Oisín Kelly (1915 - 1981) was born Austin Kelly in Dublin and worked as a teacher until he became artist in residence at the Kilkenny Design Centre in 1966. He initially attended night class at the National College of Art and studied under Henry Moore from 1948–1949.

At first Kelly made small wood carvings and early commissions were mostly for Catholic churches. He became well known after he was commissioned to do a sculpture, The Children of Lir (1964), for Parnell Square's Garden of Remembrance, which opened in 1966 on the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising. More public commissions followed, including the statue of James Larkin on Dublin's O'Connell Street and the sculpture Oisín Goes to Tir Na Nóg, at the Irish Life Mall Plaza.
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