Taillteann Games

Depiction of the celebrations during the opening ceremony of the Tailteann Games

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

The celebrated illustrator P.J. Lynch took on the decade of the twenties, a period of civil war and economic hardship which was illuminated by the Tailteann Games.

These games were one of the attempts by the new government to foster a Celtic spirit in a newly free nation. Ancient imagery informed the event’s style and approach, which included sporting and artistic events across the city. Returning athletes from European-based Olympic games participated, raising the profile of the Tailteann Games which continued throughout the decade. Johnny Weismuller, Tarzan from the movies and an Olympic swimmer, participated in a swim in the Phoenix Park. P.J. depicts the opening ceremony in Croke Park.

With thanks to P. J. Lynch

Watch footage of scenes in Ireland in 1920: