Athlone Art Battle

In Blog, Cultureby Fedayn9 Comments

Artist Shane Cullen (photo from IMMA)

Some media sources are incorrectly reporting that protestors in Athlone were supporting a motion being brought to the Town Council which proposes the removal of an art work from the recently opened Luan Gallery.

rabble has received messages from witnesses who categorically state that all protestors both inside and outside the Council chambers (amounting to approximately 60 people) were supporting the artist, Shane Cullen.

Cullen’s artwork is 15 years old and has travelled internationally and even resided in Portadown for an exhibition. The piece itself  ‘Fragmens Sur Les Institutions Républicaines IV’   is a painting of messages smuggled out of jail on behalf of Republican prisoners in Northern Ireland during the period of the 1981 hunger strike campaign.

Despite just three complaints from over 1200 visitors local Fine Gael councillor Mark Cooney has tabled a motion to have the artwork removed. Cooney’s father is former Minister for Justice Paddy Cooney, one report claimed Cooney Sr had struck the  artwork with his crutch at the opening.

For more on the debate see here

Photos by Samanatha Fitzgibbon


  1. thanks to Samantha Fitzgibbon for photos. It’s important that people know the public are behind the artist not the blueshirt thickos trying to remove the art and censor history.

Leave a Comment