Central Area: Smithfield Square Lower

Local engagement

Workshops with George’s Hill Presentation Primary School and Artist Aoife McCloughlin 

In September and October 2021, Aoife McCloughlin facilitated workshops in a range of sculpture-making techniques with students from the George’s Hill Presentation Primary School.



  • Workshops with Stoneybatter Youth Service and Artist Frank Prendergast

In association with the new commission for Smithfield Square Lower, Frank Prendergast led a series of sculpture workshops with young people from the Stoneybatter Youth Service.

Referencing the process used by Alan Butler to create his soon-to-be-unveiled, public sculpture, Frank introduced the group to digital modelling through 3D software and 3D printing. The young people also experimented with more traditional sculpture-making techniques, such as moulding and casting.




  • Visual Artists Ireland Café – Smithfield Commission

23 January 2021

As part of the Sculpture Dublin public engagement programme, Visual Artists Ireland organised a series of cafés that brought ogether artists, arts organisations and audiences, and connected them with local projects.

This Café introduced Smithfield Square Lower and the immediate vicinity of the new sculpture commission. The awarded artist was presented at the event.

You could hear the artist, Alan Butler, give insight into his working practice, tell us about work he may have been developing in his studio at the time, and hear how research plays an integral role in developing a new sculpture.

You could hear experienced arts professionals discuss the roles they play in supporting artists and in how sculpture is experienced by audiences.

We were also able to hear from local projects and initiatives that are taking place in the locality of the commission site and engage in discussion about what impact the sculpture commission will have in the area.

Speakers included:

  • Alan Butler, Commissioned Artist
  • Karen Downey, Programme Director, Sculpture Dublin
  • Conor Casby, Coordinator, Dublin 1 & 7 School Completion Programme
  • Vanessa Fielding, Artistic Director, The Complex
  • Ruairí Ó Cuív, Public Art Officer, Dublin City Council

About the area

Smithfield is a part of Dublin 7 that has seen significant change in the past 25 years. Bordered by the River Liffey, Stoneybatter, Grangegorman and the city centre, it has been transformed from an agricultural marketplace into a complex of contemporary residential and commercial developments where many Dubliners live and work.

Smithfield Square Lower is a modestly-proportioned, pedestrian square located between the Red Line Luas tracks and Arran Quay. While the square itself is generally quiet, it sees high levels of passing pedestrian traffic and is looked upon daily by thousands of Luas users in transit across the city.

About the commission

Through a two-stage commissioning process, artists were invited to propose a new permanent public artwork for Smithfield Square Lower. Artists could choose to reference Smithfield’s long and varied history in their work or look to its contemporary contexts for inspiration.

The commissioned artist is Alan Butler. Find out more about the artist, and read about the commission here.


Public survey

We would love to hear your thoughts on public sculpture, what your expectations are and how you would like to get involved with Sculpture Dublin. Let us know by taking 10-minutes to complete this short questionnaire. Thank you!