Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 29 November 2015

Academy rejects painting of Irish clerics in hell

Published 20/04/2010

The painting of four of the past Archbishops by Dublin artist David Nolan
The painting of four of the past Archbishops by Dublin artist David Nolan

The Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin has declined to exhibit a controversial painting of four Archbishops of Dublin depicted as "fallen princes".

The four prelates were roundly condemned in the Murphy Report for their systematic cover-ups of paedophile clerics for over 60 years.

The four "damned" prelates are Archbishops John Charles McQuaid, 1940--1972, Dermot Ryan, 1972- 1984, Kevin McNamara, 1984 - 1987, and Cardinal Desmond Connell, 1988 - 2004.

The painting, measuring six-feet wide and nearly four-feet high, portrays the four 'Rulers of Catholic Dublin' surrounded by flames of Hell.

Dublin artist David Nolan submitted the painting for public display in the Academy's Annual Summer Exhibition.

Mr Nolan last night attributed his diabolical inspiration to the massive media publicity about the shocking levels of sexual abuse of innocent children by predatory priests.

"Listening to the radio in my art studio, day in day out of the suffering of people who as children were subjected to sexual abuse and in some cases sworn to secret oaths, I felt compelled to paint the fallen princes," he said

Mr Nolan said he wanted to represent the four archbishops "with the passion of feelings represented in the media".

The way the Catholic Church was still putting itself ahead of the victims seemed 'unChristian', he added.

Efforts to contact a spokesperson for the Royal Hibernian Academy were unsuccessful last night.

Source Irish Independent

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