A FREQUENTLY UNNOTICED TRIBUTE
Amidst the bustling crowds at Smithfield Luas stop, an unassuming memorial stands as a silent homage to a remarkable man whose legacy often escapes the hurried gaze of passersby.
Dave Conway, a father of two, met an untimely end at the tender age of 38, victim to a tragic motorbike accident. His indelible mark, however, remains etched in Dublin’s urban fabric.
As a Demolition Manager, Dave played a pivotal role in shaping the LUAS construction project — an endeavour that now crisscrosses our city. His dedication and expertise left an indelible imprint on the very tracks we traverse daily.
For nearly a year, I delved into the mystery surrounding the sculpture adjacent to the tram stop. It remained an enigma until a serendipitous moment revealed its creator: James Gannon. This gifted artist, working with stone and bronze from his Dublin and Roscommon studios, breathed life into the unassuming structure.
The Bench That Speaks: Some dismiss it as such. But look closer. Trace the tramlines etched into its form—the subtle nod to the very tracks Dave once navigated. Curious, I engaged fellow Dubliners in conversation. Not one had noticed its deeper significance until I pointed out those embedded rails.
Gannon’s career highlights include:
Gold Medal, Irish Landscape Exhibit (EXPO ’91 Osaka, Japan): This prestigious award in 1991 was in recognition of his outstanding granite sculptures.
Public Commissions: He’s created numerous public sculptures, such as those decorating the façade of Dublin’s historic Fruit and Fish Market Buildings, and a large granite piece dedicated to the Travelling Community at Parslickstown.
Representation of Ireland: In 2001, Gannon represented Ireland at the Symposium du Granit des Marches de Bretagne in France.
His work often explores themes of heritage, growth, and the interplay between natural and human-made forms. One notable piece, “Hybrid Vigour”, was inspired by his grandfather and the agricultural concept of cross-breeding to achieve greater strength.