Pledge of the Metalmen by Barry Linnane


Building Peace through the Arts - Bailieborough

“Pledge of the Metalmen” a new artwork by Barry Linnane was unveiled on Tuesday, 15 September 2015 by Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.




The project was supported by the ‘Building Peace through the Arts – Re-Imaging Communities’ programme which was funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the European Union’s Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE III) managed by the Special EU Programmes Body and the International Fund for Ireland.   Cavan County Council arts office guided this work at the local leve.


This project aimed to create a public artwork of excellence which captures the past, present and future aspirations of the people of Bailieborough.   Through a consultation process as part of stage one of this project Joanne Behan, artist facilitator sought opinion from the people of Bailieborough as to what gave them a sense of pride in Bailieborough.   Many ideas were forthcoming including the rich heritage of the town, the tradition of literature and drama in the county and the writers who are associated with the town, the music and sporting achievements of the area and the inspirational landscape.   The theme ‘Forging Ahead’ was finally identified and through an open process Barry Linnane, sculptor was selected to create Pledge of the Metalmen.   This art work acknowledges the work of the men in the Bailieborough Foundry.   It symbolises what can be achieved when people work together and the value of our industrial heritage.




Roisin Mc Donough of The Arts Council of Northern Ireland said:

‘The Building Peace through the Arts Programme has at its core the ability to bring communities together, through creative, arts-led engagement. As Stage two of the programme draws to a close, we are delighted to unveil a number of impressive artworks across Northern Ireland and the border counties. County Cavan is no exception and I am delighted that the people of Bailieborough, together with the sculptor Barry Linnane, have produced this fabulous piece of public art, Pledge of the Metalmen. It is our sincere hope that this wonderful artwork will change the landscape of Bailieborough and leave a positive, lasting legacy that celebrates its heritage through true community engagement.’


Barry Linnane, artist said:

 ‘I really wanted to create a sculpture for Bailieborough that would reflect the value of the industrial heritage of the town.   For me the symbol of two men working together poring molten iron provides a strong sense of achievement and the trust involved in working in busy industrial settings.  I have worked all my life in foundries and it is great to be able to celebrate this intense and precise work that can achieve objects of permanence and beauty.   Marilyn Gaffney worked as artist facilitator with me on this project and she visited the schools in Bailieborough and talked to the children about what they like about Bailieborough.  I have included a sense of this in the plaque that the men are pouring’.


Paddy Sheanon, Bailieborough Chair of BPttA who guided this project from the application stage two years ago said:  ‘We have enjoyed working with our community on this project.   Many community groups participated in workshops at the Library, in the Schools, the Bailieborough School of Music, sporting, heritage and women’s interest groups all had a say.    Our community has learned about public art through this process.   We believe that Barry Linnane has created a sculpture for Bailieborough that is a testimony to our rich heritage.   It reinforces for us what we can gain from valuing each other and working together’.




For more information contact:   Catriona O’Reilly, Arts / 00 353 49 437 8548



Date and time:

16 Aug 2015 - 25 Dec 2015


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