Would it be the case that Pearse employed proper double columns, while Wheatley in the first image just dodgily depicted them as semi-engaged? I'd use the term 'in intercourse' either, but it seems inappropriate.
Otherwise, the theatre of that great room must have been breathtaking, and that's just by modern standards, never mind its impact in a primitive post-medieval city. The exterior forecourt still gives us some taste of the drama, but characteristically, McParland describes it best:
"Its lights and its shadows are those of Rome and Vicenza. Its detail is impeccable, in disposition and execution as well as in its restraint. The scale, a little deceptive from afar, is grand (see how Pearce guaged the depth of the arches) and affirmative when walks between colonnade and wall. It is alive with movement: the simple E-shaped arrangement of columns generates, as one moves, great richment of parallax, and of void and solid. The classical associations of the great stoa are powerful, symbolically and emotionally. This is architecture as 'brilliant, informed, and exact interplayof masses brought together in light'. It is architecture as teatra
. It is a rare moment in Irish, indeed in European, architecture."