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GPO 'isn't suitable' for 1916 paintings

PAINTINGS depicting the 1916 Easter Rising, which were removed from the GPO five years ago, will not be reinstalled in a decision that has dismayed historians.

The 10 paintings, which show important scenes from the Rising, were removed from the GPO in 2005 when An Post carried out renovations on the building for the Rising's 90th anniversary in 2006.

But An Post has now decided the GPO is "not suitable" for the paintings and is now looking for "a new home" for them.

Dublin historian Pat Liddy, who gives walking tours in Dublin, believes the paintings, which give a good account of the Rising to tourists, should be reinstalled in the historic building where it took place.

"They were very revolutionary and romantic, and they got the message across. They were widely spread around the walls of the GPO, but now there's very little, except photos and a copy of the Proclamation, to say this is the place where it happened."

"I think it makes sense if An Post were even to only put some of them up. The pictures give a sense of what went on in the office."

The paintings, by Norman Teeling depict scenes such as the signing of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic in Liberty Hall, Padraig Pearse reading the proclamation and James Connolly when he was wounded.

"One of them shows Connolly on a stretcher while the building is coming down in flames," Mr Liddy said. But even though An Post bought the paintings, it is now looking for somewhere else to install them.

A spokesperson said: "While the possibility of improving the lighting and captioning of the paintings was investigated, this wasn't pursued as the space was not at all suitable for the purpose of displaying art pieces."





Display

"The paintings remain in secure storage pending their display in a more suitable space."

Cllr Larry O'Toole will table a motion in next month's City Council meeting to urge the city manager to write to An Post to request the paintings be returned to display in the GPO.

"I'm calling on An Post to have them put back in the main lobby -- they owe it to the people of Dublin," he said.

hnews@herald.ie


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