Aithníonn Ciaróg Ciaróg eile

pencil drawing by Alf Mac Lochlainn in 1923

Scroll down for an English translation.

Níor chas mé riamh le mo sheanathar. Bhí sé imithe ar shlí na fírinne sula rugadh mé. Ach ealaíontóir nó línitheoir a bhí ann agus le déanaí, thaispeáin mo chol ceathrar dom lear mór de líníochtaí a rinne sé. Ní raibh a fhios agam riamh go raibh siad ann.

’Sé sin é féin thuas ag barr. Tharraing sé an pictiúr seo agus é ina phríosúnach poblachtánach i bPríosún Mountjoy am eicint i 1923. Rinne sé líníochtaí de roinnt mhaith den a chomrádaithe chomh maith, agus pictiúirí desna cillíní, na clósanna agus mar sin de.

pencil drawing of Republican Prisoner Seán Rainsford by Alf Mac Lochlainn

pencil drawing of Joe Clarke in the Curragh Camp by Alf Mac Lochlainn in 19223

Tá’s agam go bhfuil tábhacht ar leith ag baint leis na portráidí éagsúla ó thaobh na staire de (mar shampla, is é seo Seosamh Ó Cléirigh thuas, fear a ghlac páirt i Chath Droichead Shráid an Mhóta i rith Éirí Amach na Casca) ach an rud is mó a chuaigh i bhfeidhm ormsa ná gur aithin mé mo sheanathair, nó go raibh mé in ann é a shamhlú agus é ag stracadh leis len a pheann luaidhe… agus go bhfaca mé an sórt cuma céanna i súile déarthár liom. Is dócha go n-aithníonn ciaróg ciaróg eile!

Ach tá a fhios agam freisin go raibh saol an-chrua aige, an fear bocht, mar go ndéanadh céasadh air agus é sa phríosún. Ní scéal rúin é ó tá a fhios ag triúr é ach mar sin féin, is scéal a choimeádadh faoi cheilt le fada an lá.

Ach le cúnamh Dé, beidh níos mó díospóireachta faoi na cúrsaí seo de réir a cheile, ní chóir dúinn dearúd a dhéanamh ar na h-íobairtí a déanadh ar ár son.

watercolour of cell in Mountjoy jail by Alf Mac Lochlainn

Yes, this is a watercolour painting by my grandfather Alf Mac Lochlainn.

He painted it in his prison cell in Mountjoy Jail in 1923 and of course, he did the drawings up above too. I never met my grandfather, sadly he died before I was born, but I recently found out that he left an amazing collection of drawings and paintings which were lovingly preserved by my cousin Tim.

Tim came to visit the Olivier Cornet Gallery during my Deireadh Fómhair exhibition last year. Himself and Olivier got talking and… the rest is history. I’m sure that the drawings are of significant historical value but for me, they are a special link with my grandfather and a wonderful window into his world.

https://www.irishprisons.ie/prison/mountjoy-prison/

http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

 

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8 comments

  1. These are wonderful Eoin . Notice all the artwork on the notice board and we see how My Father kept his composure in that tiny cell. It all gives me goosebumps and tears . When your Father Pearse worked at the Board of works he actually gave a lot of the portraits my Father did when he was in jail to the sons of the men in the portraits . It is great that Tim still has a lot of them . I have one of the view out his jail cell window, it is very small about 6X4. Nowadays it is such a blessing to be able to make very very good copies of any painting and so others can have the next best thing to the original. I have the original of the ‘Step aside bridge’ it is a large pen and ink, and had a beautiful reproduction made and framed which I gave to my grandson Hamish (N.Z.) who had spent a lot of time in Dublin.. Thanks for sharing these. Hugs Charlotte

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    • Yes, I’m delighted with the whole story. I think we’ll hear more about this Alf Mac Lochlainn. By the way, he was the man who came down from Dublin to show the slides at Fleadh an Turlaigh Bhig in Ros Muc. He was Patrick Pearse’s nephew, of course. Thanks for the comment, Olivier

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  2. Dear Eoin, I have been thinking – and this is what I think. Someone ought to collect good copies of all of my Father’s paintings, write a very brief story about those that we know about and compile them into a book. Many are on small pieces of paper, indeed some I believe on the backs of sugar bags!! My Mother explained the smallness of his paintings to me by saying he could not afford to buy much paper. These latest that you have shown us are great. I gave each of my children one picture when I got them from my mother who was going to throw them out. not sure how it would be organised or financed but don’t you think it would be a great thing for the family to have ? Please think about it. Hugs all around. Charlotte

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