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Le Brocquy in job lot

lebrocquy_01The imminent move of a Le Brocquy mosaic of the Madonna and Child from the old Milltown community building to the new, stirred a memory in Brian Grogan. When he was Rector of Milltown, he mentioned to various friends that many walls in the house were unadorned by works of art. One day in 1978 a call came with the terse message: ‘Your works of art are ready!’  The caller was the MD of Odearest Mattresses. Brian and his then Minister, Fr Jim Fitzgerald,  went to the warehouse and were shown various mosaics, few of which were remarkable, but which now hang around the walls of Milltown. When asked if they would purchase, Brian inquired if were there more. As the interviewers say, it was a good question. Read more.
The Odearest man replied : ‘Well, there’s a huge one in at the back, but it weighs a quarter of a ton.’ When unveiled by the sweating staff, Jim and Brian  recognised it as a facsimile of the Le Brocquy Madonna and Child in the Jesuit Church in Galway (commissioned by Sean Hughes when Rector there).  Brian said, ‘’We’d be interested in that big one.’ ‘Sorry’ said the MD ‘ it’s all or nothing. We took over a firm who had taken over Roscommon Mosaics, and we have to get rid of all these.’ The cautious Jesuits asked, ‘Is there a charge?’ After bargaining, they got the lot for  £200, with a promise of delivery to Milltown. Br Martin Murphy’s skills were stretched to the full to get the Le Brocquy onto the wall of the main corridor, and the mosaic was dedicated  to Evelyn Kiely, who had run the annual Sale of Work, which began after the fire of 1949.