Battle of Geashill Sculpture
The sculpture takes inspiration from the mythological Battle for Ireland which took place between two brothers Éremón and Éber. Back in 2015, committee member Pat Foley submitted an outline of The Battle of Geashill story for a Secrets of Offaly competition run by Offaly County Council. Then in 2017 local historian Clemens von Ow, who had been fasinated by the story since childhood published his book, Heremon & Heber and Battle of Geashill to widespread acclaim.
Following on from the success of the book, we decided to approach the Heritage Office of Offaly County Council to assist us in sourcing funding from the Town and Village Renewal Scheme for a piece of public sculpture with the mythical Battle of Geashill as its theme. With funding granted, we embarked on a competitive public process to choose a winning submission.
Holger Lönze, a German born Sculptor living in Co. Kerry was awarded the commission and installed a sculpture in in November 2019. As described by the Sculptor himself they are "Five galláin, Irish for standing stones, to commemorate some of the protagonists in the legend: Amergin, Éber and Éremón, sons of Míl as well as Éremon’s wife Tea. The fifth gallán is dedicated to Geashill itself, a place rich in heritage, history and mythology. Inserted into the stone are low-relief plaques inspired by circular Bronze Age objects: shields, sky and sun disks and a lunula. Each object interprets the personas, attributes and topographical features associated with the individual"
These sculptures were made by first placing the sheets of bronzed zinc face down on a bed of sand, and then hammering out the design on the reverse using a Bronze Age technique called répoussée. The shields were then mounted on large blocks of granite with inscriptions on front and back.
A 6th piece will take the form of a hoard of objects and will be attached to a granite stone and set in the ground. Holger has cast the pieces from wax moulds made during a workshop conducted conducted with Artist Karen Hendy in the village in late August 2019.
The artwork was commissioned by Offaly County Council with Geashill Tidy Towns & funded by the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and Offaly County Council with the support of Creative Ireland. We hope they will be enjoyed by our community and visitors for years to come.