Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Renowned Derry-born sculptor dies at 72

The arts community has reacted with sadness over news of the death of leading sculptor Eamonn O'Doherty.

O'Doherty, who was born in Londonderry in 1939, was responsible for some of the best-loved works of public art in the Republic - including the Quincentennial Sculpture in Galway's Eyre Square, the James Connolly Memorial across from Dublin's Liberty Hall and the Anna Livia fountain (aka, 'the floozie in the Jacuzzi), which was relocated to Croppy Acre Memorial Park near Heuston Station last December.

He died in St Luke's Hospital in Rathgar, Dublin, yesterday following a long battle with throat cancer.

No funeral arrangements have yet been made for O'Doherty, who is survived by his wife Barbara and children.

Friend and fellow artist Robert Ballagh paid tribute last night. He said: "People who ramble around our streets will be very familiar with Eamonn O'Doherty's work as the creator of extraordinary public sculptures.

"But those of us in the arts business also know of his talents as a painter and a graphic artist.

"Eamonn will be remembered for his work. His piece The Tree of Gold on the Central Bank plaza on Dame Street is a great example and is important in the context of the city as all sorts of people, from protesters to punks, gather under the shade of Eamonn's tree.

"On a personal level, Eamonn was one of those people in whose company you couldn't spend an evening without going home saying you had a great night.

"When I went home at tea time yesterday I opened up an envelope and discovered I'd been sent an invitation to attend an exhibition by Eamonn O'Doherty in the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery on August 18.

"Sadly, Eamonn's not going to be able to attend his last exhibition, but there is a poignancy that people all over the country will be receiving this invitation.

"My sympathies go out to his wife Barbara, who has been a friend over the years."

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