Sculptor ~ Eamonn O’Doherty

This sculpture, in polished and patinated bronze, combines the symbol of medicine, the Rod of Aesculapius and its coiled serpents, with the laurel wreath of Hygieia, mythological goddess of health, and the double helix of the DNA.



The work is dedicated to the countless men, women and children who have occupied the various institutions on this site during the last three hundred years, and celebrates the evolution of the modern St. James’s Hospital.



Eamonn O’Doherty was born in Derry in 1939 and studied at University College Dublin, earning a degree in architecture. Later he became lecturer at the Department of Architecture at the Dublin Institute of Technology. In various capacities he also taught on the Dún Laoghaire College of Art and Design(Ireland), the Ecole Speciale d’Architecture in Paris (France), Harvard University (USA), University of Nebraska (USA) and the University of Jordan (Jordan)

He was responsible for some of the best-loved works of public art in the Republic – including the Quincentennial Sculpture in Galway’s Eyre Square, the James Connolly Memorial across from Dublin’s Liberty Hall and the Anna Livia fountain (aka ‘the floozie in the Jacuzzi), which was relocated from O’Connell Street to Croppy Acre Memorial Park near Heuston Station.

I have in the past featured Swans a work by Eamonn, alas, my old blog is down right now and I am unable to give you a working link.


24 thoughts on “PROTOGONOS

    • Carina, sorry to hear you are having difficulty. I opened with Crome and IE and both are working for me and I am able to click on the photos to enlarge them too. Hopefully it is only a blip. 😦

    • The sculptures come from the whole island of Ireland, but mainly Dublin and Belfast. I am hoping to photograph another crop in the next few days, to feature over the next few months.

    • Brighid, as I said to Nancy, I was not so sure about it until I read the background information. When I looked at the photos on the laptop, they were better than I had originally thought.

      • Your pictures are great.
        I don’t want to need to be told what a sculpture represents, I want to be able to look at it and intuitively know.

        • Brighid, like you I like a sculpture to ‘speak to me’ on the spot, Discovering who made the piece is usually what I go looking for, sometimes to discover if they have other work that I can go look at. The story behind the piece is a bonus.

  1. It’s beautiful – so simple and yet so intricate on the inside.

    Are you coming down to the blog awards by any chance this year? I was chatting to Lily Collison recently but she won’t make it – would be great to see you.

    • Lorna, I think the cropped photo really shows the detail.

      I am headed down to see Wage, and later in the month I have appointments at home that include medical investigations. I am not making arrangements until the results are through and that may well be early October.

  2. Interesting sculpture and how the concepts embodied in it are incorporated.

    We’re traveling in Minnesota, slowly making our way to vista daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids. Only sculptures we’ve seen are out of the corner of the eye as we wiz past them on the highway.

    • Mike there are a few sculptures I would like to capture, but like you, I am usually driving on my own and unable to stop in traffic or park up safely.

      Enjoy your visit with your family.

    • The building in the first photo would be one of the originals. Through the years the site has grown and each new building was modern for its time.

      Dublin Corporation paid £300 in 1603 for a foundation stone for a poorhouse on the site now occupied by the hospital.
      The war between William III (William of Orange) and James II intervened and work was abandoned until 1703. Men and their war game,. they have not changed. Grrrr! That would be the building you see in the first photo.

      Several distinguished citizens served on the board of the hospital when it opened in 1727, including Arthur Guinness and Dean Swift. St. James’s Hospital is now the largest university teaching hospital in Dublin, Ireland. Its academic partner is the University College Dublin (UCD). The Teaching Centre was opened in 1994 and it incorporates the clinical departments of the Medical School, Unit for Dietetics and Nutrition, the Nursing School, Postgraduate Centre and the library of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

      Last year the government gave the go ahead to a new €500 million – $658,895,000 USD, national children’s hospital on the St James’s hospital campus.

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