The Permanent Collections

The National Collection of Contemporary Drawing

Limerick Contemporary Art - A Chronology                               

Pre-1983 - A number of representations are made to the Art Gallery Advisory Committee of Limerick City Gallery of Art to set up a Friends of the Gallery. It is suggested that the primary but not only function of the Friends would be to raise money towards the purchase of contemporary art for the gallery, of which there are very few examples in the collection. All representations are rejected.

1983         Limerick Contemporary Art Society founded by Samuel Walsh, Committee consists of Luke Kiernan (ad-hoc chairman), Ursula Brick, John Logan, Fr. John Leonard, Marian Fitzgibbon (Mid-west Arts Officer) and Jo Slade. Samuel Walsh is ad-hoc secretary/treasurer. Marian Fitzgibbon resigns shortly after founding, and is replaced by Paul Lynam. The society is to purchase work by artists who exhibit locally to form a collection. Funding comes from individuals and corporate subscriptions.

1984        1st AGM. Constitution is approved. Ad-hoc committee becomes committee proper. John Logan resigns and is replaced by Catriona O'Connor. Society approved for Joint Purchase by the Arts Council, Each 1 pound raised by the society is worth 2 pounds.

1985         Hon. Membership offered to Marian Fitzgibbon, Cecil King and John Logan. Accepted.    Collection is hung, on loan, in the Regional Management Centre, National Institute for Higher Education, Limerick . 2nd AGM. Grant received from Limerick Corporation.

1986          3rd AGM. Fr, John Leonard resigns. Replaced by Mike Byrne. Decision taken to found the National Collection of Contemporary Drawing and to tour the present collection through the mid=west. It is suggested that a collection of contemporary drawing will give Limerick a collection of contemporary work not available in any other city in Ireland. Such a collection would also have an archival element. And, on an ongoing basis, could be used for research and study. A decision is taken to adopt the name Limerick Contemporary Art. It is felt that this is a more specific title and that it will stop LCA being confused with the Limerick Art Society, a group of local amateur artists. The First Collection, Limerick Contemporary Art 1983 – 1987 tours mid-west in conjunction with the Mid-West Arts Association. LCA initiates a series of lectures in Limerick City Gallery of Art called 'Artists Talking'. Drawings, when acquired by LCA are loaned to Limerick City Gallery of Art

1988           5th AGM. Catriona O'Connor resigns. Tony Rogers co-opted to committee. Hon. Membership offered to Catriona O'Connor and Fr. John Leonard. Accepted. Application for charitable status refused. Patrick J Murphy, chair of Rosc, gives the Barclay-Russell Memorial Lecture at Mary Immaculate College of Education. The First Collection presented on permanent loan to Mary Immaculate College of Education on the understanding that the College will continue to acquire contemporary work to add to the collection. Hon. Membership offered to Patrick J Murphy. Accepted. Decision made to create and publish a book of photographs of Limerick artists in their studios in conjunction with the photographer/artist Tom Shortt. A proposal and application for funding is made to the Limerick Treaty 300 Arts Committee. They express no interest.

1989          6th AGM. Mike Byrne resigns. Evan Morrissey co-opted. The 'self-destruct' idea is talked about for the first time. Having achieved aims and realised certain goals, LCA believes that a responsibility now falls to the Limerick City Gallery of Art to continue on the purchase of drawings for the National Collection of Contemporary Drawing through a Friends of the Gallery structure. Initial approaches to Limerick City Gallery of Art to accept the drawing collection as a gift and continue adding drawings to the collection is favourable.

1990 AGM postponed until 1991.

1991          7th AGM. The drawing collection is offered to and accepted by the Limerick City Gallery of Art. It comprises 23 works by 22 artists and 1 poet. The collection is worth over 8,000 pounds. LCA requests that the Arts Council agree to give on loan its drawing collection to Limerick City Gallery of Art to complement LCA's drawing collection. The Arts Council agrees. Limerick Contemporary Art suspends activities until a suggested formal group of Friends comes into being through Limerick City Gallery of Art.

compiled by Samuel Walsh, 1996.


Limerick Contemporary Art – Members 1983-1989

Members *

Corporate Members

Honorary Members

Terence Black



Derek Cahill

Mary Immaculate College

Marian Fitzgibbon (founder member)

Colm & Alva de Burca

Murray Sweeney, Solicitors

Cecil King (artist; deceased, 1986)

Mike Fitzharris


John Logan (founder member)

Luke & Breda Kiernan



Brendan & Susan Lane



Rev. John Leonard

Allied Irish Banks

Catriona O'Connor (ex. Committee)

Paul & Helma Lynam

Aughinish Alumina Ltd

John Leonard (founder member)

Dermot Moloney

Bank Of Ireland

Patrick J. Murphy

Pat J. Murphy

Thomond College


Mike Byrne & Mary Nagle


Committee Members

John & Joyce O'Callaghan


*Ad-hoc/Founder members

Catriona O'Connor                                        Moira O'Grady

Plassey Management & Technology        Centre

                                                                                 Ursula Brick * (1983-1989)

Jim O'Halloran


Mike Byrne (1987-1989)

Pauline Purcell


Marian Fitzgibbon * (1983)

Tony Rogers

Coopers & Lybrand Accountants

Luke Kiernan, Chairman (1984-89)

Richard & Jo Slade


 Rev. John Leonard * (1983-87)

Samuel & Ursula Walsh


John Logan* (1983-84)


Connolly, Sellors, Geraghty, Fitt & Co. Solicitors

Paul Lynam* (1983-89)



Evan Morrissey ( 1989)



Catriona O'Connor (1984-89)


Murray O'Laoire Associates

Tony Rogers (1988-89)


Riverrun Gallery

Biddy Slade* (1983-89)



Samuel Walsh, Secretary/Treasurer              (1983-89)


Hall, Patrick

Patrick Hall – Eye ThumbnailEye

1995, pen and ink on paper, 18 x 25 cm (National Collection of Contemporary Drawing)

Mac Gabhann, Don

Don Mac Gabhann – Tarraingt ThumbnailTarraingt

1997, pencil on paper, 110 x 37 cm (National Collection of Contemporary Drawing)

Mackey, Christine

Christine Mackey, Sewing Stories, 2001. Thread, paint and pencil on cotton, Series of 9, each 25 x 29cm thumbnailSewing Stories

2001 thread, paint and pencil on cotton, Series of 9, each 25 x 29 cm (National Collection of Contemporary Drawing)

Mulcahy, Michael

Michael Mulcahy –Water Gypsy ThumbnailWater Gypsy

 1989, acrylic on paper, 58 x 75 cm (National Collection of Contemporary Drawing)

Piercy, Siobán

Siobán Piercy – The Acrobat II ThumbnailThe Acrobat II

1990, graphite on paper, 57 x 76.5 cm

Foley, Marie

Marie Foley – Seed Vessels ThumbnailsSeed Vessels

1995, pencil on paper, 44 x 59.5 cm

The Gallery Plan Your Visit Gallery Events Exhibitions The Collection Education Publications Media