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Peregrine Falcons Visit Moyross

Artist Name(s) Sean Lynch
Artwork title Peregrine Falcons Visit Moyross

Three specially trained peregrine falcons were introduced to Moyross in March 2008.

The Moyross housing estate was developed between 1973 and 1987 on the edge of Limerick city, comprising of 1,160 houses divided into 12 parks. Although the population has decreased in recent years, it still stands in excess of 4,000 people, 50% of which are under the age of 24. Employment stands at 21%. Last year Limerick City Council announced their vision for the area, intending to demolish the entire estate and rebuild it on a smaller site. Large green areas between individual parks will eventually disappear, places that the city council consider partially responsible for the socially disenfranchised character of the area. This major regeneration programme has yet to begin in earnest.  

In recent years, petrol bomb attacks and various gun-related incidents in Moyross have gained much attention in the Irish media. The archetypal view generated is of a troubled place, with images of boarded-up doorways of derelict houses reproduced frequently in local and national newspapers, portraying the area as 'down and out'. This journalistic impulse has created a haze of oversimplification, refuting and damaging any understanding of community and physical infrastructure of the area to the casual outsider.

With such issues in mind, three specially trained peregrine falcons were introduced to Moyross in March 2008. These birds, the fastest creatures in the world, were once populous around the west of Ireland, before the use of pesticides in the 1960s made them an endangered species. Today they are occasionally seen on cathedral spires or on cliff faces. Residents met the birds at the local community centre, in school, and in the streets, alleyways and garden areas. With an understanding that the falcons might attack one of thirteen local racing pigeon coups, a special timetable for the skies with pigeon owners was agreed, before the falcons took off with miniature video cameras attached to their bodies. Their free flights record the complexity of a place about to disappear under the failed agendas of urban planning.


Radio One's Morning Ireland featured the project and local newspapers highlighted the events.

Public event and a resulting DVD were distributed in the neighbourhood.

A presentation of the video was made in galleries in Dublin, Berlin and Paris.


Sean Lynch was born in Kerry in 1978. He studied history at the University of Limerick and fine art at the Stadelschule in Frankfurt. As an artist, Lynch's practice revolves around investigating a wide range of almost-forgotten historical subjects. His research, photographs and installations disclose and build upon fragile stories and objects, magnifying traces of an often idiosyncratic existence. He has completed solo exhibitions at the Gallery of Photography, Dublin (2008), Context Gallery, Derry (2008), Heaven's Full, London (2008), Galway Arts Centre (2007), Limerick City Gallery of Art (2007), Ritter & Staiff, Frankfurt (2006). He has featured in recent group exhibitions at the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Kunstakademiets Udstilingssted, Copenhagen and Office Baroque, Antwerp. Recently he was awarded the 2009 Banff Residency by the Arts Council, was resident on the Irish Museum of Modern Art's Artist Residency Programme in 2008.  

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Limerick City Council
Commissioning process Limited competition, run in 2005
Project commission dates March 1, 2008 - August 30, 2008
Partners Watchhouse Cross Library/ Moyross Community Centre
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Limerick City Council
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 10000 - 30000 euro
Project commission start date 01/03/2008
Project commission end date 30/08/2008
Location Moyross
County Limerick
Street Address Limerick
Google Map Insert View this projects location
Content contributor(s) Sean Lynch
Relationship to project Artist
Public engagement

Passers-by on the street in Moyross

Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Bird trainers, nature cameramen, falcons