NGI Celebrates London Olympics 2012

James Hanley, 'Ronnie Delany (1935-), Sportsman', 2000. NGI.4684. 

Press Release: July 2012


To mark the occasion of the London Olympics 2012 (opening today, Friday 27 July), the National Gallery of Ireland has placed on public display, James Hanley’s portrait of sportsman, Ronnie Delany, who won gold for Ireland with his record win in the 1500m at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956.

Ronnie Delany became the youngest and only the seventh man in history to run a mile in under four minutes before winning gold for Ireland at the Melbourne Olympics 1956. He set three world records for the indoor mile and won 40 consecutive indoor races between 1955 and 1959. James Hanley presents Delany as a figure with an enduring physical presence and athletic deportment, and includes in the background pictorial references to the sitter’s outstanding career.

James Hanley RHA studied fine art at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), having already completed a degree in English and History of Art at University College Dublin. He has become an established portrait artist and has shown work around Ireland and abroad. He has paintings in both public and private collections, among them the NGI, IMMA and the European Parliament.

Jack Yeats’s Olympic Silver Medal which was awarded him in 1924 for ‘The Liffey Swim’ will be included in a display of photographic and archive material which will be available to view from next Tuesday (31 July).

The Ronnie Delany portrait and Jack Yeats’s Olympic medal will be on view in the Millennium Wing of the Gallery for the duration of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. 


Admission is free to the permanent collection and associated exhibitions.

The National Gallery of Ireland is open 7-days. Entrance is via the Millennium Wing at Clare Street, Dublin 2.