Restoring ‘The Maid of Erin’ – a public artwork by Sean Lynch, curated by Ciaran Walsh |



Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Art, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs, unveils restored ‘Maid Of Erin’ in Listowel: a public artwork by Sean Lynch organised by Ciarán Walsh


The Maid Of Erin  25.08.2011

The restoration of ‘The Maid of Erin’ is a public art project by Sean Lynch, of Moyvane, Co Kerry, Ireland, and currently working in Germany. It was funded by the Dept. of the Environment under the Per Cent For Art Scheme, administered by Kerry County Council’s Arts Office. The project was managed by Ciarán Walsh of

It commenced in June when the premises of ‘The maid of Erin’ Bar was re-opened (it has been closed for almost 5 years) as a study centre for the work of Pat McAuliffe (1846 -1921) and the shopfronts of Listowel. Ray McAuliffe  provided the remaining artifacts from his great grandfather’s workshop. Freddie Chute spent 3 weeks up a ladder painstakingly restoring ‘The Maid’ and the shop front that frames her. Lynch photographed details of McAuliffes shopfronts and these were displayed alongside a documentary narrated by Gabriel Fitzmaurice. Members of the McAuliffe family and local people provided invaluable information about the man and his work.

The project was managed by Ciarán Walsh of

McAuliffe anticipated the per cent for art scheme by almost 70 years. The scheme makes it possible to add an artistic feature to public spaces on the back of capital expenditure on infrastructure, just as McAuliffe embellished his shopfronts with works of art.

Sean Lynch, as a schoolboy,  was inpired by the presence of McAuliffe’s work on the streets of Listowel and his work continues to be influenced by it. This temporary centre is typical of what he does and he is internationally recognised for it. He has always been conscious of the interaction between and the public. This project was driven by interaction with the public. Countless visitors have called in and, in the process, a picture of McAuliffe and Listowel itself has emerged.

The project concluded on 27 September 2011 but work on McAuliffe continues.

LINK: Sean Lynch on ‘The Stuccowork Of Pat McAuliffe of Listowel’


Posted on

August 26, 2011