Commemorative Tower to the Hobblers

Artist Name(s) Fiona Mulholland
Artwork title Commemorative Tower to the Hobblers
Context/Background To celebrate the completion of the harbour’s new marina, the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company commissioned Mulholland to create a large scale public sculpture. The artwork is in recognition of the perilous work the Hobbling Community once performed in guiding incoming vessels safely into the port of Dún Laoghaire and assisting mooring right up to the 1930s. Hobbling is described in the Oxford Dictionary as ‘unlicensed pilotage’. Hobbling is an old occupation and in all probability goes back to the early decades of the 19th Century when Hutchinson was made Harbour Master of the New Royal Harbour of Kingstown. By the 1940's it had died out as an occupation.

The sculpture comprises 64 life-size cast bronze lifejackets, configured as a tower. Base-mounted spot-lighting illuminates the tower at night. The theme for this art work is derived from a familiar maritime symbol and a metaphor for human insecurity and survival. The tower memorialises the tragic deaths of numerous hobblers, while acting as a signifier of general human mortality.


A comprehensive, historical overview of Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company's development is presented in: ‘Dun Laoghaire Harbour Heritage Management Plan’, compiled by Shaffrey Associates Architects in 2011


Fiona Mulholland was born in France in 1969. She completed a B.Des (1st class Hons) at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin (1989-83) and a M.A from  Royal College of Art, London (1996-98).

Selected solo/group exhibitions and commissions:

Art practice and project documentation:

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company
Commissioning process Two stage competition
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co. Council
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 10000 - 30000 euro
Project commission end date 01/12/2002
Location East Marina Breakwater
County Dublin
Town Dún Laoghaire
Street Address Dún Laoghaire Harbour
Content contributor(s) Web Editor
Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Project co-ordinated by Visual Artists’ Ireland

Fabrication - CAST Ltd.



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