. London, Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1972].

“There was no tyranny equal to that which was exercised by the trade-unionists in Dublin over their fellow labourers [O'Connell]."
in James Connolly Labour In Irish History
[See: https://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1910/lih/chap12.htm]





Eoghan Rua O Neill (c1590-1649)

Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
50cm x 60cm



Notes
Owen Roe O'Neill (Irish: Eoghan Ruadh Ó Néill; c. 1585 – 6 November, 1649) was a seventeenth-century soldier and one of the most famous of the O'Neill dynasty of Ulster in Ireland. O'Neill left Ireland at a young age and spent most of his life as a mercenary in the Spanish Army serving against the Dutch in Flanders during the Eighty Years' War. Following the Irish Rebellion of 1641, O'Neill returned and took command of the Ulster Army of the Irish Confederates. He enjoyed mixed fortunes over the following years but won a decisive victory at the Battle of Benburb in 1646. Large-scale campaigns to capture Dublin and Sligo were both failures.
[See:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_Roe_O%27Neill]





Wolfe Tone (1763-1798)
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 80cm



Notes
Theobald Wolfe Tone, posthumously known as Wolfe Tone (20 June 1763 – 19 November 1798), was a leading Irish revolutionary figure and one of the founding members of the United Irishmen, and is regarded as the father of Irish republicanism and leader of the 1798 Irish Rebellion. He was captured at Letterkenny port on 3 November 1798.
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfe_Tone]





Robert Emmet (1780-1803)
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
50cm x 60cm



Notes
Robert Emmet (4 March 1778 – 20 September 1803) was an Irish nationalist and Republican, orator and rebel leader. After leading an abortive rebellion against British rule in 1803 he was captured then tried and executed for high treason against the British king. He came from a wealthy Anglo-Irish Protestant family who sympathised with Irish Catholics and their lack of fair representation in Parliament. The Emmet family also sympathised with the rebel colonists in the American Revolution. While Emmet's efforts to rebel against British rule failed, his actions and speech after his conviction inspired his compatriots.
[See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Emmet]






John Mitchel (1815-1875)

Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
50cm x 60cm



Notes
John Mitchel (Irish: Seán Mistéal; 3 November 1815 – 20 March 1875) was an Irish nationalist activist, author, and political journalist. Born in Camnish, near Dungiven, County Londonderry and reared in Newry, he became a leading member of both Young Ireland and the Irish Confederation. After moving to the United States in the 1850s, he became a pro-slavery editorial voice. Mitchel supported the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, and two of his sons died fighting for the Confederate cause. He was elected to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom in 1875, but was disqualified because he was a convicted felon. His Jail Journal is one of Irish nationalism's most famous texts.
[See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mitchel]






Thomas Davis (1814-1845)

Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
50cm x 60cm




Notes
Thomas Osborne Davis (14 October 1814 – 16 September 1845) was an Irish writer who was the chief organiser of the Young Ireland movement. [...] Davis gave a voice to the 19th-century foundational culture of modern Irish nationalism. Formerly it was based on the republicans of the 1790s and on the Catholic emancipation movement of Daniel O'Connell in the 1820s-30s, which had little in common with each other except for independence from Britain; Davis aimed to create a common and more inclusive base for the future. He established The Nation newspaper with Charles Gavan Duffy and John Blake Dillon. He wrote some stirring nationalistic ballads, originally contributed to The Nation and afterwards republished as Spirit of the Nation, as well as a memoir of Curran, the Irish lawyer and orator, prefixed to an edition of his speeches, and a history of King James II's parliament of 1689; and he had formed many literary plans which were unfinished by his early death. He was a Protestant, but preached unity between Catholics and Protestants. To Davis, it was not blood that made a person Irish, but the willingness to be part of the Irish nation.
[See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Davis_(Young_Irelander)]





Charles Gavin Duffy (1816-1903)
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
50cm x 80cm




