Dublin City Hall murals

Published in Issue 2 (March/April 2014), Volume 22

Above: St Patrick baptising the king of Dublin in 448 AD—the first mural executed by James Ward and his team of students from the Metropolitan School of Art in 1914. (Dublin City Council)

Above: St Patrick baptising the king of Dublin in 448 AD—the first mural executed by James Ward and his team of students from the Metropolitan School of Art in 1914. (Dublin City Council)

The year 1914 saw the beginning of the painting of the murals depicting the history of the city within the rotunda of Dublin’s City Hall, the work of students of the Metropolitan School of Art, under the guidance of James Ward. Alderman Thomas Kelly, leader of Sinn Féin on Dublin Corporation, had been instrumental in this process, suggesting the subject-matter. Ward and his team of students proposed a series of murals depicting such events as the arrival of the Norse, the Battle of Clontarf and the coming of St Patrick. While the mural of Brian Boru and Clontarf was not painted until later, in a process that took until 1919 to complete, the arrival of the Norse was one of the murals commenced in 1914. The portrayal of the native Irish preparing to fight off this approaching alien influence is no doubt influenced by the discourse of the time.

'


Copyright © 2022 History Publications Ltd, Unit 9, 78 Furze Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland | Tel. +353-1-293 3568