Blue Plaque Unveiling – Sir Robert Ponsonby Staples

The sun shone and a light warm breeze played around the old house as Mrs Dolling, the granddaughter of the artist, unveiled the Blue Plaque in his honor. She suggested that he deserved recognition. His first painting exhibited by the Royal Acadamy was of Slieve Gallion and his last, 51 years later, was of a snow scene in County Tyrone. She described him as a man of great imagination and character. She gave a moving and sometimes humourous account of some episodes of his life and times.

Doreen Corcoran, Chairperson of the Ulster History Circle, said how delightful it was to in the lovely heart of Tyrone and to be associated with a plaque which was on a building that was itself significant as well as honouring a famous person. She described Sir Robert as a restless mind seeking to commit what he saw to canvas.

The Chairman of Cookstown District Council, which had funded the Plaque, said how delighted the Council was to be able to help and urged everyone to watch the BBC Programme “Restoration” on Friday 22nd and be sure to vote for Lissan House.

The ceremony was followed by a tour of the house with so many of the Sir Robert’s paintings on display.

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