In ancient Irish times the rivers of Ireland were worshiped by Irish citizens who believed them to be powerful, protecting the survival of civilisation and the barrier of threat. Many years later, The Irish River Gods were sculpted by Edward Smyth under the guidance of architect James Gandon. These carvings symbolise the principal rivers of Ireland worshiped by our ancestors.

My fascination with the Irish River Gods stem from the intricate detailing they possess. When deciding what to create my eye usually strays towards subjects which I can visually picture as a potential clay sculpture.

My earliest encounter with the River Gods was at a young age seeing Anna Liffey on the back of an Irish Pound note. I began creating the sculptures, gifting them to friends and family as kitchen and garden features. I quickly saw the popularity amongst friends and family, seeing my creations sent to aunts and uncles across the world.

For more information, please contact George Wheeler at george@touchworkceramics.ie

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The Atlantic

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Half a century after the head was made with an enormous importance. Thousands of starving Irish people took to ships to escape the famine.

The Bann

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This river is famous for its eel fishing. People come from all round the world to fish in Lough Neagh.

The Barrow

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The imposing ruin Carlow Castle and monastic centre from the seventh century which joins the Nore and Suir rivers before The Three Sisters meet the sea.

The Blackwater

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With steep wooded banks its route are full of interest. One of Ireland’s great angling rivers, reaching the sea from an old seaport town.

The Boyne

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The legend of Ireland river, its brow revealing its age 1690. The Boyne is associated with Battle of the Boyne and stories that reach back before history.

The Erne

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A lifetime one would spend exploring along this river, salmon, pike, shellfish and all sources of small fish are found here.

The Foyle

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Across the forehead, the date 1689 signifies the Siege of Derry. Lough Foyle a great stretch of water spreads out to the North Sea.

The Lagan

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Shipyards of the Lagan, the birth place of the famous ship, The Titanic. Belfast is where this River meets the sea.

The Lee

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This river flows through the city of County Cork. A deep and lovely lake called Gougane Barra is its source.

The Liffey

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The Liffey provides both electrical power and drinking water for Dublin City. This river holds the only female head and no one knows why.

The Nore

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The river of Kilkenny appears sombre and sleepy. Known for activities such as net fishing, the historic, Kilkenny Castle stands on its banks showing off its medieval features.

The Shannon

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Originating from a small pool in the slops of Cuilcagh Mountain in Co. Cavan, it has become Ireland’s largest river.

The Slaney

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Half of the world’s population of Greenland white geese spend the winter here.

The Suir

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Its source is merely a short distance known as Devils Mountain. Henry II claimed Waterford city when he sailed up the river in 1171.