December 2, 2023
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‘The city became his canvas’ – legendary Kilkenny artist honoured

The Home Rule Club in Kilkenny has paid a moving tribute to a legendary local artist whose works were visible throughout the city.

As part of its Founder’s Day, the club celebrated the talent of Brendan Lawless’ (1958-2013). His hand painted sign which hung on the club’s facade is now displayed indoors.

Heritage Minister and local TD Malcolm Noonan, who was a friend of the artist, and Mr Lawless’ wife Patricia also attended a special event held at the club last week.

Photographs of a small selection of Mr Lawless’ prolific art work, which was once to be seen on many of the city’s landmark buildings, B&Bs and shops will be on display.

Brendan Lawless grew up in Larchfield and attended St Kieran’s College. He returned to the city after obtaining a degree in Art and Design in Dublin to take up a post with Kilkenny Design Workshops, while also working as an art teacher in St Kieran’s school.

Home Rule Club President Darina O’Byrne told “While he was an exhibited artist, the vast majority of his output was in one-off hand-painted traditional pictorial signage. Brendan took great pride in Kilkenny and once planning legislation restricted the use of plastic signs the demand for sign writing increased, allowing him and other Kilkenny sign writers the opportunity to enhance the medieval streets with their old shop fronts. The city became his canvas. Brendan took great care over his signs to the extent that he personally installed them and kept them looking pristine.”
Ms O’Byrne added: “His love for Kilkenny is also illustrated by his volunteer work with Keep Kilkenny Beautiful when he would spend up to four hours daily in watering of the hanging basket floral displays which he had designed and planted. Brendan later served on the KKB committee and was Chairperson for a number of years.  In recognition of his work the Brendan Lawless Memorial Environmental Award is awarded annually to those who make a special effort to keep Kilkenny beautiful.

“We at the Home Rule Club are proud to commemorate his life and work and delighted to be in possession of one of his unique paintings.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Minister Malcolm Noonan, Patricia Lawless, Home Rule Club President Darina O’Byrne, Mayor Andrew McGuinness, Cathaoirleach Fidelis Doherty. Pic – Seamus Cahill


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