Lennox Robinson portrait unveiled

Douglas honours Abbey playwright

Artist Bernard Canavan  presents the portrait of Lennox Robinson to Doris Daly of the Sugawn Theatre Memorial Committee in London

Artist Bernard Canavan presents the portrait of Lennox Robinson to Doris Daly of the Sugawn Theatre Memorial Committee in London

Fri, Jan 17, 2014, 17:06

A new portrait of Cork-born Abbey Theatre playwright Lennox Robinson, who lived in Westgrove House, Douglas, is to be unveiled at the local Douglas Library during a literary weekend in his honour.

The portrait has been painted by London-based Bernard Canavan, well-known as the artist of the London Irish. The idea of painting the portrait arose out of a visit by Bernard and his wife Jan, who is from Bandon, to the Lord Mayor at City Hall.

“I have always been interested in the work of Lennox Robinson and when I heard that a weekend to mark his literary output was being organised in Cork, it was a perfect opportunity to pay my own tribute,” said Canavan.

The organisers of the Lennox Robinson festival backed the idea and arranged for the unveiling of the portrait to take place in the Douglas Library during the literary weekend, which runs from February 28th to March 2nd.

The organising committee is comprised of Douglas-based Billy O’Callaghan, who won an Irish Book Award for his recent publication, The Things We Lose, the Things We Leave Behind; singer songwriter Pete Duffy, author of the upcoming book Old Dog for the Hard Road; Billy McCarthy, author of Barnetstown to Ballinglanna, and the chairman, poet Ronnie McGinn, editor of the Douglas Post.

The Sugawn Theatre memorial committee, led by Doris Daly, stepped in to formally commission the work and this week the portrait was handed over by the artist at a function in London.

A space in the Douglas Library is now being dedicated to the work and memory of Lennox Robinson and the portrait will be unveiled there by the Lord Mayor of Cork on Saturday, March 1st.

Doris Daly said that it was fitting that the Sugawn Theatre committee assist in the project as Lennox Robinson had a long and distinguished career as a literary figure and playwright. The Sugawn was the first Irish pub theatre in London, founded by author and landlord J M O’Neill, whose novels depicted the lives of the London Irish in the 1970s.