1871 – Devitt Memorial, Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin

Irish builder and engineer

“To the already fine specimens of monumental art placed in Glasnevin Cemetery there has recently been added one, a sketch of which we have considered worthy to present our readers with in this issue. It is a Celtic Cross, to the memory of our late fellow citizen, Alderman Richard Devitt, J.P. It has been executed in limestone, from the quarries at Ballyduff, near Tullamore. The blocks are perfect in quality, and remarkably beautiful in appearance. Although the sculpture on this cross is in many parts exceedingly delicate, the stone of which it is composed is of such a durable nature that decay is not to be apprehended. Upon the front, enclosed within the wheel, is the Crucifixion ; at the back, the Sacred Heart and Crown of Thorns. From a base covering a considerable area rise the plinth and pedestal ; upon the latter are four panels with rope mouldings ; above rises the shaft of the cross, and here the cunning pencil of the draftsman and the skilful chisel of the sculptor have expended allthe resources of their respective arts. Designs of the utmost intricacy, adapted from examples found in the “ Book of Kells,” and in O’Neill’s work on “ Irish Crosses,” fill each compartment in infinite variety. Each compartment is in itself a study in Irish art, and in sharpness and clearness the execution of every part does great honour and credit to those who have turned out such workmanship. To Messrs. Fitzpatrick and Molloy the cemetery owe many excellent specimens of monumental art, but none excel the Devitt Cross ; it is as yet their chef-d’ oeuvre.

The striking and imposing appearance which this monument presents may be gathered from a detail of its dimensions. From the base to the apex is 14 ft. 4 in. ; the height of cross with shaft, 10 ft. 2 in. ; the inscription stone is 3ft. wide at base, and 2 ft. 10 in. high ; the shaft at base, 1 ft. 4J in. by 1 ft. 2£ in., diminishing to 1 ft. square at top, the extreme width of which is 3 ft. 9.J in. ; the outer diameter of the circular ring is 3 ft. 1 in.” The Irish Builder, February 1 1872