Cearbhall ó Dálaigh
— National Memorial —
Judge of the European Court of Justice 1973-1974
President of Ireland 1974-1976
Unveiled June 5th, 1983
The President of Ireland
Dr. Patrick Hillery
I don't usually invest my work with a metaphorical resonance. My sculptures don't symbolise anything. But this piece is different to an extent, both in conception and in execution, in that it is informed by the spirit of the man it commemorates and of the place in which it stands.
From the very start of this project, when I came to visit the site in Sneem, I was aware that above all else this piece must be a fitting memorial to Cearbhall O Dalaigh. I was surprised then to find that my first impressions of the place related strongly to my feelings about the man. I had an immediate image of a sculpture which would be solid but gentle, integrating a dark, almost mysterious interior with clean, outward-looking forms: a shell-like structure, layered in some way. I also felt that the piece should not dominate its site, that it should be essentially non-aggressive, even meditative.
The initial shell-like image led me to think in terms of working with the sea, specifically with wave-action. I surrounded myself with photos I had taken of the sea. Most of these were studies of rolling, folding water, the complexities of breaking waves. I worked with these, becoming intensely interested in the infolded interior created by the thrusting plane of the wave and gradually the forms emerged. I was pleased to discover that they were reminiscent of mountains and of megalithic structures; this worked in well with my ideas about colour.
The Square is actually full of strong colours, which the piece has to neutralise. But I still felt that colour should be a major element. Therefore, I decided to paint the interior planes definite colours - dark blue, sienna brown and slate grey derived from the colours of the surrounding hills. (I felt that these planes were broken up enough to take them). These colours give the interior a solid, earth-bound, mysterious quality, which the exterior is lightened by warm white which also enhances the clean lines and tensile strength of the steel, while absorbing and reflecting light. Indeed the piece derives much of its interest from the interplay of light and shadow on and through it. Its whole character changes as the sun moves across the sky.
In conclusion, the
Erected 1983 by the People of Ireland.
Location. 51° 50.259′ N, 9° 53.924′ W. Marker is in Sneem, Munster, in County Kerry. Marker is on Ring of Kerry (National Route N70), on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: South Square, Sneem, Munster V93 X566, Ireland. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. John Egan (a few steps from this marker); Catherine (Brennan) Mulvihille (a few steps from this marker); Steve (Crusher) Casey (within shouting distance of this marker); World War I Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); The Peaceful Panda (within shouting distance of this marker); The Steel Tree (approx. 0.2 kilometers away); Charles de Gaulle (approx. 0.2 kilometers away); Cathair na Stéige / Staigue Fort (approx. 8.9 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sneem.
Also see . . .
1. Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh: Politician, judge and barrister. (Submitted on September 21, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Cearbhaill O’Dalaigh Memorial (Submitted on September 21, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
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Credits. This page was last revised on January 2, 2020. This page originally submitted on September 21, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 49 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 21, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.