The Bronze Cloak

Outside our main building we have a beautiful sculpture representing St. Brigid’s cloak. It was designed by Mark Ryan , a Dublin based sculptor and was comissioned to mark the opening of our new building.

The Concept:

  • Icons that symbolically represents the life of St. Brigid i.e. oak tree and cloak
  • The ethos/mission statement of St. Brigid’s national school.
  • St. Brigid’s national school its vibrancy, energy and commitment to the values of creativity, education and democracy.

 

The Sculpture:

The sculpture takes its form from St.Brigid’s cloak.

The cloak is symbolic of the support and protection the children receive from the school community during their time at St. Brigid’s national school. The children can interact with the piece and step into the cloak and be St.Brigid for the day. Traditions will be established as the school community engages with the sculpture.The school motto is integegrated in the folds of the fabric.

The scattered acorns and leaves are a symbol of St. Brigid. The school community will write their hopes and aspirations which will be placed into the acorn in the form of a ‘time capsule’ a container of ancient knowledge.

“From the little acorn a mighty oak grows”

 

Oak Tree

Symbolizes St.Brigid’s founding of a church and convent at Kildare, where under a large oak tree she erected her famous convent of “Cil-Dara,” that is “the church of the oak” (now Kildare).

Cloak

Legend tells us how Brigid got her home, her convent at Cill Dara. She set out one day with a few companions, to find a suitable site. Eventually she stumbled across the perfect site. Alas, the land belonged to the King of Leinster. But, being determined to have the land, Brigid went in search of the king.

She had barely left the site, however, when who should she see but the king himself with a band of horsemen galloping out of the wood. They were returning from a day’s hunting, which, judging by the sound of their voices and laughter had obviously been successful. As they drew nearer the king saw Brigid. He rode towards her and after jumping lightly from his horse, bowed to her.

After curtsying Brigid began, “Your majesty,” she said, “We need land.”

“You do, do you?” replied the king at the same time stroking his pointed beard. “How much do you need?”

The horsemen had by now dismounted and now pressed eagerly forward, straining to get a view of this Brigid whom they had heard so much about.

“We need only the land my cloak will cover – no more”, answered Brigid.

“Well if that’s all!” said the amused king, “You shall have it. That can be settled easily.”

On hearing that, Brigid removed her cloak and laid it on the ground. Then to the absolute amazement and astonishment of everyone watching, the cloak began to grow. It grew and grew. It stretched all round at once, stretching itself out and rapidly gaining speed. Startled the king jumped back. The cloak was like a living thing. “Magic,” shrieked a long thin man and ran for his life. All the king’s companions leapt back, knocking into each other, pushing each other on the ground and shoving and jostling trying to get away, but the cloak kept growing.

Finally it stopped. Everyone stared, momentarily frozen to the spot. Suddenly there was a burst of excited chatter. “Did you ever see such a thing?” “How can that have happened?” “What an odd cloak!”

Brigid looked around her. In every direction her cloak stretched. It covered acre upon acre of rich, green, pastureland. With twinkling eyes she said, “Thanks be to God.”

“And thanks be to me “, broke in the king.”Make good use of it.”

With that the king and his attendants sprang onto their horses and galloped away. Brigid remained gazing contentedly at her land.