Desmond Kinney was born in Portstewart in 1934, attending Methodist College in Belfast and then the Belfast College of Art. In 1962 he started a successful graphic design studio called Kinney Dobson with Ralph Dobson. Kinney is best known for his revival of the technique of working with mosaics through the various large scale murals he has worked on, many of which can be found in Dublin. With the majority focused on Irish Legends, these include the mosaic mural at the Irish Life Centre on Abbey Street, Dublin and two large mosaics outside the Concert Hall in Limerick University.
In the 1980’s he focused on illustrated calligraphy, working on Seamus Heaney’s translation Sweeney Astray, and in the 1990’s he produced a number of paintings based on his childhood in the Irish countryside. Kinney has exhibited across Ireland, London and the US.