SWEENY ASHTRAY | DUBLIN STREET IMAGES

SWEENEY ASHTRAY

Within the Irish Life Centre complex there was a large colourful mosaic known as Sweeney Ashtray. The glass mosaic comprised of 12 panels depicting the story of Sweeney’s wanderings through forests and hills, from prose and poems dating back to the 1600s and updated by Seamus Heaney in the early 1980s. I actually photographed the large mural back in 2011 but in January 2013 it was reported in local media that "the Historical mural was ripped off Irish Life building and put in black bags". I can confirm that the mural is no longer to be seen

Desmond Kinney, who completed the work in 1987 has [had] about thirty other works around the city but many have reached the end of life and some are due to be removed or relocated.

The Irish Life Centre dates from 1980 and is a large development on the old Brooks Thomas yards consisting of blocks of various heights around courtyards both at street level and raised. There is living accommodation as well as a small mall and offices. I almost purchased an apartment there but the deal fell through as the seller kept increasing the asking price.

The main courtyard which is open [sometimes] to Abbey Street at one end features a fountain and sculpture known locally as the "Mad Milkman".

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