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New Public Art Commission for the Banks Balbriggan

Fingal County Council is delighted to announce the completion of a new public artwork for Balbriggan. The work titled “The Banks” is by Fingal artist Sean Molloy and is located at this prominent coastal site of the same name in the town. The work has been made possible through collaboration with Iarnród Éireann, Balbriggan and the Our Balbriggan team. The project is part of the many initiatives currently underway that demonstrate how art and artists can enliven and celebrate our public spaces.

Mayor of Fingal Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh with artist Seán Molloy

Mayor of Fingal Councillor Seána Ó Rodaigh welcoming the artwork said “I wish to express my praise to great partnerships and opportunities that allow for local artists to be showcased prominently in our villages and towns and it perfectly describes how we in Fingal value the arts and we would like to extend our sincere thanks to Iarnród Éireann Building Surveyor Joy Murray and her Maintenance Team for all their care and attention applied to realise the install of this work at this unique location.”

Ms Murray commented: “Iarnród Éireann were delighted to support this Artwork project in conjunction with Fingal County Council which improves the Station Embankment wall presentation for the whole Community”.

Artist Seán Molloy with his Artwork

Director of the Economic Enterprise,Tourism & Cultural Development Department Emer O’Gorman, shared with us that “The regeneration of Balbriggan is well underway and continues to reach visible milestones in its progress as demonstrated through the current programme of work and its commitment to celebrating all the town has to offer for its communities and visitors alike and art plays a huge part in this.”

Mayor Cllr Seána ÓRodaigh, Caroline Cowley, artist Seán Molloy and Rory O'Byrne

Sean Molloy was commissioned through Fingal County Council’s Infrastructure programme under it’s Buildings and Public Spaces Strand, Caroline Cowley the Council’s Public Art Co-ordinator explained that “As a painter there are limited opportunities to think about scale up compositions and the arts office saw an opportunity to explore this prospect through a landscape painting commission which has been created as a bespoke edition which can be displayed outdoors and for the longer term, while we retain this beautiful new and timeless work of Balbriggan as it goes through all its positive changes”.

Sean Molloy’s work is inspired by the genre of 17th and 19th century Dutch and English paintings. Of the process Sean explains:“The original painting measures 5 x 8 ft. and took about 18 months to complete. I referenced the marine paintings of the 17th Dutch masters and also later work by19th century artists. When working on the painting, I wanted to create an immersive experience for the viewer, to give the feeling that they were on location standing on the grassy embankment looking out to sea. In order to mimic the atmospheric effects employed by the master marine painters, I sourced traditional painting materials as used by the old masters.”

He also sites his very own personal connection to the place: “The history of Balbriggan is an impressive one and while working on location I took the chance to study further the town's key features. For further research I found the publication 'Balbriggan, A History of the Millennium' published by Balbriggan and District Historical Society 1999 a very useful source of information. The book provided a great grounding in the town's history and provided a backdrop to the various topographical features that I constantly observed while working on the painting, particularly the lighthouse and the nearby Martello tower”.

Iarnród Éireann team who install the artwork

The Banks is currently on view at the Banks from this month and work continues on another work for the area with another local artist and painter Dave West. Keep up to date with all of our activities on

For further information: Please Contact Caroline Cowley – Public Art Co-ordinator 01 870 8449

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