A work inspired by the merging of the River Liffey (represented by the necklace-wearing female) with the Rye Water (the sword-wearing male warrior) at The Salmon Leap, Leixlip, Co Kildare.
At Leixlip, or Salmon Leap as it used to be called, the Liffey tumbled down two spectacular water falls. These waterfalls formed a natural obstacle for salmon as they swam upstream to spawn and so it was possible to see the salmon leaping from the water to get further upstream.
The River Rye or Ryewater is a tributary of the River Liffey. It rises in County Meath, flowing south-east for 19 miles. Although the river has been the subject of arterial drainage schemes, it is generally fast flowing over a stoney bottom. The Rye's major tributary is the Lyreen.
The Rye runs north of Kilcock and Maynooth. Maynooth Castle is built between the Lyreen and its tributary the Joan Slade River. The Lyreen and Rye meet to the east of Maynooth and flow on through the estate of Carton House. In the estate, the river was widened to form an ornamental lake within the Georgian parklands, further enhanced by an ornamental bridge and boathouse.
The river then flows behind Intel Ireland where Intel have been monitoring the water quality since 1989.
Near Louisa Bridge in Leixlip the waters from the Leixlip Spa flow into Rye River. There is also an overflow from the canal. The Rye then flows under the Royal Canal, which is carried in the Leixlip aqueduct almost 100 feet (30m) above. The aqueduct is in fact an earth embankment, which took six years to build in the 1790s.
The Rye then descends into the heart of Leixlip. Here the river was harnessed by mills. In 1758, the site was used as a linen printing mill. Later the Rye Vale distillery was built, producing more than 20,000 gallons of whiskey annually in 1837. The distillery finally closed for good in the 1890s and the distillery has since been converted into apartments. The Rye then flows under the Rye Bridge to the confluence with the Liffey near the existing Boat House of Leixlip demesne.