24/09/2013 1913 Lock Out Tapestry – Unravelling and Understanding the Past at the National Ploughing Championships

Tuesday, 24th September, 2013:  Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has strongly encouraged all visitors to the National Ploughing Championships to visit the 1913 Lockout Tapestry selected panels from  which are on display in the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht stand.

The 1913 Lockout Tapestry project is an ambitious, collaborative visual arts project – supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht – to commemorate the Dublin Lockout. Artists Robert Ballagh and Cathy Henderson were commissioned by SIPTU and the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) to present the 1913 Lockout story graphically for transfer onto fabric.

270 adult volunteers have stitched the panels.  51 people have assisted by tracing designs, supervising work, liaising with groups, operating the production centre in Tara House, Dublin and filming the process.  Participants were based mainly in Dublin but included groups in Waterford, Limerick and Galway, as well as inmates of Mountjoy and Limerick prisons.  The schools involved were Larkin Community College, Mater Dei Primary School and St Louis’ High School in Dublin.

Volunteers were drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds including community activists, the Irish Embroidery Guild, the Irish Patchwork Society, the Irish Countrywomen’s Association, NCAD students and the SIPTU Equality Group.

Minister Deenihan said “The National Ploughing Championships provides an excellent opportunity to showcase this beautiful, informative visual arts piece.  Numbers expected to visit the championships are estimated to be in the region of 200,000.

“In 2013, the centenary of the Lockout, I would encourage as many as possible of these visitors to view this wonderful collaborative tapestry.  It is worth recalling that an estimated 100,000 people faced starvation for a 5 month period in a struggle for worker’s rights in 1913. This tapestry tells this story.

“This is one of the activities supported by my Department to commemorate the seismic events of the Decade of Centenaries from 1912 to 1922. As we progress through this decade, our approach is to commemorate milestone events in an inclusive, respectful and tolerant way.

“I am proud that my Department was able to support this project, and I want to congratulate all the participants for their collaboration in this unique work.”




Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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