Shane Cullen, Last Will, 2006

Beaconsfield Edition of 16 ceramosteel plates.

On the 28th of April 1916, during the final bombardment of the rebel headquarters at the General Post Office (G.P.O) Dublin, Michael Joseph O’Rahilly (known as “The O’Rahilly”) was charged with the task of securing an escape route from the building. He and twelve other volunteers charged against the enemy gun emplacements and barricade at the north end of Moore Street in a vain effort to break through the lines. The O’Rahilly sustained a number of gunshot wounds finally taking refuge in a doorway on Sackville Lane now O’Rahilly Parade. While lying in the doorway he removed a letter he had received from his son Egan the previous day from the breast pocket of his tunic and wrote his final communiqué to his wife and family in Herbert Park on the reverse side of the page. It is this text that has been rendered against a background image of the specific British Army barricade in question. The O’Rahilly was the only leader of the 1916 Rebellion to be killed in action.

A transcription of the text reads – “Written after I was shot – Darling Nancy, I was shot leading a rush up Moore Street, took refuge in a doorway. While I was there I heard the men pointing out where I was & I made a bolt for the lane I am in now. I got more (than) one bullet I think. Tons & tons of love dearie to you & to the boys & to Nell & Anna. It was a good fight anyhow. Please deliver this to Nannie O’Rahilly, 40 Herbert Park, Dublin. Good bye darling.”

Six plates have already been purchased prior to release due to popular demand – reflecting interest in Shane Cullen’s work as one of Ireland’s foremost contemporary artists. The edition is a rare and beautiful object and represents a good investment for budding and seasoned collectors. To coincide with this new edition Beaconsfield has joined the Arts Council’s Own Art loan scheme that is designed to make it easy and affordable for everyone to buy original, high quality contemporary art and craft. You can borrow up to £2,000, or as little as £100, to be paid back in equal instalments over a period of 10 months – interest free*.

*Typical 0% APR

The signed numbered plates remaining are: two, four, five, seven, eight, nine, ten, twelve, fifteen and sixteen.
The ceramosteel plates are manufactured to the highest level in Belgium and measure 1.5 x 420 x 297 mm. The artwork is encased in a perspex box to form a protective layer around the ceramic and will increase the measurements of the object to approximately 2.5 x 428 x 305 mm.

Each edition will be packaged with a short D.V.D giving background information on the demise of The O’ Rahilly and his participation in the Easter Rising of 1916. This will also include footage of the ceremony to dedicate a permanent memorial to The O’ Rahilly created by Shane Cullen on the location of his demise in Dublin, April, 2005. Each work will retail at Euro.2,500 (£1728) plus p&p (please contact Beaconsfield for p&p details).

To purchase Last Will, either through Own Art or in one lump sum, please contact Beaconsfield on 020 7582 6465

own art: making art affordableFor further information on the Own Art loan scheme please contact Beaconsfield or go to

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Registered address: Beaconsfield, 22 Newport Street, London, SE11 6AY