Death of sculptor Conor Fallon


The death has occurred of the Wicklow-based sculptor Conor Fallon, who was a member of Aosdána and an honorary member of the RHA. He was the third son of the poet and playwright Padraic Fallon.

His three surviving brothers - Brian, Ivan and Padraic - have all worked in journalism: Brian Fallon was the former Irish Timesvisual arts critic, and Niall Fallon, who predeceased them, was a former assistant editor.

Born in Dublin in 1939, Conor Fallon was brought up in Co Wexford and began to paint in 1957 while a student at Trinity College Dublin. He moved to Penzance, Cornwall, in the mid-1960s, where he joined the St Ives group of artists, which included his friend, the painter Tony O'Malley. It was here he met his future wife, the Welsh-born painter Nancy Wynne-Jones, who died last year.

The couple married in 1966. In 1970, they adopted two children, John and Bridget, and two years later, the family moved to Kinsale, Co Cork. By then, Fallon had been encouraged to start working in the medium of sculpture.

He became most notable for his work in cast steel and later, in cast bronze, with stylised birds, horses and hares in a range of scales being recurring subjects.

In 1987, the family moved to Rathdrum, Co Wicklow, where they made their permanent home. Fallon exhibited regularly at the Taylor Galleries, and was awarded the Oireachtas gold medal for sculpture in 1980. In 1993, he was given an honorary associateship of the National College of Art and Design.

In 1996, he held a joint exhibition with Seán McSweeney at the RHA Gallagher Gallery, which subsequently toured the country.

Among Fallon's larger pieces of work, which were commissioned to be displayed outdoors, and will be familiar to the passing public, are the three distinctive bronze horses on plinths at Citywest beside the N7, and his Singing Bird, at Enniscorthy bridge in Co Wexford.

His funeral takes place tomorrow.