by Jim Stephenson

Desmond Frances Stephenson was an Irish Artist at the threshold of a career as one of Ireland’s highest ranked artists. However he was tragically to be cut off in his prime.

He was the third son of Patrick and Mary “Mamie” Stephenson and was born to his Dublin parents in August 1922, in Stoneybatter where he lived during the early years of his life.

He was one of five sons all of whom were to become highly successful in their chosen careers. The eldest (my father) Patrick was to become an accountant who had a varied and accomplished career in accountancy and personnel and who retired as a director of Shell. Next was Daniel who became Ireland’s most prominent auctioneer, then Desmond, followed by Noel, a very successful insurance specialist. Dan and Noel along with Sam the youngest son ran their own highly successful businesses, Sam of course, being one of Ireland’s most notable architects.

Desmond was only twenty four when he won an Art scholarship which afforded him the opportunity to travel throughout Europe, taking in France, Spain and Italy over a three year period.

Desmond achieved further recognition in Spain and was granted a second scholarship from the Spanish Government. In addition he was elected as a member of the International Association of Artists in Rome during his stay there in 1948.

It was whilst in Rome that Desmond became re-acquainted with Nuala McAllister, herself a very accomplished artist, whom he had met in Dublin when they were students. In February 1958 Desmond and Nuala married in Dublin and went on to have three children, Isobel, David and Susan.

Nuala continued her painting career throughout her life and lived at the family home she and Desmond established in Blackrock Co Dublin until her death in 2010.