Date Released: 18 September 2013
President Michael D Higgins launched a Tapestry depicting scenes and imagery from the 1913 Lockout in Liberty Hall, today (Wednesday, 18th September).
The Tapestry, which consists of 30 panels designed by artists Cathy Henderson and Robert Ballagh, was created by over 200 volunteers from trade unions, communities, schools and prisons across the country.
Before formally launching the Tapestry, President Higgins met with a number of the volunteers who worked on the panels.
Addressing a capacity crowd in the Liberty Hall Theatre, President Higgins paid tribute to the work of the volunteers in bringing the events of the 1913 Lockout to life for a new generation in this artistic work.
He said the Tapestry was "a ‘public work of art’ that connects us to a crucial event in our past in the most meaningful way." He welcomed the co-operation of the SIPTU and the National College of Art and Design whose director, Professor Declan McGonagle, who also addressed the audience of tapestry volunteers as well as community workers and trade unionists.
Concluding: "The greatest moments in our history were always those when our people turned towards the future and a sense of what might be possible. It is that vision that sustained the workers of Dublin during the Lockout. It is that same vision of a better future, of a future reclaimed as an arena of hope, that sustains the Irish people during every period of hardship."
Responding to the President’s address, SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor, thanked the President and his wife, Sabina Higgins, for their patronage of the Tapestry project.
He praised the “solidarity” shown by those who had worked on the Tapestry. He also called for a re-awakening of the “social solidarity” shown by the workers of the Lockout period to replace the “imperatives of greed” which govern Irish society and have “resulted in our third major existential crisis in 60 years as a sovereign state.”
The Tapestry project is a collaboration between SIPTU and the National College of Art and Design where the Tapestry will be displayed following an exhibition of the work in the National Museum of Ireland.
The Tapestry will be on display in National Museum, Collins Barracks, Dublin, from Wednesday, 9th October, to Thursday, 14th November.
To read President's Higgins full address click here