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Doireann Ní Ghrioghair’s installation Declaration of the State Metropolis at Tara draws on the historical figure of the architect Daithí Ó hÁinle.
Ó hÁinle's 1942 manifesto for the Irish fascist organisation Ailtirí na hAiséirghe (Architects of the Resurrection), entitled “Maoidheamh ar Árd-Cathair Stáit I dTeamhair (Declaration of the State Metropolis at Tara),” proposed the relocation of the capital to Tara as part of their programme for an united Ireland. In their vision, emigration and the speaking of the English language would be banned and women would be encouraged to produce offspring for an Irish army. Ó hÁinle’s proposal also included plans for buildings such as a “National Avenue”, a stadium, “A Garden of Heroes” and a “Column of the Resurrection,” while, later, in his career, he would work as an architect for Dublin City Council, as well as designing the Garden of Remembrance and the Basilica at Knock.
Ní Ghrioghair’s project comprises architectural 3-D printed models and vinyl text that explores what the buildings in his dystopian city might have looked like, including a cathedral based on Ó hÁinle’s church in Knock, residences reflecting his designs for Dublin Corporation Housing in the 1960s, and a City Hall influenced by the Palazzo di Civiltà Italiana in Mussolini-era Rome. Each model is accompanied by extracts from “Maoidheamh ar Árd-Cathair Stáit I dTeamhair,” interrogating nationalism’s potential to normalise racist, right-wing ideology, and offering a reminder of this