Little Stories

Little Prints


Claire Halpin

'Arbour Hill Plot', Etching

On the orders of General Maxwell, 14 leaders of the Rising were

executed from 3-12th May 1916. The bodies of the executed men, certified dead, a name label pinned to their breast were brought to Arbour Hill in a horse-drawn vehicle where a mass burial plot had been dug in the prison yard. Maxwell was determined that the bodies of the executed men would not be released to their families – he feared that “Irish sentimentality will turn those graves into martyrs’ shrines to which annual processions etc. will be made. [Hence] the executed rebels are to be buried in quicklime, without coffins”.

A British Army officer witnessing the burials made a sketch

noting where the bodies were placed in the grave.  This sketch is in the National Archives in London.

I became aware of this sketch through a tour of Arbour Hill with

historian Paul O’Brien.  I was struck that a drawing of such

significance and weight is unknown and has disappeared into the archives.

'A Dead Horse', Etching

Claire Halpin works in a range of media including painting, drawing, installation and video. Recent group exhibitions in Ireland and abroad include- Palimpsest/ Rianú Project, Pearse Museum, Dublin (2014), Artisterium VII, Tbilisi, Georgia (2014), Sculpture in Context 2015, Dublin and RHA Annual Exhibition 2013.