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Obituary: Desmond Kinney - Popular artist was a master of the mosaic


Self-portrait: Desmond Kinney

Self-portrait: Desmond Kinney

Self-portrait: Desmond Kinney

Desmond Kinney, who died recently, was a well-known Ulster artist whose mosaics adorned many important buildings in Ireland and further afield. He was 80.

He was born in Portstewart and educated at Methodist College, Belfast.

In 1962 he launched a graphic design studio with Ralph Dobson, and this firm known as Kinney Dobson became a leading player in the visual communications business in Ireland.

In the Seventies, Desmond Kinney worked mainly in Dublin and he revived the almost disused technique of working with mosaics.

Many of his important works were featured in corporate buildings. They included the Song Of Wandering Aengus, which was based on a poem by Yeats and formerly displayed in Canada House, Dublin, and later in the University of Limerick. He had many significant clients including the American multi-millionaire and philantrophist Chuck Feeney.

One of his more recent works The Story Of Midir And Etgain is in the Millennium Forum in Londonderry.

He married Dawn Boyd in 1956 and they had four children – Nicholas, Katherine (deceased) Maeve and Clare.

He liked travelling in Europe, America, the Far East and Australia, and he was passionately fond of Spain, where in recent years he spent his winters with his partner Esmerelda.

His son Nicholas, in paying tribute at his funeral, said "He was a bon viveur who liked the good life."

Belfast Telegraph