The stunning Bean Ui Cinneide painting of Charleville Castle was one of the first pieces of art to be donated to the Lions Club fundraising Art Auction organised by Tullamore Lions Club for Esker Arts Centre. Pictured with the painting are: (l to r); David Cleary, John Lyons, Tullamore Lions Club, Sean Walsh, Artistic Director Esker Arts Centre, Gerry Walsh, Tullamore Lions Club, Des Doyle Chairman of Tullamore Community Arts Centre and Frank Reilly, Tullamore Lions Club.

Charleville Castle painting returns to original home

A stunning painting of Charleville Castle which was displayed in the lobby of the Bridge House Hotel for over a quarter of a century, has returned to its original home after it was purchased by the current owners of the hotel at a fundraising art auction for the new Esker Arts Centre on Friday night last.

The 173cm x 142cm painting was commissioned by the former owner of the Bridge House Hotel and well-known Midlands businessman, Christy Maye, during the 1970's from a very highly-regarded Tullamore artist, Bean Ui Cinneide, who was affectionately known as 'Boni.'

The painting was one of 52 lots to be offered for auction as part of a trio of fundraising events for Esker Arts Centre which was organised by Tullamore Lions Club, and included a monster raffle and a Gala Concert in the new facility on Friday night.

Well-known Kilbeggan auctioneer, Paddy Dunican, conducted a highly-energetic and entertaining live auction of a number of paintings at the interval of the Gala Concert, which was also simultaneously broadcast online.

The Charleville Castle painting attracted a great deal of interest prior to the live auction, and there were a number of enthusiastic bidders on the night. The iconic painting was eventually sold to Pat Leneghan, who is the current owner of the Bridge House Hotel, for €2,500 and he intends to return the painting to its original home.

The painting attracted the second highest bid at the live art auction, with the top bid going to celebrated local artist, Vincent Devine, for a bespoke artistic commission which sold for a whopping €3,500.

Bean Ui Cinneide, who was the artist behind the Charleville Castle painting which was beloved of all visitors to the Bridge House, was the wife of a local solicitor in Tullamore and was best known for painting the landscapes around her beloved Tullamore.

Although Mrs. Kenneth Kennedy was not professionally trained, she exhibited in the Dublin Painter's Gallery in 1959, and her signature paintings were much sought after by collectors both at home and abroad. She passed away in 1992.