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Leabhar na hAiséirghe (Book of the Resurrection)

Between 1924 and 1951, one of the most brilliant works of visual art of the Celtic Revival was created by a self-taught artist called Art Ó Murnaghan.

This work was entitled Leabhar na hAiséirghe or The Book of the Resurrection.  The 27 vellum pages of the illuminated manuscript were intended to honour the memory of those who had died during the Irish independence struggle and the Civil War.

Ó Murnaghan was commissioned to create the work by the Irish Republican Memorial Society, whose governing committee included Count Plunkett, father of Joseph Mary Plunkett and a former Director of the National Museum; the artists Leo Whelan and Jack B. Yeats; author and mystic Ella Young, and Mia Cranwill, one of the great metalworkers of the Arts and Crafts movement.

The work was to be a combination of inscribed lists of those who had died, and an illuminated work of art. It was intended that the writings and sayings of nationalist leaders would be presented alongside emblems associated with particular regions and events, interwoven with Irish symbolism.  All of the artwork was done with pencil and brush on vellum.

‘The Men of the Harbours’

‘The Men of the Harbours’ page was intended to honour Erskine Childers for his central role in landing arms in his yacht Asgard during the 1914 Howth gun-running, and Sir Roger Casement for his attempts to land German arms on the Kerry coast immediately before Easter Week 1916.  Ó Murnaghan directed that the names of both men be inscribed on a parchment sheet to follow the vellum. The seafaring motifs in this page include the topsail of a ship in full sail, rolling waves and mountainous coasts; the dragon-figure in the central panel signifies a gale of wind. The script at the bottom of the page is taken from the legendary ‘Voyage of Bran’.


Leabhar na hAiséirghe (Book of the Resurrection) is located at:
In Storage

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Mesolithic Fish Trap

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Albert Sutton’s Photograph Album

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