1846 - 1921
Pat McAuliffe's most famous
work, the Maid of Erin.
Pat McAuliffe (1846-1921) lived and worked in Listowel as a builder and plasterer. His wonderfully detailed shop and house facades are an eclectic mixture of classical, art nouveau, Celtic and Byzantine influences. They are important examples of the late 19th century pan-European quest for a national style. Traces of his work can also be found on other buildings in Listowel and the surrounding region.
A distinctive feature of the streets of Listowel is the colour and variety of its shop front designs, the work of Pat McAuliffe. Most famous is The Maid of Erin in The Square. The Maid of Erin depicts a Romantic image of Mother Ireland surrounded by a harp, a wolfhound and other symbols of Eire.
Other examples of Pat McAuliffe's work can be seen on shopfronts around the town, notably Mai Quinlan's and The Harp and Lion in Church Street, and also in Castleisland and Abbeyfeale. The Maid was at the centre of a controversy in 1999 when a new owner decided to "cover her dignity" and painted a dress on her famous bosom. A lively debate ensued and he was persuaded to return her to her original semi-nude state.
Harp and Lion
Harp and lion closeup
Plaque on Maid of Erin
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Pat McAuliffe - Craftsman
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This page last updated 28 June 2009
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