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Mary McSweeneyMary McSweeney and a host of Irish and Irish-Americans were honored at the 2018 iBAM! Awards in Chicago with the Killarney native being honoured for visual arts.

The gala arts awards dinner, which takes place annually in Chicago, also honored Fionnula Flanagan for performing arts, Maura O'Connell for music, Mike Leonard for media/journalism and Marian Keyes for literature. Previous winners include Robert Ballaght, Brendan Gleeson, Tim Pat Coogan, Stephen Rea, Phil Coulter, Maeve Binchy, Gabriel Byrne and Frank McCourt.

Welcome to my Ireland. Born and raised in Killarney, I have sketched and painted the familiar surroundings of my homeland... Ross Castle, Achill Island, the Gap of Dunloe, the Cliffs of Moher, The Donegal Coastline, Glendalough, Croagh Patrick, Blarney Castle, the Carrig Aonar...ever since I was a child.

After completing my formal art training at the Cork College of Art and Design, I began to paint professionally the beautiful landscape, the simple events and the everyday people that is the true Emerald Isle. Whether it's my mother's house nestled in the hills or my sons Kerry and Daniel playing on the beach or an old man walking through the meadow, or simply the places and the people that I see, I know I have to paint them, to preserve them on canvas, to capture the essence that is Ireland.

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I live in The United Sates now and I return to Ireland frequently to sketch and paint. All of my paintings reflect a love of my homeland and respect for my country-men and women. All of us who are Irish or simply love Ireland are bound together by that love for this land of soft green hills and valleys, of windswept rocky coastlines, and for the welcoming smoke that rises from the hearth of an Irish home.

Since I paint with oils, the realism of what I see can be captured by my brush, and my fond familiarity of the subject breathes life into the painting.

I hope you enjoy my paintings. Each one is uniquely Irish and I'm happy to be able to share them with you.

Mary McSweeney

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