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Art attack in city church as giant haystack takes over

A 30-foot haystack is not what springs to mind when you think of an old church in the heart of Dublin.

But, St Alphonsus Church in Drumcondra is home to the creative genius of one of Ireland's top artists, Patrick O'Reilly.

Thirty feet tall, the haystack is old-fashioned in style, taking its cue from a series of paintings made by Monet in 1890 and 1891.

Using scaffolding, two assistants and hay sourced from Mullingar, Mr O'Reilly spent nearly five months completing the solid creation.

"It was my first time building one so it took a while to clamp it down and I didn't know how much hay I needed, so I got hay and then I had to get more and more," Mr O'Reilly told the Herald.

The installation is on show at a time when farmers across the country are struggling with a severe shortage of hay due to the bad weather.

Born in Kilkenny, but based in Dublin for the past 10 years, the internationally renowned artist opened his first exhibition in 1996.

Mr O'Reilly specialises in installation and bronze pieces, but says it is his love of installation and not profit which drives his decision to make pieces like the haystack.

The haystack is not the only larger-than-life creation that the church plays host to, and a pink dolls house is another popular attraction.

Known as the House, the electrically charged installation appeared last year at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris.

"On the outside it appears as a pristine wooden house, but when you look inside and see the buckets overflowing with water, you see the chaos that lives within," explained Mr O'Reilly.

O'Reilly's work is also on display in the Oliver Sears Gallery in Dublin's city centre and he has opened his private studio in St Alphonsus church to the public.