Notes
The Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, KCMG, PC (12 April 1816 – 9 February 1903), Irish nationalist, journalist, poet and Australian politician, was the 8th Premier of Victoria and one of the most colourful figures in Victorian political history. Gavan Duffy was one of the founders of The Nation and became its first editor; the two others were Thomas Osborne Davis, and John Blake Dillon, who would later become Young Irelanders. All three were members of Daniel O'Connell's Repeal Association. This paper, under Gavan Duffy, transformed from a literary voice into a "rebellious organisation". As a result of The Nation's support for Repeal, Gavan Duffy, as owner, was arrested and convicted of seditious conspiracy in relation to the Monster Meeting planned for Clontarf, just outside Dublin, but was released after an appeal to the House of Lords. In August 1850, Gavan Duffy formed the Tenant Right League to bring about reforms in the Irish land system and protect tenants' rights, and in 1852 he was elected to the House of Commons for New Ross.
[See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Gavan_Duffy]





Michael Davitt (1846-1906)
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 90cm
Sold



Notes

Michael Davitt (Irish: Mícheál Mac Dáibhéid; 25 March 1846 – 30 May 1906) was an Irish republican and agrarian campaigner who founded the Irish National Land League. He was also a labour leader, Home Rule politician and Member of Parliament (MP). [...] On 16 August 1879, the Land League of Mayo was formally founded in Castlebar, with the active support of Charles Stewart Parnell. On 21 October it was superseded by the Irish National Land League. Parnell was made its president and Davitt was one of its secretaries. This group united practically all the different strands of land agitation and land movements since the Tenant Right League of the 1850s under a single organisation, and from then until 1882, the "Land War" in pursuance of the "Three Fs" (Fair Rent, Fixity of Tenure and Free Sale) was fought in earnest. The League organised resistance to evictions and reductions in rents, as well as aiding the work of relief agencies. Landlords' attempts to evict tenants led to violence, but the Land League denounced this. One of the actions the Land League took during this period was the campaign of ostracism against the land agent Captain Charles Boycott in Lough Mask House outside Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, in the autumn of 1880. This campaign led to Boycott abandoning Ireland in December and coined the word boycott, which quickly spread across the world and through many languages.
[See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Davitt]





Thomas Clarke (1857-1916)
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 70cm









James Connolly (1868-1916)
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 70cm







Patrick Pearse (1879-1916)
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 70cm








Eamonn Ceannt (1881-1916)
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 70cm







Sean Mac Diarmada (1884-1916)
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 70cm







Joseph Plunkett (1887-1916)
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 70cm







Thomas MacDonagh (1878-1916)
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 70cm







Countess Markiewicz (1868-1927)
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 70cm








Roger Casement (1864-1916)
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 70cm
Sold







Frank Ryan (1902-1944)
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 90cm







Máirtín Ó Cadhain
(1906 - 1970)
Acrylic and graphite on card / Aicrileach agus grafít ar chárta 
20cm x 30cm
Sold







Scarecrow
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 90cm







Bloody Sunday 1972
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
50cm x 60cm
Sold








Hold the Rents
Oil and paper on canvas / Ola agus páipéir ar chanbhás-
50cm x 70cm
Sold







First Dáil, Mansion House, Dublin, 1919
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
50cm x 70cm







Set Dancing
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
50cm x 70cm
Sold







Second Dáil, Mansion House, Dublin, 1921
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
50cm x 60cm
Sold







Allegory
(based on mid-fifteenth-century cadaver tombstone, Beaulieu churchyard near Drogheda)
Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
40cm x 80cm







Bruree Workers' Soviet Mills, 1921
Acrylic on canvas / Aicrileach ar chanbhás
30cm x 80cm
Sold







Gweedore, County Donegal (19c)

Oil on canvas / Ola ar chanbhás
60cm x 80cm







Citizens Army







Pearse, Connolly, Larkin Triptych



 

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