Cork artist honours nurses with a powerful painting outside CUH

Cork artist honours nurses with a powerful painting outside CUH
Cork artist Kevin O'Brien's tribute to Cork nurses painted on an ESB box outside CUH.

"Thanks for the courage to care" - that's the message from artist Kevin O'Brien to Cork nurses for the trojan work they are doing in the fight against Covid-19.

The powerful words feature on the painting done on an electrical box outside Cork University Hospital which Kevin completed over the weekend.

Kevin, who is a co-founder of volunteer art group Mad About Cork, said he was keen to paint the electrical box for quite some time.

"I've been wanting to paint that box for a long time even before Covid-19. 

"It's in a great location right outside CUH and I always thought it would be good to put a bit of colour there for people coming and going from the hospital," Kevin told The Echo.  

"I suppose with all that's been happening then over the last few months it became the perfect spot to honour the nurses who've been caring for people throughout this emergency," he continued.

Humble about his efforts to pay homage to healthcare staff, Kevin said the painting is a small gesture of thanks. 

"I read a few articles where nurses described their experiences of working in a pandemic. 

"It was heartbreaking to hear stories of sick people having to be separated from their families - especially children and the elderly with underlying conditions, but it's inspiring to know that these men and women got up every day to go into work to care for people despite any fear or anxiety they might have had for their own health and that of their families. 

"The painting is just a small token of appreciation that I hope people can get behind," he said.

The piece has garnered significant attention online, including from Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy, who lauded it as a "fabulous creative piece".

"There was already a positive response from people passing by as I was painting it and on social media afterwards. "I hope as well that it will still be there in a few years as a reminder of the great work nurses do, not just during a pandemic but whenever we or our loved ones need care," Kevin said. 

Kevin has previously honoured Cork legends including sculptor, Seamus Murphy, writer, professor and former President of Brian Dillion's GAA, Daniel Corkery and tenor and hurler Paul O'Leary on electrical box paintings dotted around Cork. 

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