ESB Moran Award for Outstanding Sculpture

In my last post, I reported that I was delighted that the two sculptures I submitted to the RHA Annual Open Exibition 2018, were both accepted.  “VOID I” and “Paired Impression”.


The week before the opening I was rung up by the RHA, my immediate thought was the “VOID I” had been damaged as it is very delicate but to my relief and utter surprise they were ringing me up to say that I had been awarded with the “ESB Moran Award for Outstanding Sculpture” for VOID I which includes a silver Medal and a cash prize. I was thrilled to be given this award and also to follow Eileen’s (MacDonagh) footsteps who was awarded it the previous year (2017).

Cathy and I went up to the RHA for the Award ceremony on Varnishing day, we were met by Brendan Delany of the ESB, who looked after us very well and told us a bit about the Moran Award.

This prize honours Joe Moran Chief Executive of ESB 1991-1996. Joe has not only made an immense contribution to ESB but to public life in Ireland. Joe was a man who accomplished a great deal by leading by example. He displayed vision, courage and compassion and these qualities continue to mark out successful people in today’s world.

When this Award was presented originally we called it the Connor Moran Award. At that point ESB were holding some of Jerome Connor’s* Sculptures for the Jerome Connor Trust until they were able to find a suitable location for them. In 2013 The Jerome Connor Trust decided that a purpose built exhibition room in the  South Pole Pub in Annascaul would be suitable exhibition space so ESB returned these items for them and these together with a more extensive collection of the sculptor’s work which the Trust had been holding themselves were put on public display. At that point ESB changed the name of the our Award from the Connor Moran Award to ESB Moran Award.

ESB believes that these awards for art and sculpture help profile the importance of visual arts and the contribution they make not only to enhancing the workplace but also to help provide us with a better appreciation of the relevance of art in all its forms in our daily lives.

Brendan introduced us to Kathleen Moran, wife of the late Joe Moran and their daughter Anne Nolan. It was an honour to meet Kathleen and to be presented with the ESB Medal by her at the award ceremony.

Kathleen Moran, Martin Lyttle and Mick O’Dea, President of the RHA – Photo by Chris Bellew (Fennell photography)

I was very honoured to get the Award, it is a great recognition of my work. I want to thank the ESB for supporting the Arts with such a generous Award. Having the Medal is particularly special. Thank you to Brendan, Gerard (from the ESB), Kathleen and Anne for selecting “VOID I” for the award. It was great meeting them all. Thanks also to the RHA for selecting my work.


Thank you to Chris Bellew of Fennell photography, and Cathy for the photos.


I even made the press! The Carlow Nationalist!


  • Jerome Connor 1874-1943 Irish American Sculptor who was an artist of the first rank whose importance has perhaps been inadequately recognised up to now. Born in Kerry in 1874 Connor was a sculptor who divided his career between Ireland and the United States. ESB has been associated with supporting the development of a visitor centre in Annascaul to display this artist’s work and make it more accessible to the public.


4 thoughts on “ESB Moran Award for Outstanding Sculpture

  1. armchair+rsc says:

    Hi Martin, As usual I’m slow to look at my email but have just found yours so (belated) Congratulations! on winning this award. You look very dapper in the photos and I like VOID 1 a lot.

    Cheers!, Willy


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