“To Thee Do We Send Up Our Sighs”

Documenting Twentieth-Century Marian Shrines in the Republic of Ireland


  • Eve Campbell Independent Researcher




Catholicism, gender, Ireland, nationalism, Virgin Mary


Public Marian shrines are a ubiquitous element of rural and urban landscapes in the Republic of Ireland. Largely dating from the mid-twentieth century, the monuments formed part of a broader process of reconfiguring the Irish landscape in the post-Independence period. In this photo essay I explore the monuments, reflecting on how they served to articulate restrictive gender norms influenced by nationalist discourse and Catholic teaching. I also look at contemporary material practices associated with the shrines and their role in more vernacular forms of Marian devotion outside the tightly regulated space of the Catholic Church.


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Author Biography

Eve Campbell, Independent Researcher

Eve Campbell is a field archaeologist based in the west of Ireland.


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How to Cite

Campbell, E. (2020). “To Thee Do We Send Up Our Sighs”: Documenting Twentieth-Century Marian Shrines in the Republic of Ireland. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 7(1), 95–111. https://doi.org/10.1558/jca.37704



Visual Archaeologies