Sinéad Guckian's portrait of her grandfather, Patrick Guckian
Over the past year the Selton Hill Centenary Committee arranged and delivered a fantastic programme of online virtual events to commemorate the Selton Hill tragedy, which took place on March 11, 1921 during the War of Independence.
The programme of events also involved the publication and launch of an excellently researched book entitled ‘Selton Hill’ by Padraig Leyden. The book includes superb portraits of the eleven volunteers ambushed at Selton Hill by artist Sinéad Guckian.
Sinéad is the granddaughter of Patrick (Paddy) Guckian, a member of the local flying column, who survived the incident in which six men were killed. Sinéad began researching the lives of all eleven men who were ambushed at Selton Hill and she started making preliminary drawings and sketches with the intention of completing individual portraits to mark the occasion of the 100th Anniversary in March 2021.
She said that “this was my way of acknowledging the significance of their sacrifices and of trying to bring the events at Selton Hill to a wider audience”. She was four years old when her grandfather died and she remembers the full military honours at his graveside.
Sinéad recalls that this was “where I first began to know about the tragic tale of young lives lost at Selton Hill, Gorvagh, in March 1921”, something that has remained with her throughout the years.
This personal experience and knowledge of the events has culminated in her putting her Fine Art Degree to good use, painting the eleven individual portraits in acrylic and oil.
The ‘Heroes of Selton Hill’ by Sinéad Guckian is being exhibited in Ballinamore Library until the end of March during the opening hours of Tuesday to Friday 10 – 1 and 2 – 5.
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