The Stations of The Cross Artist: Gabriel Hayes- 1909-1978

Gabriel carved two sets of Stations of the Cross, one at the at the start of her career, the second more than twenty years later. In 1934 at the age of 25, she was commissioned by the Irish Sisters of Charity to carve the stations for a small oratory in Harold's Cross.

These are carved in low relief white plaster, showing a close up of the characters depicted. These were well received by the art critics but were later coloured as the Sisters "felt this was necessary as a concession to the need and expectations of the average worshipper"

Shortly after this she was commissioned to carve panels for the Industry and Commerce building on Kildare Street. The two heads, Erin and St Brendan were carved in situ, some 76 feet above the ground. Other public works include The Madonna on the roof at Merchants Quay and a group statue of the three Graces on College at Cathal Bruga Street in Dublin.

Shortly before her death Bishop Browne of Galway asked her to carve life sized stations for the Cathedral and these were completed just a year before she died.

Shortly before she died she was awarded the Oireachtais Gold medal for a wooden sculpture of "Grainne Mhaol looking out to sea", the last of many distinctions won in the field of sculpture during her life

The "Harold's Cross" stations were to find their way to St Jude's Church through the intercession of a lady called Molly Campbell. Molly was the President of the Sodality of Our Lady at Harold's Cross-. This Sodality founded in 1860 flourished for many years until 1997. In October each year a reunion was held to honour the golden and diamond jubilarians. Holy Mass was celebrated in the Oratory and afterwards the sodalists gathered in on e of the rooms in the convent specially decorated for the occasion. One table was reserved for the jubilarians, each of whom was presented with a gift to mark the special day. The catering section provided a most enjoyable meal, and a beautiful iced cake graced the jubilarians table. For many years Mrs Molly Campbell baked and iced the jubilarians cake and provided many other delicious confections.

Before the final closing of the Oratory it was necessary to dispose of all its contents. The Stations of the Cross-the work of the late Gabrielle Hayes were quite valuable, and therefore her relatives were contacted and the Stations offered to them. They very kindly stated that the y would wish the sodality to dispose of them Molly arranged for them to be given to St Jude's Church in Templeogue. She arranged for them to be cleaned and restored to their original colour before they were transferred to the newly formed parish.

I Jesus is condemned to death II Jesus receives the cross III Jesus falls the first time
IV Jesus meets His Mother V Simon of Cyrene carries the cross VI Veronica wipes Jesus' face with her veil
VII Jesus falls the second time VIII Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem IX Jesus falls the third time
X Jesus is stripped of His garments XI Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross XII Jesus dies on the cross
XIII Jesus' body is removed from the cross (Pieta) XIV Jesus is laid in the tomb