Eamon de Valera Mick O'Dea

Ten of Ireland’s most accomplished artists have each produced a piece that reflects on some aspect of life in Dublin during the 20th Century

Mick O’Dea RHA tackles the second decade, a seismic period in Irish life, where rebellion was followed by a War of Independence. Making compelling work in his signature style, from the photographs of the day, Mick uses brilliantly economic handling of line and colour to breathe new life into the telling of the tale. Steeped personally in the history of the period, Mick’s painting, Commandant De Valera in Custody, 1916 shows De Valera arrested by two Tommies in the aftermath of the 1916 rising. The future Taoiseach and President of the Republic, spared execution because of his foreign birth, stands tall between his captors. He would cast a long and controversial shadow.

With thanks to Mick O’Dea

Watch the first part of a documentary on De Valera;