Portraits of the seven signatories of the 1916 Proclamation by renowned Dublin artist Robert Ballagh have been donated to the James Connolly Centre – Áras Uí Chonghaile – on the Falls Road.
The prestigious collection, entitled, ‘Signed on Behalf of the Provisional Government’, was donated by Ciste Infheistíochta Gaeilge and Californian Building Trades Council’s President Robbie Hunter.
Caoimhín Mac Giolla Mhín from Ciste explained how the work was originally donated by Robert Ballagh to Ciste to help raise funds in America for Irish language capital build projects in the north of Ireland. Tickets were sold across the US, however, it was at the annual Irish Echo Labour Awards in September 2016 that Robbie Hunter won the draw and subsequently donated the paintings.
“We are over the moon to have received this collection from Ciste and Robbie Hunter,” said James Connolly Centre’s Manager Séanna Walsh.
“It will add greatly to the Centre and the story of Connolly and 1916.
"To have received it from a Belfast man, now a leading trade unionist in the US is especially relevant, as it echoes the work that Connolly himself did over a century ago as he travelled across America spreading the word of trade unionism.”
Caoimhín Mac Giolla Mhín said it was an “honour” for Ciste to have “received these prints around the centenary of 1916 to allow us to raise funds for the Irish language in the United States”.
“They have been generously donated by Robbie and it’s great to have them back in Ireland and on display in Áras Uí Chonghaile.”
Áras Uí Chonghaile, the James Connolly Visitor Centre, is now open to the public. Opening hours: Monday – Sunday 10am-4pm; Hatch Coffee 10am-3pm; Exhibition 12-4pm.