July 23, 2018 Back to all news


A collaboration of stunning illustrations to celebrate the history of well-known Irish surnames is now on display at the South Gates boarding area at Dublin Airport. 

This unique exhibition, which is called ‘All in a Name’, showcases seven real-life people and describes some of the history associated with their popular surnames dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. The myths and legends linked to the O’Donnell’s of Donegal, the Byrne’s of Dublin, the O’Carroll’s in Tipperary, the Kelly’s in Galway, the McCarthy’s in Kerry, Burke’s of Mayo and Murphy’s in Wexford are presented on these beautiful canvases.  

“Dublin Airport provides the first welcome and last goodbye to the island of Ireland for tens of millions of people every year,” according to Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison. “It is estimated that up to 80 million people around the world have Irish surnames, however the myths and legends associated with them are not known. This exhibition at the South Gates provides passengers with a unique opportunity to experience another dimension to our rich history and create a lasting impression of Ireland for departing passengers,” he added.

The ‘All in a Name’ exhibition is one of seven installations throughout both terminals which form part of Dublin Airport’s Sense of Place Visual Environment Project.  The purpose of the project is to present passengers with a sense of Ireland’s culture and history throughout the airport.

The exhibition concept and art direction was collaborated by Brighter than the Sun, Image Now and Dublin Airport.  Participants were photographed by Trevor Hart while historians Fiona Fitzsimons and Paul McCotter-Eneclann compiled the surname history narrative.

Other installations in the ‘Sense of Place’ series include Vibrant Irish Light, an eye-catching spectrum of rainbow colours located on the passenger journey between Terminals 1 and 2; the ‘Irish Wildlife’ exhibit in the bus lounges in Pier 2 details the wildlife featured in Irish mythology and wildlife, with a selected narrative complementing the illustrated backdrop; a taste of the life and works of Brendan Behan and Eileen Gray in mural form in Pier 2 and the story of the Southern Cross – the first aircraft to successfully fly east to west across the Atlantic that took off from Portmarnock Beach in 1939.

Dublin Airport’s newest boarding area the South Gates, which is used mainly by Aer Lingus for flights to the UK and continental Europe, has five boarding gates serving nine aircraft parking stands.

So far this year, almost 14.7 million passengers have travelled through Dublin Airport, a 6% increase compared to the first six months of last year.

Dublin Airport has welcomed an additional 855,000 passengers between January and June.

This summer season Dublin Airport has flights to 195 destinations in 42 countries, operated by 56 airlines.

Image above: Steven O'Carroll and Kate-Ann Kelly are part of the 'All in a Name' exhibition at Dublin Airport's South Gates boarding area.