Celebrating the 100 year anniversary of a National Hero
- artist Paul D’Arcy
Thomas Patrick Ashe was a man who gave a lasting legacy to the community of Lusk and had a profound effect on the nation of Ireland.
The concept of the sculpture is to portray Thomas Ashe as a cultural revivalist which was the root of all his beliefs. These he expressed as a school master in Corduff National School, by his foundation of the Black Raven pipe band and Gaelic Athletic Association in Lusk.
Thomas Patrick Ashe was a member of the Gaelic League, the Irish Republican brotherhood and founding member of the Irish volunteers. Ashe was a cornerstone in making people aware of their Irish roots. As with many other artists, poets, teachers and intellectuals, a natural progression to re-capturing one’s Irish roots was self-determination on a political level for Ireland. This inevitably led to his wish for Irish independence in 1916.
Lusk as his 'second home', is the most important location in which he expressed his cultural beliefs within a community. The sculpture represents this part of his life. This is not to deny his political beliefs but to magnify the cultural roots from which those beliefs sprung.
The sculpture was based on a photograph of Thomas Ashe taken while he was living in Lusk around 1910 as a basis.
About the artist
Paul D’Arcy is an artist who spent his teenage years in Lusk and setup his first studio there, in a farmyard belonging to the Taylor family. His ties to Lusk and its community are ingrained.
As a professional artist for the past 25 years, some of his more recognised sculptural projects include the Rush Millbank theatre ‘Oscar’ sculpture and the Floraville ‘Embracing Seals’ sculpture in Skerries. His artwork is included in public collections including Fingal County Council, the Office of Public Works and in private and corporate collections in Ireland and abroad.
“I who grew up in Lusk and was very aware of Thomas Ashe’s contribution nationally and as a local community activist. Ashe was a school teacher, poet, artist and had a political awareness for self determination. My fascination for this Irish hero was further re-enforced with family connections and summer school holidays spent down round his home town of Kinard, Lispole and Dingle in county Kerry.
Historical impact of Thomas Ashe
Nothing brings home the influence Thomas Ashe had on the psyche of the Irish people than this video of his funeral in 1917.
Scale of artwork
The scale of the sculpture is 7 foot in height and made of Irish limestone which is in keeping with the environment and site for the sculpture and reflective of the person we are celebrating.
Co. Dublin , Ireland
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Updated : December 2017