Exhibition pays tribute to local landmarks

Coombe Portico by Colin Layde

Coombe Portico by Colin Layde

The Coombe Hospital is currently playing host to photography exhibition, called Within a Stone’s Throw, which pays tribute to landmarks of the local area.

Within a Stone’s Throw celebrates the buildings, bridges, statues and gardens of the Liberties.

The exhibition is a collaborative project between Dr Chris Fitzpatrick, a former Master of the Coombe, along with professional photographers Jim Travers and his son Seamus Travers. Dr Fitzpatrick said it was a photo of the site of George Bernard Shaw’s birth which led to the creation of the exhibition, which he hopes will represent the rich history of the Coombe community.

“The photograph that started it all was the birthplace of George Bernard Shaw, who was born in 1856 at what is now 33 Synge Street. His delivery was attended by a former Master of the hospital Dr John Ringland and it struck me that within a stone’s throw of our doorstep was a rich and vibrant heritage with fragments of the past still evident.”

Dr Fitzpatrick points to the portico of the old Coombe Hospital as an example of the history all around the Liberties. The portico was retained following the hospital’s closure 1967 and subsequently restored by local authorities. Dr Fitzpatrick said the it “stood as a memorial to the many mothers who gave birth in the Coombe to the future citizens of Ireland”.

Prior to the Travers becoming involved in the project, the original photographs on display were taken with an old instamatic and more recently, an iPhone.

Renowned photographer Jim said he hoped his work would preserve the history of the Coombe. He said that the opportunity to work on the project was particularly dear to him, given that his granddaughter was born in the hospital two years ago.

“As photographers, we try and capture what can be missed in the blink of an eye and preserve it forever. The Coombe possesses such a strong cultural history and the opportunity to capture that on camera was impossible to resist.”

Within a Stone’s Throw is part of an ongoing commitment to display art within hospitals and was officially opened by Dr Robert Ballagh on October 2nd.



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