Paul Woods
Visual Artist

Revolution! 1916 - Public Art Trail. Artistic responses to the 1916 Rising

The Somme on the Liffey

This painting contains two poignant images. The background scene depicts an image of the destroyed buildings in Dublin and superimposed over this panorama view is an image of an aerial view of a trench system manned by an Irish regiment on the Somme sector of the Western front. The trench system itself looks like a jagged scar across a landscape of orange pock marked shell craters. Whilst 2 to 3 thousand Irishmen were involved in the Rising, 200,000 Irishmen were serving with the British Armed forces in WW1. Many of these Irish Soldiers courage and bravery would go unrecognised, and caused silence and division in the new Irish Free State.

9 men from Kildare lost their lives on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, in total the British forces on the first day of the Somme offensive suffered 60,000 casualties with nearly 20,000 deaths. As the population in Dublin began to come to terms with the Rising, families were being torn apart with the news that loved ones were lost at the front. 1916 was a tragic year for Ireland.




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