Saturday 10 December 2016

Families see 1916 portraits

John Brennan

Published 06/10/2015 | 02:30

Artist David Rooney (right) with Paul Skinnider and the portrait of his relative Margaret Skinnider. Photos: Arthur Carron
Artist David Rooney (right) with Paul Skinnider and the portrait of his relative Margaret Skinnider. Photos: Arthur Carron
Proinsias O’Rathaille with the portrait of his grandfather Michael O’Rathaille
James Connolly
Michael Collins
Eamon De Valera

Families of the 1916 leaders laid their eyes of 42 portraits of their relatives for the first time last night at the Royal Irish Academy (RIA), in Dublin.

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The etchings were commissioned by both the RIA and the Office of Public Works (OPW) and will become a part of the State archive, which currently has more than 16,000 pieces in some 400 buildings.

David Rooney, illustrator of the 42 pieces, told the Irish Independent: "It's important to our history... these are our stories, they aren't owned by political parties."

He spent a year creating the remarkable images.

Portraits of leaders of the Rising and of lesser known characters will be included in a book due to be released this week called '1916 Portraits and Lives'.

John McMahon, Commissioner at the OPW, said "they will go on display in Kilmainham Gaol. It will be their actual and spiritual home".

Kilmainham Gaol is currently undergoing renovation.

Irish Independent

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