New public art commission unveiled at ‘The Banks’ for Balbriggan


Fingal County Council has unveiled a complete new public artwork for Balbriggan called ‘The Banks’.

The work, titled ‘The Banks’, is by Fingal artist Sean Molloy and is set at this prominent coastal site of the same name in the city.

The work was made possible thanks to the collaboration with Iarnród Éireann, Balbriggan and the Our Balbriggan team.

The project is one of many ongoing initiatives that demonstrate how art and artists can enliven and celebrate our public spaces.

Mayor of Fingal Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh, welcoming the artwork, said, “I want to express my praise to the great partnerships and opportunities that allow local artists to be showcased in our towns and cities… this perfectly describes how we at Fingal value the arts and we would like to express our sincere thanks to Iarnród Éireann Building Surveyor Joy Murray and her maintenance team for all the care and attention they have applied in completing the installation of this work in this unique place.

Sean Molloy was commissioned by Fingal County Council’s Infrastructure Program as part of its Buildings and Public Spaces component.

Caroline Cowley, the Council’s Public Art Coordinator, explained that “as a painter there is limited scope for thinking about scale, the compositions and arts office saw an opportunity to explore this perspective through a landscape painting commission that was custom created. edition that can be displayed outdoors, and in the longer term, while retaining this beautiful new and timeless work of Balbriggan as it goes through all its positive changes”.

Sean Molloy’s work is inspired by the genre of Dutch and English paintings of the 17th and 19th centuries.

About the process, Sean explained, “The original painting is 5 x 8 feet and took about 18 months to complete.

“I have referred to sea paintings by 17th century Dutch masters and also to later work by 19th century artists.

“When I was working on the painting, I wanted to create an immersive experience for the viewer, to make it look like they were there, standing on the grassy embankment facing the sea.

In order to mimic the atmospheric effects employed by master marine painters, Sean sourced traditional painting materials as used by the Old Masters.

He also quotes a local personality: “The history of Balbriggan is impressive, and while working there I took the opportunity to further study the key features of the town.

“For further research I have found the publication ‘Balbriggan, A History of the Millennium’ published by Balbriggan and District Historical Society 1999 a very useful source of information.

“The book provided an excellent background on the history of the town and provided a backdrop to the various topographical features that I constantly observed while working on the painting, especially the nearby lighthouse and Martello Tower” .

Banks is currently on display at Banks from this month as work continues on another piece for the area with fellow local artist and painter Dave West.

For more information: Please contact Caroline Cowley – Public Art Coordinator [email protected] 01-870 8449 or


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