Saturday 25 May 2019

Rebels of the Rising were people of vision, says artist Ballagh

Robert Ballagh. Photo:
Robert Ballagh. Photo:

Ralph Riegel

The Easter Rising had a seismic impact on Ireland's cultural and artistic landscape - but a major conference has heard that modern Ireland has struggled at times to cope with the legacy and meaning of 1916.

The revelation came at a major University College Cork (UCC) conference, 'The Rising of Poets and Playwrights', which was yesterday addressed by some of Ireland leading artists, playwrights, authors and historians. Renowned artist Robert Ballagh said he was always intrigued by the 1916 Rising and its impact on Irish culture.

Mr Ballagh, who earned worldwide acclaim for his paintings of key 1916 figures such as James Connolly and Constance Markievicz, will deliver the conference keynote address today.

"I was always fascinated by the 1916 Rising, by the fact that it involved so many poets, writers, musicians, actors and artists," he said.

"Also, it seemed to me that the men and women of 1916 were not merely rebels but people of vision.

"What they desired was not simply a Dublin government, a green flag over Dublin Castle and a harp on coins."

Irish Independent

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