it remains…upon small shoulders…!

I painted ‘upon small shoulders‘ a number of years ago to highlight the vulnerability of our children and their children’s children who had been burdened with the massive debt of a crippled Irish economy – a legacy of the infamous ‘celtic tiger’ era.

However looking at the painting now, in this our 1916 centenary year, I can’t help thinking that it’s relevance actually spans the lifetime of our Republic. It could symbolise the Proclamation’s call to arms: “Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom”. It could also reflect the innocence of a young nation filled with dreams and aspirations.

Sadly our flag hasn’t always wrapped itself protectively around its children. It has repeatedly failed to protect them from domestic abuse, institutional slavery or the perversions perpetrated by the Catholic church…and still it goes on and still our children are vulnerable.

So now we are about to elect the next government who’ll probably refer to ‘our brightest colours’ again just like Enda Kenny did and praise the resolve of our bright youth…….and I’ve absolutely no doubt despite the platitudes and promises the next guardians of the flag will continue to load the unyielding burden of responsibility – upon small shoulders…!

Limited edition prints available:


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