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Double Take: The blindfolded Dublin statues with a bloody backstory

‘Verdict: guilty. Death by being shot.’

LOCATED ACROSS THE road from Kilmainham Gaol are 14 bronze blindfolded statues.

Faceless and limbless, the sculptures stand in a circle with what resembles a table in the centre.

Aptly named ‘Proclamation’, the sculpture honours those who were executed in the nearby jail during the Easter Rising in 1916, with the entirety of the Proclamation of Independence inscribed into the metal table.

Created by Rowan Gillespie in 2007, each statue has a verdict and sentence of death engraved into its base. ‘Verdict: guilty. Death by being shot,’ reads one. 

Their torsos are speckled with bullet holes to represent their way of death. 

26558689057_351ac7e3f1_k Source: William Murphy

Gillespie was commissioned to create seven sculptures to represent the seven signatories of the Proclamation of Independence: Thomas J Clarke, Sean Mac Diarmada, Thomas MacDonagh, P.H. Pearse, Eamonn Ceannt, James Connolly and Joseph Plunkett.

He donated a further seven statues in tribute to the other leaders who were executed in relation to the rising, reports Atlas Obscura. 

26558658147_05ed40daa4_k Source: William Murphy

For Gillespie, the sculpture is also a ‘personal tribute to his grandfather James Creed Meredith‘, who was appointed Chief Judicial Commissioner of Ireland in 1923. 

An office block on Inchicore Rd provides the backdrop for the sculpture, with Kilmainham Gaol on the opposite side. 

 A renowned sculptor, Gillespie is known for his eerie and intriguing creations, including the Famine Memorial on Custom House Quay. 

More: Double Take: The dying Dublin tree that’s been transformed into a work of art

More: Double Take: The humble Galway house that played  a part in Irish literary history

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