Portraits of the 1916 leaders seen by families for first time
MEMBERS of the Easter Rising families got to finally view 42 newly completed portraits of their relatives last night at the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) in Dublin.
Descendants of the 1916 leaders were out in force to witness the unveiling of portraits of Eamon de Valera (bottom right), Michael Collins, James Connolly (top right), Padraig Pearse and others. They were commissioned by the RIA and the Office of Public Works (OPW) and will become part of the State Archive.
OPW commissioner John McMahon said the original pieces will have a "literal and spiritual home" in Kilmainham Gaol.
The historic location was where most of the 1916 leaders were executed.
Kilmainham is currently undergoing renovation to "modernise the building", Mr McMahon said. The refurbished site will have a reception area, restaurant and a gift shop.
The black scraper-board portraits were created by illustrator David Rooney.
They will be included in a book to be published later this week called 1916 Portraits and lives.
The book, edited by James Quinn and Larry White, will "represent the spectrum of personalities and perspectives that were involved in the event."
Copies will be on sale for €30.