Let bygones be bygones?

charcoal drawing by Eoin Mac Lochlainn from the civil war series: Cogadh na gCarad - the War between Friends

“Why don’t you let bygones be bygones”,  a fella said,  “the Irish Civil War was a hundred years ago”.

Yes, it was a hundred years ago… but look at the damage it has done to our people, to this country.  Our politicians are still sniping at each other about it.  We’re all grown up now, is that it? – Hmmm, let’s just say that arguments that haven’t been resolved tend to fester…

And to my mind, this is the main point of my 1400 drawings – arguments can all too quickly turn into conflict and full-scale war.  Can’t you see it happening across the world today?   Perhaps our Civil War was ‘a small-scale affair’ but I think that peace should never be taken for granted.  I hope that my exhibition will inspire a discourse about the nature of humanity and the nature of war.

And when we study history, we can see what was tried and failed before – isn’t it just good sense to try and avoid the pitfalls?  But is anyone listening?

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn at Intervals of Peace exhibition of drawing by Ailfrid Mac Lochlainn
…with my brother Cóilín Mac Lochlainn at “Intervals of Peace” in the Pearse Museum

Now, coincidentally, there’s another exhibition that I’d like to mention this week.  It’s entitled: “Intervals of Peace”, and it’s on at the moment – in the Pearse Museum in Rathfarnham.  It is an exhibition curated by Brian Crowley of the prison drawings of my grandfather Ailfrid Mac Lochlainn.  These were drawings that he drew of his friends and fellow Republican prisoners, during the Irish Civil War.

I never met my grandfather, he died in 1932 at the age of 46.  I would have loved to have met him.  Sad.  But I like seeing his drawings and wondering what he was like.

In a way, my projection in the Garden of Remembrance and my exhibition of drawings:  “Cogadh na gCarad/ The War between Friends” at the Olivier Cornet Gallery was for him.  It’s still on, by the way, it continues until the 2nd of April.


Exhibition at the Pearse Museum at St. Enda’s, Rathfarnham









  1. Is mór an chreidiúint thú do do mhuintir a chuaigh romhat. Nach iad Dad, Ailfrid, Pádraic agus Liam a bheadh bródúil dhá mairfeadh siad…


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