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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 21 August, 2019

That iconic photo of Michael D at Slane has been turned into a class illustration

With a variety of coloured shirts too.


The Slane line-up was In Tua Nua, UB40, Carlos Santana and headliner Bob Dylan.

Future President Michael D Higgins was in the crowd – soaking up the sun, with his shirt unbuttoned nearly all the way down.

And it was that afternoon when this iconic photo was taken

mick4 Source:


It surfaced on the official website back in 2015 and it became an instant classic of the Michael D genre.

So much so that Dublin-based artist Rachel Grimes decided she had to turn it into an illustration – and this was the result

mick1 Source: Rachel Grimes

Speaking to, Rachel described why this particular photo appealed:

I really admire Michael D as he is much more than your average president, and clearly loves Ireland so much. He so often appears in unexpected and iconic photos, which provide a quirky insight into his personality.

His festival look is on trend, too:

It was taken in 1984, which happens to be the year I was born. I like this photo because, not only is his festival look on trend, but you can tell he is really loving life! So I had to draw it, making a replica in black ink.

Given the photo is black and white, we don’t know exactly what colour his clothes were that day – so Rachel speculated

mick2 Source: Rachel Grimes

Looks good.

And covered all the bases:

“Whilst in the process, I was wondering what colour his shirt actually would have been, so I came up with a few colourful variations.”

mick3 Source: Rachel Grimes

Thumbs up on the shades.

She sells her work as A2 and A3 prints as well as in greeting card form – just in case you need to give the gift of Slane-era Michael D.

It’s part of a “drawing Irish icons” series she’s working on – with Conor McGregor up next



Although you could probably get a whole series out of just Michael D.

The BMX shot next, please.

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More Michael D chatting to a man with a budgie on his shoulder is one of the great Galway photos>

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About the author:

David Elkin

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