Sculpture inspired by Máirín de Burca installed in King’s Inns

Sculpture inspired by Máirín de Burca installed in King's Inns

Credit: Julien Behal

A new sculpture inspired by the life of activist Máirín de Burca has been installed in the King’s Inns.

“The Left Arm of Commerce” is the result of Dublin City Council Culture Company’s inaugural creative residency in partnership with the King’s Inns, which began in September 2019.

The residency was originally set to be six months long, but due to the pandemic Irish artist Jesse Jones lived in the King’s Inns for over two years, spending much of that time alone on campus.

During that time, Ms Jones connected with Máirín de Burca, now 83, who is perhaps best known for her role in the 1970s in changing the law to allow women to serve on juries for the first time since 1927.

Working with Ms de Burca inspired Ms Jones to create her first ever permanent art piece: a portland stone statue of the arm and hand of Máirín de Burca holding her personal copy of Bunreacht na hÉireann.

The artist said she created the monument to the role of the ‘radical litigant’, someone who has shaped the law through rebellion and in turn developed the way we see ourselves in relation to the law.

The sculpture will remain in the King’s Inns for students and visitors to see.

Speaking at the unveiling of the sculpture, Mary Griffin, CEO and under treasurer of King’s Inns, said: “The law has a significant influence on culture. Engaging in a creative residency gave King’s Inns an opportunity to explore this relationship.

“It is always fascinating to see how different thought processes interact and we are delighted with the process and the outcome of the creative residency. It brought together Art, creativity, change in society and the law and captured it beautifully in the final artistic piece.

“We thank Dublin City Council Culture Company for approaching us with this idea and look forward to future collaborations with artists and culture. Diversity comes in many forms and being open to new influences and ways of thinking brings a richness to what we do.”

Iseult Byrne, CEO of the Dublin City Council Culture Company, added: “As a company we continue to strive to create new opportunities for people to engage with, and participate in culture, and through this creative residency programme specifically we have created the ideal landscape to forge new relationships and encounters, which has enabled an artist of Jesse’s calibre to develop the incredible work of art we see here today.

“I would like to thank our partners at The Honorable Society of King’s Inns for embarking on this journey with us, and for their openness and support in making this residency happen, and to congratulate Jesse on the creation of this new artwork.”

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