Crann an Óir

Artist Name(s) Éamonn O'Doherty
Artwork title Crann an Óir
Context/Background In order to mark the occasion of Dublin becoming the European City of Culture in 1991, the Board of the Central Bank of Ireland (the ‘Central Bank’) decided to utilise the space around the Central Bank for a large scale sculpture which would enhance this popular meeting area for the people of Dublin.  A major national competition was organised for the Central Bank by the Sculptors’ Society of Ireland and a shortlist of 20 of Ireland’s leading sculptors were invited to make proposals. Éamonn O'Doherty (1939 - 2011) was commissioned by the Central Bank to make this piece for the Central Bank Plaza off Dame Street in Dublin 2 in 1991.

Crann an Óir (Tree of Gold) was commissioned by the Central Bank of Ireland to mark Dublin's year as European City of Culture in 1991. The work is comprised of a formalised tree in gilded bronze surrounded by a sectioned building in Wicklow granite.  The tree symbolises growth under careful management and the building the role of the Central Bank in protecting and husbanding the wealth of the country.  The open nature of the architectural element in the design suggests that this wealth is not locked and hidden but is shared by the public.


A public exhibition of the 20 shortlisted artists' proposals was held for over a month at the Central Bank before the Bank selected O'Doherty. The then Taoiseach, Charles J Haughey, officially unveiled the sculpture on 30th November 1991.


Éamonn O'Doherty (1939-2011) was a sculptor, printmaker, photographer and architect born in Derry.  He received several prestigious commissions for public spaces in Ireland and abroad including  'Crann an Óir' at the Central Bank, Dublin; the James Connolly Memorial, Beresford Place, Dublin; the Great Hunger Memorial in Westchester County, New York; the Emigrants Sculpture, Waterloo Place, Derry; and the 'Protogonos' sculpture at St. James's Hospital, Dublin.

O'Doherty was for many years a lecturer in architecture at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Bolton Street. He also taught at the University of Jordan, the Univeristy of Nebraska, and the École Speciale d'Architecture, Paris. In 2002, he gave up teaching to concentrate on artwork, specifically on small-scale, more personal work. 

Commission Type Other state agency
Commissioner Name Central Bank of Ireland
Commissioning process Curated Competition
Project commission dates July 25, 1991 - November 30, 1991
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Private
Budget Range 70000 - 150000 euro
Project commission start date 25/07/1991
Project commission end date 30/11/1991
Location Central Bank Plaza, Dame Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.
County Dublin
Town Dublin
Street Address Central Bank Plaza, Dame Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.
Google Map Insert View this projects location



Arts Council seeks supplier for online editorial and project management services for

07 March 2019

The Arts Council requires online editorial and project management services for More..

more opportunities

Focus On



Nazareth Housing Association provides independent living houses for individuals and couples who are 65 and over and on the Sligo County Council housing list.  Nazareth Village is comprised of 48 houses in a garden setting.  The Village was financed as a public-private partnership between Nazareth Housing Association and Sligo County Council with funding from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.  

more about this article