Galway is a city rich in history and culture, and one of its most striking features is the abundance of statues, monuments and memorials that dot its streets and landscapes. These public artworks serve as reminders of the past, celebrating the achievements, struggles and stories of the people and events that shaped Ireland’s identity.

One of these artworks is the Commemorative Sculpture, located at the County Buildings on Prospect Hill in Galway City. This sculpture, which depicts a swan, was commissioned by Galway County Council as part of its 1916 centenary programme, to honour those who contributed to the cause of Irish independence between 1912 and 1922.

The sculpture was created by Jethro Sheen, a Galway-based artist. Sheen chose the swan as a symbol of freedom, beauty and grace, as well as a reference to the Irish legend of the Children of Lir, who were transformed into swans by a curse and wandered for centuries until they regained their human form.

The sculpture is made of bronze and stainless steel, and stands on a plinth that bears the inscription “Ar son saoirse na hÉireann” (For the freedom of Ireland). The Commemorative Sculpture was unveiled on 24 April 2016, exactly 100 years after the start of the Easter Rising, by Councillor Peter Roche, Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council. 

The Commemorative Sculpture is not only a tribute to the past, but also a source of inspiration for the present and future generations. It invites us to reflect on the values and ideals that motivated those who fought for Ireland’s freedom, and to appreciate the sacrifices they made. It also encourages us to celebrate our diversity and unity as a nation, and to cherish our culture and heritage.


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Commemorative Sculpture



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