Unveiling of Breaking Emmets Block Sculpture, Centenary Plaza

Opening of Centenary Plaza and unveiling of Breaking Emmets Block Sculpture, Grange Road, Rathfarnham


The Mayor of South Dublin County Council, Cllr. Guss O’Connell welcomed guests to the official opening of the new Centenary Plaza and the unveiling of Breaking Emmets Block Sculpture at the Grange Road in Rathfarnham on Friday 28th April at 11am.

This innovative project was led by South Dublin County Council with funding from the National Transport Authority and has resulted in the delivery of a cycle and walking scheme with public realm improvements on the Grange Road. The concept for this project was developed from a proposed cycle scheme at public consultation workshops with the local community in Rathfarnham where the role of the bicycle in the movement of people during the 1916 Rising including Padraig and Willie Pearse leaving St. Enda’s by bicycle to meet in the City Centre on the morning of the Easter Rising was highlighted.

Speaking at the event the Mayor said “It is great to see so many of you here for the official opening of this new civic space which is a legacy project from South Dublin County Council’s 1916 Centenary Programme. The Centenary Programme really captured the imagination of the citizens of South Dublin County in celebrating the birth of our nation over 100 years ago”.

The new Grange Road cycle route wraps around St Enda’s Park creating a new entrance into the park which is home to the wonderful Pearse Museum. This project is both a transport route and an avenue for artistic discovery set against the backdrop to the to St Enda’s Park.

A key strand of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme was Cultural Expression which focused on a sustained engagement with cultural heritage and the arts.

Breaking Emmets Block, a sculpture forged from polished concrete and steel was unveiled at the opening. This unique piece of public artwork was designed by artist Alice Rekab and commissioned by South Dublin County Council.

Inspired by the artefact of Robert Emmets Block – which is housed in the Pearse Museum – the sculpture is designed “To reflect the impact of change and the emergence of a new world from the old. The sculpture “speaks to the heroism, brilliance and imagination that underpin the history of St. Enda's park” says artist Alice Rekab. Ms Rekab explains that Robert Emmet’s Block “draws through lines between the socialist ideals of the Irish free state and their remnants in the contemporary Irish psyche”.

Notes on the Project:

The project is the joint effort of South Dublin County Council, The National Transportation Authority, Ireland 2106 Office, The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government with the cooperation of The Office of Public Works (Pearse Museum).

Breaking Emmet’s Block is approximately 2m high and 1m x 1.5m metres wide at the base. It is cast from coloured concrete around a steel armature. The sculpture is forged from bespoke, reinforced, exposed and polished concrete with black and cobalt blue dyes to allow for contrast of the different elements or the artwork. All sections were cut to shape using large saws which exposed the aggregates - the concrete was then polished and sealed to bring out the true colour.



Commission Call Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

16 August 2017

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and dlr Mill Theatre, Dundrum, invite proposals for a commission focusing on the creation of new work through...More..

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Greystones Educate Together National School appointed a voluntary committee with relevant expertise to oversee the per cent for art commissioning process. An external curator, Máire Davey, was appointed specifically for her expertise in working in a highly collaborative way as meaningful involvement from the students and school was viewed as central to the process. The procurement route chosen was limited invited competition.

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