Marble bust of Terence Mac Swiney to go on display at Cork Public Museum

Lord Mayor welcomes acquisition of two War of Independence-era artefacts

Dan Breen of Cork Public Museum, Tom Dowdall, Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Mick Finn and Deborah Dowdall  with the marble bust of Terence Mac Swiney. The Dowdalls are grandchildren of Cork’s first female lord mayor, Jane Dowdall. Photograph: Michael O’Sullivan

Dan Breen of Cork Public Museum, Tom Dowdall, Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Mick Finn and Deborah Dowdall with the marble bust of Terence Mac Swiney. The Dowdalls are grandchildren of Cork’s first female lord mayor, Jane Dowdall. Photograph: Michael O’Sullivan

 

The Lord Mayor of Cork has welcomed the acquisition of two War of Independence-era artefacts including a marble bust of one of his predecessors, Terence Mac Swiney.

Cllr Mick Finn said the Mac Swiney bust was sculpted by Albert Power from a mask he made of Mac Swiney’s face after his death in 1920 in Brixton Prison after 74 days on hunger strike.

“The bust is a very unique and important piece, as for many, this portrait captures the serenity and acceptance Mac Swiney had about his death,” Mr Finn said. “It seems as if Mac Swiney is gently smiling in the knowledge that his death would play a pivotal role in securing independence for Ireland. ”

The bust was donated by the family of Cork’s first female lord mayor, Jane Dowdall. Her granddaughter Deborah Dowdall formally presented it to Mr Finn and it will now go on display as part of the permanent collection in the Cork Public Museum in Fitzgerald’s Park.

‘Hugely significant’

The second artefact to go on display at the museum is a Republican silver Loving Cup made by William Egan of Cork. It is one of an estimated 80 pieces of silver stamped with a Cork hallmark as silversmiths were afraid to send their work to Dublin to be assayed during the revolutionary period.

“These two artefacts are hugely significant links to the history of Cork and the birth of a nation which will come more and more into focus as the decade of centenaries start to centre on the War of Independence and Civil War period,” Mr Finn said.