Clon’s new park mural looks at Civil War themes

July 25th, 2022 7:10 AM

By Brian Moore

Four Bandon-based IT Internship students from Switzerland at the Civil War mural in Croppy Park (left to right): Nicola Anghileri, Erik Pelloni, Lorenzo Spadea and Damian Campesi. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

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CLONAKILTY’S newest work of art, a Civil War mural, was a project that Cork city artist Garreth Joyce found ‘challenging but extremely worthwhile.’

Cork county mayor Cllr Danny Collins visited this latest mural, ahead of the Michael Collins Centenary Commemoration Festival next month, and said it was extremely thought provoking.

‘The bright and colourful mural looks beautiful and blends with the surrounding foliage in Croppy Park. But it has a deeper meaning that illustrates the damage of the Civil War,’ Mayor Collins said.

‘It’s the second artwork in Clonakilty telling the story of the Irish revolutionary years. The Truce Mural on Kent Street commemorates the end of the Irish War of Independence and depicts Michael Collins and other local revolutionary heroes.’

This mural, depicts the Austin Clarke civil war poem ‘The Lost Heifer’ and was a Michael Collins House led project, funded by Cork County Council’s Commemorations Committee in association with The Walls Project.

‘I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of creating a civil war themed mural in a public park setting, the heavy themes of Ireland’s struggle for freedom subtly resting in a colourful bright and playful piece of artwork,’ said artist Garreth.

‘I found inspiration in Austin Clarke’s civil war poem ‘The Lost Heifer’ which tells the story of the heifer, an old symbol of Ireland and Irish culture, lost in the dark mists of the countryside before coming to the fore in more optimistic times in the post-War of Independence period. The heifer then disappears into the dark rain of the oncoming Civil War again.’ 

Running in the main from August 14th to 22nd, with additional events taking place throughout the summer, the Michael Collins Centenary Commemoration Festival will include a parade, a symposium of history talks, an outdoor cinema event, theatre, special exhibitions, history walks as well as several commemoration and wreath laying ceremonies.

One of the first events of the festival took place in June and saw a re-enactment of a speech Michael Collins gave outside O’Donovan’s Hotel in June 1922 as part of his election campaign. 

Cork County Council chief executive Tim Lucey said: ‘The re-enactment on Pearse Street gave the people of Clonakilty and visitors to the town a taste of what is to come in August. A large screen showed silent newsreel footage of his speech and actor John O’Leary arrived into town in a 100-year-old Model T Ford to give a recital that truly captured the audience. Cork County Council is immensely proud to support the Michael Collins Centenary Commemoration Festival. There will be events suitable for all throughout the summer as we mark the centenary of such an important moment in the history of our state.’

The festival is a collaboration between local groups such as Michael Collins House Museum, Michael Collins Centre, the Michael Collins Commemoration Committee Clonakilty, the Sams Cross Commemoration Committee, Duchas Clonakilty and Cumann Seanchais Cloich na Coillte and more. 

Events are funded by individual groups and by Cork County Council’s Commemoration fund. 

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