City Hall: O’Connell Plinth

About the site

The O’Connell Plinth stands outside City Hall on Dame Street. City Hall was originally built as the Royal Exchange, Dublin’s main centre of trading and commerce in the eighteenth century. It has been the seat of the capital city’s local government since it was purchased and renamed by the City Corporation (now Dublin City Council) in the early 1850s.

The O’Connell Plinth was originally constructed to support a statue of Daniel O’Connell by John Hogan, that is now located in the Rotunda in City Hall. The plinth is located at street level in a paved area leading to the main entrance of City Hall.

About the commission

Artists are invited through a two-stage commission to imagine a new, temporary sculpture for the O’Connell Plinth.

The commissioned artist will be announced in December.

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!

Local engagement

Sculpture Dublin is working on the development of local engagement and consultation projects with Presentation Secondary School Warrenmount and a number of local community organisations who have expressed interest in being involved.

Local Events

  • Visual Artists Ireland Café – O’Connell Plinth Commission

As part of the Sculpture Dublin public engagement programme, Visual Artists Ireland is organising a series of cafés that bring together artists, arts organisations and audiences, and connect them with local projects.

This Café introduces City Hall and the immediate vicinity of the new sculpture commission for the O’Connell Plinth. The awarded artist will be presented at the event.

You will hear artists give insight into their working practices, learn about work they may be currently developing in their studios, and hear how research plays an integral role in developing new sculpture.

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

We will also be hearing from local projects and initiatives that are taking place in the locality of the commission sites and engaging in discussion about what impact the sculpture commissions will have in the area.

Venue: Online

Starts: Tue Jan 26, 2020, 15:00 GMT
Ends: Tue Jan 26, 2020, 16:30 GMT

Free Registration

Booking to come.

  • City Hall Online Lecture Series: Engaging with the Historic Public Sculpture in Dublin

A series of six lectures on public sculpture in Dublin will be streamed online. There will be one lecture a month, starting in January 2021. The lectures, which were filmed in the City Hall, explore public sculpture in Dublin from different viewpoints, as indicated in the lecture titles below. The lecturer, Paula Murphy, is a specialist in the history and theory of sculpture and has published widely on Irish sculpture. A UCD emeritus professor, she is a member of the Steering Group of Sculpture Dublin. A Q/A with Professor Murphy will take place after each lecture. This series of lectures will focus on the historic work in the city. Contemporary sculptural practice in Dublin will be explored with The Hugh Lane and The LAB Gallery.

  1. The Story.

This lecture will recount the history of the city’s public sculpture since the first monuments were erected in the eighteenth century.

  1. The Practice.

This lecture examines the education of sculptors in Dublin, the making of sculpture, the materials used and the location of public sculptural work in the city.

  1. The Commission.

This lecture discusses the commissioning process – how a monument gets to be located in the city. The O’Connell Monument is used as a case study.

  1. The Sculptors.

This lecture introduces some of the major sculptors who worked in Dublin in the nineteenth century and their practice. The contrast between the career of a local sculptor (Thomas Farrell) and an absentee (John Henry Foley) will be explored.

  1. The Women.

This lecture examines the role of women in public sculpture in Dublin, a practice that was largely male-dominated until the mid-twentieth century. The career of sculptor Gabriel Hayes will be used as a case study.

  1. The Controversy.

This lecture identifies the different ways in which public sculpture in Dublin has engendered controversy. Particular emphasis is given to the fate of the Imperial monuments that were erected in the city – most of which were destroyed and/or removed.

First session: The story  – Friday 29 January, 1-2pm

The lecture will be streamed online and followed by a Q/A on Zoom with Professor Murphy.
  • VTS Sculpture Club with The Hugh Lane Gallery

The Hugh Lane Gallery and Sculpture Dublin are working together to deliver a series of monthly Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) discussions for adults.VTS is a fun way to look at art and make meaning out of artworks collectively. You will have an opportunity to see works from the Hugh Lane Gallery’s sculpture collection with a new eye. No background knowledge is needed for the participants nor is it provided by the facilitator. Instead of the conventional approach to visual art, VTS encourages to us think speculatively, in an enjoyable and open-ended way.Join us for a half an hour at lunchtime (every second Wednesday of the month) for an encounter with sculpture – old, new and yet to be imagined!This discussion will be presented through the Zoom online platform. To book a place, please go to:
Wednesday 14 October, 1-1.30pm:
Wednesday 11 November, 1-1.30pm:
Wednesday 9 December, 1-1.30pm: