by Cllr Dermot Lacey, Dublin City Council
Today was not just any old day, it was the day of my first visit to the National Gallery in quite a long time…but first a walk through the lovely grounds of UCD with the always loyal and lovable Wheaton Terrier ‘Skip’. That done, and my morning flitting with academia, I set off for the Gallery on my trusty ebike with a detour to the Mansion House to collect the Deputy Lord Mayor’s Chain for a lunchtime Mass for deceased ‘Corpo’ employees.
As I locked my bike to the lone lampost opposite the gallery, I reflected on why it had been so long since I last visited. No excuse really…just proximity inertia. So near, couldnt be bothered. Silly me as I soon discovered.
I was immediately made feel welcome
Walking in to the wonderful high space from the Clare Street entrance, I was immediately made feel welcome, and along with my Pembroke South Dock colleague and old friend Paddy McCartan offered a lovely cuppa. There followed over an hour of good intelligent conversation about the options and plans for the Gallery, led by Director Sean Rainbird and his team.
But that was only the start…the tour oh the tour….I loved it.
Some good ideas exchanged and even a little bit of political banter, with me suppporting a ring-fenced (for arts and culture type projects) hotel tax, and Paddy opposing. But that was only the start…the tour oh the tour….I loved it.
Led by Tour Guide Aisling Dunne, we saw some wonderful paintings, with for me the highlight the stunning Lavery painting of the Roger Casement trial. There was more, much more, but alas I had to leave. Suffice to say I will be back and am already looking forward to the visit to the National Archives in this much welcome engagement with the National Cultural Institutions. Sometimes being a Councillor is difficult – today was a joy.
Cllr Dermot Lacey
Dublin City Council