IMMA has been chosen as the final resting place of Patrick Ireland, whose effigy will be buried on 20 May on the grounds of the Museum. After the Derry Massacre of 1972, the artist Brian O’Doherty undertook to sign his works ‘Patrick Ireland’ until such time as the British military presence was removed from Northern Ireland and all citizens were accorded their civil rights. Those conditions are now fulfilled, thereby terminating Patrick Ireland’s existence. The burial is a gesture of reconciliation to celebrate the restoration of peace in Northern Ireland, just as his action in assuming the name Patrick Ireland was a protest at the British military presence in Northern Ireland and the failure of the authorities to ensure civil rights for all. "We are burying hate", says the artist, "it's not often you get the chance to do that". The non-denominational ceremony will be presided over by former Jesuit priest, and now museum director, Michael Rush, Director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Massachusetts. There will be short speeches over the grave.
Born in Ballaghadereen, Co Roscommon Brian O’Doherty left Dublin for New York in 1957, where he became a pioneering figure in Conceptual Art and also a renowned writer, critic, filmmaker and educator. His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He has exhibited at the Venice Biennale, at Documenta in Kassel, Germany, and in the Rosc exhibition in Dublin. His most recent exhibition in Ireland was his 50-year retrospective at the Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane in 2006. The exhibition was recently seen at the Grey Art Gallery, New York University.