Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Commission | 0 comments

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Irish Sculptor, Noel Hoare, designs Battle of Clontarf Commemorative Gold Coin

  • The Battle of Clontarf Commemorative Gold Coin 1014 – 2014 : Designed by Artist and Sculptor Noel Hoare and launched by Minister Brian Hayes in the National Museum of Ireland, Kildare Street.

Not many Irish Artists can boast of winning public commissions for one of the largest and for one of the smallest artworks in the Irish state.

Noel Hoare can! Last week, the artist spoke at the launch of the Central Bank’s latest commemorative coin – The Brian Ború: Battle of Clontarf 1014-2014, €20 Gold Proof, limited edition coin, which was designed by Noel. In his speech he contrasted his struggle with craving the largest known (3metres by 3metres) piece of solid Granite for the Beaumont Hospital campus in the early 1980’s, with designing a coin only 11 millimetres in diameter.

Noel Hoare A.N.C.A., Hons A.T.C. is an established Irish artist with over forty years of experience in the Arts in Ireland. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally. At home he has been active as a member of the Independent Artists’ Group and a founder member of the Sculptors’ Society of Ireland, now part of the Irish Visual Artists.  Among his public commissions are the Beaumont Hospital SculptureThomond Gate Sculpture, Limerick, Sunflower Pins on the M50 motorway and the Grange Road, Raheny Sculpture.

Commenting on his design, Noel Hoare said: “I find the Greek period to the middle ages interesting for their sculptural qualities. Inspired by these coins, I sculpted an angled view of Brian Ború’s head. To achieve the sculptural effect I decided to carve these in low relief. The natural quality of the pale limestone lends itself to reproduce the sculptural quality of the coins I admire.”

The exquisite gold coin measures just 11mm in diameter and depicts a striking head of Brian Ború with a majestic flowing beard. Go to to view the coin*.

The original relief, on which the coin is based, is approximately 75cm by 75cm and is a highly appealing piece. Displayed in pride of place on the evening of its launch in the National Museum, the relief looked at home in its surroundings.

It is a testament to Noel’s skill as a sculptor that his work is highly effective in both the large and smaller scale. Over the past two decades his sculpture has evolved from deceptively simple organic forms towards work influenced by early Christian Romanesque Irish and European sculpture.

To view more artworks and information about Noel Hoare please visit



For further information contact:
Niamh Hoare, BA Fine Art MA. History of Art, : Agent for Noel Hoare:

The launch was hosted by the National Museum’s Director and launched by Minister Brian Hayes. The Director of the Central Bank, Fiona Muldoone spoke giving a comprehensive background to the history of the period, as did Conor O’Brien, Lord Inchiquin, the 32nd grandson Of Brian Ború. Who explained how he placed the coin on the altar of Armagh Cathedral, just as his ancestor had done a 1,000 years ago. Others in attendance were representatives from the Mint, the Danish Ambassador and members of the respective Boards.

Noel Hoare A.N.C.A., Hons A.T.C. is a consummate stone and wood carver. He graduated from the National College of Art in 1965, having studied sculpture under Donal Murphy. Over the following years he built a reputation for creating bold abstract organic forms in native wood and stone. In the 1970’s he had a series of one man shows in the Project and Neptune galleries. These consolidated his reputation and brought him acclaim from notable critics such as Brian Fallon and Bruce Arnold. At the same time he was invited to join the Independent Artists Group and for the next twenty years exhibited at their annual shows.

In the Independents he was drawn to like-minded and fiercely dedicated sculptors like James McKenna and Cliondhna Cussen. They shared the view that Irish Sculpture had been over looked in favour of painting in Ireland. Out of this sub-set of the Independents grew the Sculpture Group and the first Irish Sculpture Symposium (at Rothe House in Kilkenny).   The formation of the Sculptors Society of Ireland followed. And is now part the professional body that represents Irish artists – the IrishVisual Artists.

Many of his other sculptures have found a home in private collections at home and abroad. Numerous private collectors own his work, including the late Charles Haughey, former Taoiseach, who commissioned Noel to do his family coat of arms.

His latest commission, to design The Battle of Clontarf Commemorative Gold Coin 1014 – 2014 for the Central Bank of Ireland, is his smallest work to date. The exquisite gold coin measures just 11mm in diameter and depicts a striking head of Brian Ború with a majestic flowing beard. Go to to view the coin.




Sinéad Fennell, MPRII, MEIC
Fennell Communications Limited
Telephone: 00 353 86 607 5266
Twitter: @SineadFennell