Tadhg McSweeney, Painter

A Film Portrait | Ireland | 2014 | 23 mins | PAL | Colour + B&W | 16:9

An intimate portrait of a unique Irish artist, who continues to find extraordinary beauty in the absolutely ordinary, while illuminating a whole other way of looking at the world around us, in the process.

Winner of The Cork Shorts Award – Cork Film Festival, 2014
“We are delighted to award filmmaker Dónal Ó Céilleachair for the outstanding way in which he captures the talent and spirit of this artist.”  – The Festival Jury


I am sad to share the news that Tadhg McSweeney left us on Wednesday, August 29th, 2018. 

I was privileged to make two films with Tadhg over the years – he also appears in my Irish-language Artist Portrait film From The Land of Múscraí (Ó Dhúthaigh Mhúscraí) – and you could never leave his presence without feeling that you had taken another step further into the multi-faceted labyrinth of this incredible universe of ours; such was the breadth of his vision, so far-reaching was the depth of his ever-inquisitive understanding. 

I will miss those pilgrimages of exploration to his home on Cnoc Sathairn (Saturn Hill). 

Tadhg McSweeney (27 February, 1936 – 29 August, 2018) – Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h’anam.

The Muskerry West Cork Gaeltacht has a legendary reputation for its traditional music and for its poetry. But amongst the community there are also a flourishing and growing number of artists working there, inspired by the magic of the surrounding landscape and it’s cultural heritage.

Described by Con Houlihan as “one of our leading painters”, Tadhg McSweeney was born here in 1936. He is a well-traveled artist – having trained in Dublin, London and in Italy – and he has held solo exhibitions throughout the world; honing and perfecting his craft for over 50 years. But despite the lure of the greater world, Tadhg continues to reside in the area, finding apparently endless inspiration in the natural landscapes and themes of his home surroundings.

Brian Lynch writes ‘The simplicity, the stubbornness, the freshness, and the joy he finds in nature are facets of an ongoing self-portrait, expressions of the soul of an original artistic personality. He is in the tradition of Irish genius, but there is no genius like him. Tadhg McSweeney is unique’.

Fiona Kelleher, Caomhín Ó Raghallaigh
3Triur and Peadar Ó Riada

Special Thanks to:
Bríd McSweeney, Norah Norton, Bríd Cranitch,
Ionad Cultúrtha, Ian McDonagh, The Arts Office of Cork County Council.

Commissioned by The Arts Office of Cork County Council

View Tadhg’s work at