Cliodhna Cussen was an Irish sculptor, artist and author. She was born in Newcastle West, County Limerick in 1932 and died on August 1st, 2022. She lived in Dublin and was married to Pádraig Ó Snodaigh a poet, writer and publisher (Coiscéim), who was editor of Carn magazine for a number of years, was a regular contributor to the magazine over many decades and active in the Irish Branch of the Celtic League. We extend our sympathies to him and his family. Cliodhna and he had six sons: one, Aengus, is a Sinn Féin TD and some of the others are well known from their performances in the popular Irish Language folk/world music group Kila.
She worked mainly in stone and bronze and received many public work commissions. These can be seen all around Ireland.
One of her most prominent pieces of public art is at the intersection Pearse and College Streets in Dublin. The Long Stone replica ‘(Ivar the Boneless’ Pillar) was erected in 1986 and marks the site of an original Viking long stone to prevent their longships from running aground. The same year she installed a statue of Saint Patrick depicted as a shepherd with a sheep at his feet at the pilgrimage site of Máméan in Connemara.
She authored over twenty publications, including three collections of poetry published by Coiscéim, Sifíní (2001), Turasanna (2011) and Idir Dhá Sháile (2018) and many children’s books which she illustrated. One of her most noted novels was An Eochair (the key), a fictional account of the life of Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill (especially her relationship with Art Ó Laoghaire) author of Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire one of the greatest laments in Irish literature. She exhibited widely and won several awards for her work, including the Listowel Gold Medal for sculpture and the sculpture prize at the Oireachtas. Cliodhna was convivial company and a generous hostess.
Beannacht Dé lena h-anam dílis.
(Photo Courtesy Liam Carson/Twitter)
Posted by Cathal Ó Luain, Convenor, Celtic League (3rd August 2022)