Sourced from

Tulach a'tSolais

Artist Name(s) Michael Warren
Artwork title Tulach a'tSolais
Context/Background This contemporary monument was built to commemorate the bicentenary of the 1798 rebellion by the Irish against English rule which took place at Oulart Hill in Co Wexford. The uprising led to the establishment of the fledgling Wexford Republic, which was later defeated in a battle at Vinegar Hill on June 21st (the summer solstice). The monument’s Irish name, Tulach a’tSolais, means “Mound of Light”. The construction of a ‘tulach’ or ‘burial mound’, as a place of connection between the world of the living and the ‘other world’, was common in ancient Ireland. White concrete was chosen for this ‘pallor of death’, illuminated by the ‘light of resurrection’. "We wanted a basic monolithic material of strength and nobility with which to create a modern Stonehenge."  Ronnie Tallon.

Tulach a'tSolais is a major land-art installation in Co Wexford. It consists of a large grassy mound, bisected by a deep open passage, which creates a bright chasm of light. The chamber is lined with concrete panels and paved with granite slabs. Inside are two horizontal sculptures designed by Michael Warren, made of curving planes of 200 years old Irish oak.

Though it is designed to attract maximum light (solas) in midsummer, the passage is actually brightly illuminated by the sun every day between the two solstices from March 21st to September 21st each year. This light represents the light of democracy and republicanism, banishing the darkness of feudalism and monarchy.


Filmmaker Siobhan Perry made a short film about the artwork, "Buried in Light" in 2012:

The former RTE's Arts Programme 'Cursaí Ealaíne' interviewed Michael Warren and covered the installation, see here

In 2001, Tulach a’ tSolais was nominated for the Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona Architecture Award, Spain


Michael Warren is an Irish sculptor who was born in 1950 in Gorey, County Wexford.

Educated at St Columba’s College, Bath Academy of Art, and Trinity College, Dublin, he subsequently completed his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Milano, Italy, in 1975. Over the past thirty years he has created challenging, outdoor public sculptures in England, France, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Morocco, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Taiwan, USA and the French West Indies. 

Well known pieces by Warren in Ireland can be found in the front lawns at IMMA in Kilmainham, and outside the Civic Offices in Woodquay.

His work is informed by a profound love of material, along with a passion for history, literature and philosophy. Warren was elected to membership of Aosdána in 1981, the Royal Hibernian Academy in 2008 and was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland in 2012. He lives and works in Wexford and is represented by Hillsboro Fine Art, Dublin.

Dr Ronald Tallon is one of the leading architects in Ireland and his firm, Scott Tallon Walker has won many awards for its work, including the prestigious Royal Gold Medal awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Tallon has previously received awards such as the Triennial Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, and the Medal for Housing. He was awarded a Papal Knighthood for designing and organising the Phoenix Park setting for the Mass by Pope John Paul II in 1979. In 1990 he was conferred with a Doctorate of Laws (Honoris Causa) for his contribution to Architecture, by University College Dublin.



Commission Type OPW
Commissioner Name Tulach a' tSolais Committee Co. Wexford
Commissioning process OPW invited commission
Artform Visual Arts,Architecture
Funded By Department of the Taoiseach
Budget Range 250000 + euro
Project commission end date 01/01/2000
Location Oulart Hill, near Gorey, Co Wexford
County Wexfor
Town Oulart
Content contributor(s) Web editor
Relationship to project
Public engagement

 Tulach a tSolais is open to the public





Associated professionals / Specialists involved


The ‘Tulach a’ tSolais Committee’, chaired by historian Brian Cleary, who co-ordinated fundraising and other matters connected with the realization of the monument.

History Ireland researched and compiled the historical context of the project.

The Irish Millennium Commission

Scott Tallon Walker Architects