The bronze busts of the 7 signatories of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic are housed in the Dáil Chamber in Leinster House. To mark the 1916 celebrations, and the dissolution of the 31st Dáil, this exhibition of State art was, for the first time, moved from the chamber of Dáil Éireann to a public space in the modern wing of Leinster House, LH2000. Signatories of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic - 1916 - Booklet
1916 Proclamation Signatories Video
Introduction to Exhibition by the Ceann Comhairle
View a copy of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic
|||Thomas J. Clarke (1858 - 1916)
Thomas Clarke, revolutionary, was born on 11 March 1858 in Hurst Castle, Isle of Wight.
He was educated at St Patrick's National School, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone. Clarke joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) and became first district secretary of the Dungannon IRB. He was co-opted on to the IRB Supreme Council and appointed Treasurer, later joining the Military Council in September 1915.
He served in the General Post Office (GPO) during Easter week (24–29 April). Although he held no official position or military rank, he presided at Military Council meetings and played a major part in directing military operations. Clarke was the only leader who insisted on fighting on to the end, but was overruled.
He was shot in the first round of executions at Kilmainham Jail on 3 May 1916 and buried at Arbour Hill Prison Cemetery.
Artist: Power, Albert G.
1959 Bronze H: 50 X W: 40
Commission by State ART01164
On 19 May 1953, the Office of Public Works proposed to have two castings made from the original plaster model of Clarke by Albert Power. The model was on loan to the National Gallery of Ireland from the Minister for Education. In January, 1959, the foundry of W, Schurmann completed two bronze casts. The original plaster model of Clarke was presented to the National Gallery of Ireland in January, 1960. One bronze copy was sent to the Gallery on 5 April, 1963. The second cast was placed in the Dáil Chamber in Leinster House on the 2 August 1963.
|Seán Mac Diarmada (1883-1916)
Seán Mac Diarmada, republican revolutionary, was born in January 1883 in Corranmore (Laghty Barr), Kiltyclogher, Co. Leitrim.
He was educated at Corracloona National School and at a night school near Dowra, Co. Cavan.
Sworn into the secret Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) in 1906, he later became an organiser for the Sinn Féin League. As a member of the Provisional Government into which the IRB Military Council transformed itself, Mac Diarmada signed the Proclamation of the Republic. Throughout the Rebellion he remained in the General Post Office (GPO), functioning as adjutant to Connolly and coordinating the operation of a field hospital in the building Mac Diarmada did not hold officers’ rank in the Volunteers.
He read the surrender order to the garrison in their new Headquarters on Moore Street, Mac Diarmada and Connolly were the last two of the rebellion leaders to be executed by firing squad in the yard of Kilmainham Jail on 12 May.
Artists: Power, Albert G./O Murchadha, Domhnall
Bronze H: 101 x W: 70
Commissioned by State, 1958 ART01162
On 19 June 1953, the Minister for Finance instructed the Office of Public Works to have two bronze casts made one for Leinster House and the other for the National Gallery of Ireland. The original plaster copy by Power was on loan to the National Museum from the Minister for Education. In 1958 Domhnall O Murchadha of the National College of Art, Dublin was commissioned to take a plaster copy from the original model to be used for the bronze casting. The original was returned to the Museum in 1959. Morris Singer Ltd. London, executed two bronze castings. The busts were completed in January, 1960. One copy was presented to the National Gallery on 5 April, 1963; the other cast was placed in the Dáil Chamber on 2 June, 1963.
|Thomas MacDonagh (1878 - 1916)
Thomas MacDonagh, teacher, writer, and republican revolutionary, was born on 1 February 1878 in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary.
MacDonagh studied under the Holy Ghost Fathers at Rockwell College, Cashel, Co. Tipperary (1892–6). He read English, French, and Irish at UCD, graduating BA in 1910 and a first-class honours MA in 1911. He joined the Irish Volunteers in December 1913 and was elected a company captain in their armed governing provisional committee.
He was sworn into the secret Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) in March 1915; he was appointed Commandant of the 2nd Bn, Dublin Brigade and Brigade Commandant. As a member of the Provisional Government, MacDonagh signed the Declaration of the Republic. He commanded a force of 150 volunteers that occupied Jacob's biscuit factory, Bishop St.
He was shot by firing squad in Kilmainham Jail on 3 May 1916, with Pearse and Thomas Clarke, the first three of the insurrection leaders to face execution.
Artist: Kelly, Oisin
1958 Bronze H: 72 x W: 54
Commissioned by the State, 1958 ART01163
On 19 June, 1953, the Government instructed the Minister for Finance to arrange with the Office of Public Works to have two bronze castings of Thomas MacDonagh made for Leinster House and the National Gallery of Ireland. A proposal to have a bust commissioned was discussed between the Office of Public Works, the Arts Council and the National Gallery. The sculptor, Laurence Campbell was asked to submit a design. However, he was unable to accept the commission. No sculptor was approached until 1956 when it was discovered that Oisin Kelly RHA (1915 - 1981) had executed a head of Thomas MacDonagh, which had been commissioned by MacDonagh's friends and associates for University College Dublin. In 1958, permission was granted by UCD to the Government to reproduce two busts of MacDonagh. Difficulty arose as to the height of the bust as it was smaller than the works already in Leinster House. In order to keep uniformity in size, Kelly was asked to add a torso piece. By November, 1959, Kelly had completed the two busts. One copy was presented to the National Gallery on the 5 April, 1963 and the other placed in the Dáil Chamber on the 2 August, 1963.
|Patrick Henry Pearse (1879–1916)
P. H. Pearse (1879–1916), writer, educationalist, and revolutionary, was born 10 November at 27 Great Brunswick Street (now Pearse St.) Dublin.
