New Jonathan Swift Murals to celebrate SWIFT 350

To mark the 350th anniversary of the birth of Dean Jonathan Swift Dublin City Council, through the South East Area Office, commissioned artist Hugh Madden to interpret the great satirist’s life and works by creating a mural on the inside walls of the General Register Office in Werburgh Street, Dublin 8.

The recently completed art work lifts the area in a very bright and vibrant way and is a joyous celebration and happy 350th birthday to one of Dublin’s greatest literary, social and political figures.

“I was particularly drawn to the wonderful images that one can draw from the imagination of Swift in Gulliver’s Travels. His works teem with fascinating and colourful characters and creatures and were a great honour and pleasure to depict” said artist Hugh Madden.

Three panels were developed to interpret Swift’s great work Gulliver’s Travels. The first looked at Gulliver using his hand to make a swing for a girl echoing Fragonard's ‘The Swing’. One might notice a nod to political satire the blond haired man on the balcony (interpret him as you will!) The second focused on the island of the giants, and the third show the island of intelligent horses with all the humans called yahoos.  Jonathan Swift himself in his house, writing away linking other works including his letters to Stella and Vanessa, the Drapier Letters is also incorporated.

On 30th November 1667 in a town house on a small street called Hoey’s Court in the heart of the old Pale in Dublin 8 a baby boy was born to wife Abigail Erick and took the same name as his father Jonathan Swift. 350 years later this site is now the location of the General Register Office and has many visitors from all over the world seeking birth, marriage and death certificates. The old 17th century street and houses are long gone but the great legacy of the  Anglo-Irish  satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for the Whigs, then for the Tories), poet and cleric who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin is alive and well.

Great for walking tours and tourists, we encourage the public to investigate this historic area of heritage and view the murals and see who you can identify from the stories. The mural is available to see during the opening hours of the General Register Office: Monday to Friday 9.00 – 16.30