Kildare man praises art therapy for his stunning street creations

Senan Hogan

Reporter:

Senan Hogan

Kildare man praises art therapy for his stunning street art

Pat Munnelly with his St Valentine's Day sculptures in Kildare Town

A man who discovered art while undergoing psychiatric help is responsible for stunning street art in Kildare town and Kilcullen.
Maddenstown resident Pat Munnelly is known for his imaginative and highly original sculptures from every day recycled materials. His work is themed around seasonal occasions such as Halloween, Christmas or St Valentine’s Day.

However around five years ago, Pat suffered two bleeds to his brain and had to undergo psychiatric treatment at the Lakeview unit at Naas Hospital.
Pat said of his health issues: “I got two bleeds to the brain.
“It affected me in a huge way. Things went very wrong after that. I suffered from memory loss and depression ended up trying to take my own life."


Transformed

“I was a patient in Lakeview in Naas for nearly a year. But two fantastic workers in Lakeview introduced me to art and it transformed my life.”
He added: “When I was in Lakeview I was at the bottom of a barrel. I had no hope.
“But here I am five years later and I count myself lucky my street art in Kildare and Kilcullen is being admired and loved by people.”
He added: “It’s like an out of body experience to see people looking at the work and taking selfies with them.
“I sit in the car and watch people’s reactions to the art, especially children who get great wonder out of them.


Talent

Pat credits his mother Betty for his creative talent as she was a dressmaker.
He said: “She made all her own clothes and everyone just took that from granted.
“For my work, the ideas and the creations are just something that comes to me.
“I never know what is going to come out.
“I live through my art now. I’m not a materialistic person. I’m not interested in money. I find it boring.”

Pat, who is based at Conyngham Lodge Stables in Maddenstown in the Curragh where his wife Tracey Collins trains horses, is already planning ahead for creating street art for St Patrick’s Day and the Easter holiday period.