Pearse was educated at Mrs Murphy's private school; CBS, Westland Row; attained BA in Irish, English and French at UCD; completed law courses at King's Inns and TCD; and was called to the bar in 1901.
He became Director of organisation of the Irish Volunteers, established in November 1913. In December 1913 he was admitted to the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). In October 1914 he was appointed Press Secretary of the Irish Volunteers. His appointment as Director of military organisation in the Military Committee of the IRB confirmed that he was a pivotal figure. He delivered an inspirational address over the Fenian grave of O'Donovan Rossa in August 1915.
Pearse read out the Proclamation of the Republic, mainly his own composition, after the rebels seized the General Post Office. He was chosen as the President of the Republic.
Pearse surrendered on 29 April. Sentenced to death on 2 May, he was executed at 3.30 a.m. in the first executions on 3 May.
Artist: Sheppard, Oliver
1936 Bronze H: 70 x W: 65
Commissioned by State, 1935 ART05106
In February 1935, the Government commissioned Oliver Sheppard RHA (1865 - 1941) to execute a bust of Padraic Pearse for Leinster House. Sheppard, a friend of Pearse and a constant visitor to St. Enda's was the obvious choice. In 1937 the bronze bust, which is heroic in style with a laurel garland, was completed and placed in the Dáil Chamber in Leinster House. After Sheppard's death in 1941, his daughter Kathleen Sheppard handed over the plaster model of Pearse and other works to the National Museum. The plaster model was handed back to the Office of Public Works in 1979 for the opening of St, Enda's school as a museum.
|Éamonn Ceannt (1881–1916)
Éamonn Ceannt, revolutionary, was born Edward Thomas Kent on 21 September 1881 in Ballymoe, Glenamaddy, Co. Galway.
Edward attended the De La Salle National School in Ardee, Co. Louth, CBS in Sunday's Gate, Drogheda, and O'Connell's CBS, North Richmond St., Dublin.
He joined Sinn Féin in 1907, and was elected to its National Council. He was recruited into the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) in 1911. Ceannt assisted with the production of the IRB newspaper, Irish Freedom. He was a founder member of the Irish Volunteers in November 1913. As captain of ‘A’ company, 4th Dublin Battalion of the Volunteers, he participated in the landing of rifles at Howth and at Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow in 1914.
In 1915 he became a member of the IRB Supreme Council, and was appointed to the Military Council that planned the Easter rising.
During Easter week his battalion held the South Dublin Union and its outposts. The Union saw some of the insurrection's bloodiest fighting. He was court-martialled at Richmond Barracks (3–4 May) and was executed on 8 May 1916 by firing squad in Kilmainham Jail.
Artist: O Murchadha, Domhnall
1961 Bronze H: 65 x W: 34
Commissioned by the State, 1961 ART01167
On 19 June, 1953 the Government instructed the Department of Finance to arrange with the Office of Public Works to have two bronze castings of Eamonn Ceannt made for Leinster House and the National Gallery of Ireland. In 1958 after consultation with the Department of Finance and the National Gallery of Ireland, a selection of sculptors were asked to submit designs. The sculptor john D Bourke was commissioned on 14 June, 1958. On 7 may, 1960 Bourke informed the Office of Public Works that he was unable to complete the work. In October, 1961, two bronze busts of Eamonn Ceannt were completed. The bust was exhibited at the 1961 Oireachtas Art Exhibition. One of the busts was presented to the National Gallery in 5 April, 1963, the other was placed in the Dáil Chamber in July, 1963.
James Connolly (1868 - 1916)
James Connolly, socialist and revolutionary leader, was born in Cowgate, Edinburgh, on 5 June 1868. He attended St Patrick's Catholic Primary School in Cowgate until 1878.
Artist: Murphy, Seamus
|Joseph Plunkett (1887- 1916)
Joseph Mary Plunkett (1887–1916), poet, journalist, and revolutionary, was born 21 November 1887 at 26 Upper Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin.
Following Catholic University School, Leeson St., he briefly attended a Marist school in Paris before Belvedere College, and also had private home tutors. He studied Philosophy for two years at the Jesuits’ Stonyhurst College, Lancashire.
Plunkett joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and was elected to the Provisional Committee. In December 1914 he was appointed as Director of Military Operations with the rank of Commandant.
He utilised the Irish Review to propagandise for the Irish Volunteers. Inducted into the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), Plunkett became the chief strategist in the planning for the Rising.
As a member of the Military Council he signed the Proclamation of the Republic and served on the Provisional Government. During the Rising, he served with the headquarters garrison in the GPO.
On the evening of 3 May, hours before his execution, Plunkett married Grace Gifford in the chapel of Kilmainham Jail. Plunkett was executed by firing squad on 4 May 1916.
Artist: Grant, Peter
1958 Bronze H: 54 x W: 54 ART01166
On the 6 May, 1958 the Office of Public Works commissioned the sculptor Peter Grant to execute the bust of Joseph Plunkett. In September 1959 the clay model was approved by the Government. In November, 1959, Morris Singer Ltd. completed two bronze castings. One bronze cast was presented to the National Gallery of Ireland on the 5 April, 1963; the other bronze cast was placed in the Dáil Chamber in July, 1963. In 1966, Grant received permission from the Office of Public Works to take a third casting for Belvedere College, Dublin.