PHOTOGRAPHED ON BAGGOT STREET 18 MARCH 2023
In the past I have joked about the excessive number of red metal sculptures on the island Ireland and that many people often refer to them as “red metal yokes” but this sculpture is in a different league as it has artistic merit.
When I first saw this I thought that it was named “Red Cardinal” because of the colour but when I saw the captured images today I realised that it looks like a Mitre [headdress]. In the Catholic Church, ecclesial law gives the right to use the mitre and other pontifical insignia (crosier, pectoral cross, and ring) to bishops, abbots, cardinals, and those canonically equivalent to diocesan bishops who do not receive episcopal ordination.
The red steel sculpture “Red Cardinal” was designed by John Burke. It was erected in 1978 on the James Street side of the Bank of Ireland in Baggot Street Lower.
John Burke (11 May 1946 – 11 December 2006)
Burke studied at the Crawford School of Art and Design in Cork and at the Royal Academy of London. He spent most of his career in the Cork area and for a time taught at Crawford, where his students included Eilis O’Connell and Vivienne Roche.
Burke was a founding member of Aosdána in 1981.
Note: Yoke. In Irish slang, the word ‘yoke’ doesn’t have anything to do with eggs. Instead, it’s another way of saying ‘thing’. So if someone in Ireland sees an object that they’ve never seen before, they will commonly be heard to ask, ‘What’s that yoke there?