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1916: A Country is Born – A Cartoon History of the Easter Rising

1916: A Country is Born – A Cartoon History of the Easter Rising



The beautiful Georgian walls of The Ireland Funds Gallery in the Little Museum of Dublin displayed 60 giant drawings and texts retelling the fascinating story of the Easter Rising with verve, wit and a deliberate lightness of touch, by Irish artist Fergal McCarthy.

Fizzing with energy, the drawings were also published as a 60 page book available for sale at the Little Museum during the course of the exhibition, which ran until the end of April, as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.

“After many months of research, I have distilled my knowledge of the Rising into a spirited, somewhat fun take on the seminal week that reshaped Ireland forever,” says McCarthy. “By streamlining the narrative and adding visual humour, I have attempted to demystify the Rising by relieving it of some of the excess baggage it has naturally acquired over the past century.”

Humour is always a component of his work, and McCarthy’s deliberately playful drawing style proved hugely popular with all types of visitors and readers, including a family audience.

“As title sponsor, Luas Cross City are distributing 5,000 copies of the published exhibition book to schools along the new Luas extension from St Stephen’s Green in the city centre to Cabra,” says Grainne Mackin, Director of Communications for Luas Cross City.

Ireland 2016, The Ireland Funds and Dublin City Council also generously supported the project. Speaking at the launch of the exhibition, the Minister of State with Responsibility for Commemorations, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD said: “I am delighted to be here in the Little Museum of Dublin to launch Fergal McCarthy’s fascinating exhibition, which makes the story of the 1916 Rising more accessible, and I am pleased to see that so many school children will get to enjoy it. The Centenary of the 1916 Rising is for all of us, and Fergal’s new exhibition will play an important role in making that a reality.”

Fergal McCarthy is perhaps best known for his large scale public art installations on the Liffey but he also loves to draw and write. His jocular style was used to great effect in a 2014 exhibition to mark the 1,000 year anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf at The Little Museum of Dublin.

The Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, led by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, T.D., is a year-long programme of activity to commemorate the events of the 1916 Rising, to reflect on our achievements over the last 100 years and to look towards Ireland’s future.