Portrait, Edward McGuire RHA (1932-1986), 'Dr Michael D. McCarthy'

2 Feb 2021

Painting in oil on canvas, framed, of Dr Michael D. McCarthy (President, University College, Cork, 1967-78).

Ref: UCCHS.Portrait010 © University College Cork

Portrait, Michael D. McCarthy. Edward McGuire RHA, Irish. Oil on canvas. 1977. Signed ‘EM 1977’ on bottom right. University College Cork.

Dr McCarthy (President, 1967-78) is seated wearing the President’s gown, with hands clasped at the front.

Artist: Edward McGuire RHA (1932-26/11/1986)

Provenance: Commissioned by UCC in 1977.


More about the artist

Edward Augustine McGuire was born in 1932 in Dublin, the youngest son of Senator Edward A. and Brigid (née Neary) McGuire. Educated at Downside, he studied art during the 1950s at Florence and the Accademia di Belle Arti, Rome, as well as the Slade School of Art in London. He first exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1962 and became a member in 1978. His awards included the 1974 Festival International de la Peinture, Cagnes sur Mer; 1976 Oireachtas, Douglas Hyde Gold Medal; and 1978 Marten Toonder Award. He was a prolific portraitist for whom many poets, writers and public figures sat. They included Séamus Heaney (1974), Francis Stuart (1975), Seán Ó Faoláin (1978), Ulick O'Connor (1978), James White (1981) and Liam Cosgrave (1982). A member of Aosdána from 1984, McGuire exhibited extensively in Ireland and abroad including He had solo shows at the Dawson Gallery, Dublin (A Recent Painting, 1969); Taylor Galleries, Dublin (1983), and a retrospective at the Royal Hibernian Academy Gallagher Gallery (1991). In addition, he exhibited in such group art shows as: Irish Exhibition of Living Art (1953–71), Royal Hibernian Academy (1962–86), Hendriks Gallery, Dublin (1970), Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art (1971), Ulster Museum, Belfast (1973), Oireachtas (1973–80), Cagnes-sur-Mer 6th International Festival of Painting (1974), Concours pour le Prix de Portrait Paul-Louis Weiller, Academie des Beaux Arts, Paris (1979). A retrospective exhibition, opened by Seamus Heaney, was held after McGuire’s death at the RHA in 1991, which included portraits of Garech Browne, Anthony Cronin, Paul Durcan, Monk Gibbon, Terry Keane, Michael Longley, Seán MacBride, Liam Miller and John Montague. The Irish art critic Brian Fallon has written a biography: Edward McGuire (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1991). McGuire's work is represented in many private and public collections, including in the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, the National Gallery of Ireland, the Ulster Museum, Belfast, at the University of Limerick, and University College Dublin. 

McGuire was married to Sara (Sally) McGuire (d. May 2011). He died on 26 November 1986 at the age of 54.

Read more about Dr M. D. McCarthy here.



Bruce Arnold, ‘A fitting memorial to McGuire’s unique talent’, Irish Independent 4 November 1991, p.9

Patrick Gallagher, ‘The mysterious presence of owls [on the great portraitist Edward McGuire]’, Sunday Independent 3 November 1991, p.31

National Irish Visual Art Library (NIVAL), NCAD. Online at:

Elbha Walmsley, ‘Master portraitist’, Sunday Independent 30 November 1986, p.16

Dorothy Walker, ‘Sailing to Byzantium: the portraits of Edward McGuire’, Irish Arts Review 4:4 (Winter 1987), 21-29

Lawrence William White and Carmel Doyle, 'Edward Augustine McGuire', Dictionary of Irish Biography


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