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A Gaelic Chieftain Surveys His Lands

A Gaelic Chieftain Surveys His Lands

Regular price €49.00 EUR
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The Gaelic Chieftain statue at Lough Key, County Roscommon, is a beautiful if haunting memorial to a time when the last of the old ruling clans were still dominant in the Irish countryside. It commemorates the Battle of Curlew Pass, which took place close by in August 1599 during the Nine Years War. Red Hugh O'Donnell's rebels ambushed an English force under Sir Conyers Clifford and routed them while they were passing through a gap in the Curlew Mountains. The English suffered heavy casualties. Despite the victory, history would reach a major turning point within a decade, with the fateful Battle of Kinsale, the signing of the Treaty of Mellifont, and the Flight of the Earls, making way for the plantations and the eventual subjugation of Ireland and the disappearance of the Old Gaelic Order.

The Gaelic Chieftain sculpture is probably my favourite roadside artwork in Ireland. It was created by sculptor Maurice Harron and unveiled in 1999 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Battle of Curlew Pass. The statue sits overlooking the N4, the main Dublin to Sligo road, and I always get the sense that old Red Hugh is still in this vicinity, watching over the modern Irish people, who now enjoy independence from their old enemy, Britain.

On my journeys to and from the megalithic monuments of Sligo, I always stop at The Gaelic Chieftain, but on this occasion I certainly couldn't resist. It had been a scorching, beautiful warm and sunny day in Ireland, and with the sun about to set, I realised I could get this dramatic silhouette. I knew when I was clicking the shutter button on my camera that this was a special moment, and as I moved around, I saw that I could position the sun beneath the horse, between his legs.

The result is this memorable and - I hope you agree - gorgeous photo which captures some of the pathos of that moment in history, a last great victory before the fall of the chieftains.


Printed on high quality photographic paper that is fade resistant. The watermark (logo) shown is not on the final print.


Medium Landscape
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H x W
20.3cm x 30.5cm
8" x 12"

Large Landscape
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H x W
30.5cm x 45.7cm
12" x 18"

Extra Large Landscape
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H x W
61.0cm x 40.6cm
24" x 16"

Super Large Landscape
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H x W
91.4cm x 60.0cm
36" x 24"

Portrait prints are the same dimensions except the height and width are swapped.

3 for 2 & Free Shipping

This limited edition print qualifies for our 3 for 2 pricing which will be automatically applied at checkout. Just add two more qualifying prints to your basket. All prints included free postage worldwide.

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  • Exclusive

    All of my prints are limited to a numbered run of just 100. Each item is individually printed to order by a specialist printshop in Drogheda using archive quality photographic paper.

  • Print Quality

    The image on the website is low resolution with a watermark. The prints are very high resolution, accurately coloured, with no watermark. Each one is signed and numbered on the rear.

  • Unique

    I am one of Ireland's best-known ancient monuments photographers. I have an eye for evocative imagery that reminds the viewer of the timelessness of the mythical Irish landscape.

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