PHOTOGRAPHED EASTER WEEKEND 2023
This is Archer II located in Newtownsmith, Sandycove. It was produced by Niall O’Neill as part of the Archer series.
Niall O Neill is an established sculptor, living and working in Wicklow. He has built up a reputation and portfolio in the realm of public art with large scale public sculpture sited around the country from Malahide, Co Dublin to Ballinaboy, Co Mayo.
Newtown Smith (or Newtownsmith) is a seafront area facing into Scotsmans Bay. The name was also previously applied to Islington Avenue until the 1860s. The “Smith” of Newtownsmith is Samuel Smith, who lived at Stoneview House on “Sam Smith’s Road” (Now Lower Glenageary Road) and was the main supplier of granite to the construction of the harbour. He was also a builder and may have been the builder of many of the houses on Newtownsmith.
The houses on Newtownsmith were fully developed by 1860, but at that time they were directly on the rocky foreshore. There was no green area in front of them. By 1908, a strip of infill about 50m wide had been created in front of the houses, presumably as a flood defence.
Over a number of years, then, much of the rocky foreshore was infilled to create sea walls, a promenade walkway, and a park. This work was completed in 1921 and the opening of the park is commemorated in a monument. A spurious postcard was issued sometime around 1930. It purported to show the new promenade. It is clear that the postcard was created by modifying an existing photo. It may have been created from plans for the area – plans which were never executed.