NIALL O’NEILL’S ARCHER II – NEWTOWNSMITH AREA OF DUN LAOGHAIRE
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.
Newtownsmith [I have seen it spelled as Newtown Smith] is part of the current seafront area facing out to Scotsmans Bay in Dun Laoghaire. The name was also previously applied to Islington Avenue until the 1860s.
The “Smith” of Newtownsmith was Samuel Smith, who lived at Stoneview House on “Sam Smith’s Road” [ now named Lower Glenageary Road] and was the main supplier of granite for the construction of the Dun Laoghaire harbour. He was also a builder and it is believed that he built some of the homes in Newtownsmith.
The houses on Newtownsmith were fully developed by 1860, but at that time they were directly on the rocky foreshore and there was no green space or parkland in front of them.
By 1908, a strip of infill about 50m wide had been created in front of the houses as a flood defence.
The rocky foreshore was infilled to create sea walls, a promenade walkway, and a park and the work was completed in 1921 and the opening of the park is commemorated by a monument.