Saint Brigid Sculpture 1970

[trx_icon icon=”icon-plus” align=”left”]Our  Original Sculpture:

In 1970 , to mark the opening of the “new school” , a beautiful stone sculpture of Saint Brigid was created by Imogen Stuart and installed on the gable wall of the school. It features Saint Brigid standing in the midst of  animals and  people . She has a basket of bread which she is giving to the  poor as she stands in front of her convent.  We have used a line drawing of this sculpture as our logo for the last number of years.


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[trx_icon icon=”icon-star” color=”#dd55aa” align=”left”]About Imogen

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Imogen Stuart was born in Berlin in 1927 and grew up in Hitler’s Germany – her parents never revealed that her grandmother was Jewish in order to protect the children and their grandmother. Although she lived through the War, she describes her childhood as being idyllic, thanks to her parents.

After the war, she met a young Irish man called Ian Stuart who had come to Germany to study sculpture. For Imogen, it was love at first sight. They married and came to live in Ireland. They lived in Laragh, County Wicklow with no electricity or running water.

Ian Stuart was from a well-known Irish family. Maud Gonne was his grandmother, Iseult Gonne was his mother and Francis Stuart was his father.

Imogen was a Lutheran but later in her life she concerted to Catholicism. Imogen was working closely with the Catholic church when she was commissioned to create our piece. She also created many other  sculptures of Saints. and at a later stage she made the altar in the our church.

The Library Mural

In  the Summer of 2012 , the library refurbishment was completed and new shelving and seating installed.  Two artists were invited to create  murals on three  blank walls. They asked the children to suggest characters from their favourite books and they were incorporated  these into the mural. Harry Potter, Clarice Bean, Kipper, The Gruffalo and Old Bear  are a few they chose.  All the characters were on a tree house with a  great view of the Phoenix Park.

On another wall they painted  a  giant’s foot descending from the clouds in search of the golden egg.

Castleknock history was also represented in a wistful mural of Castleknock Castle and it’s Celtic Cross.

The Cloak

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This beautiful cloak was designed by Ms. Nicola Fay and Mrs. Brenda Mohan to celebrate the opening of our new building on February 1st 2013.  All pupils from 4th class drew scenes from the life of Saint Brigid onto squares of cotton. The squares were then ironed to set the colour. With expert guidance from Mrs. Mohan , the children sewed the squares together. Panels  were added so each child and staff member in the school could sign the cloak. It was worn during the opening ceremony by Grace Maher as a symbol of our school. We think it is exceptional and we will cherish it for many years to come. It is now on display in the main school entrance.


The Anniversary Mosaic

To celebrate our 150th anniversary we commissioned a very special piece of Art by mosaic artist Elaine Prunty. We spoke to Elaine early last year and asked her to design colourful mosaic of Saint Brigid and we wanted all 914 children to be involved in the design and represented in the final mosaic !  Elaine came to us after Easter and spoke to all the children. She asked them to draw a magical flower ( Saint Brigid brings the Spring) and also to design colourful children’s clothes.  Elaine then took all the atet work away and she selected one flower to represent each class and some clothing designs also.

Elaine reproduced these flowers exactly in glass and in the mosaic all 32  are surrounding Saint Brigid. The children in the mosaic are under her cloak, and they have mirrors for faces so as our pupils pass by they see themselves sheltering under the cloak. Saint Brigid has a beautiful face and Elaine used a special glass to give her a twinkle in her eye.

The slides below show how the mosaic was made. We are very grateful to a family in our school who paid for this wonderful mosaic. It will be a symbol of this school for  many years to come.


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).


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.