When James Gandon was commissioned to design the custom house, he approached Edward Smyth a relatively unknown sculpture and asked him to design a head depicting each of the fourteen major rivers of Ireland.
He designed them based on traditional classical motifs and incorporated the principal features of the counties through which they flowed into their crowns. He worked on them during the 1780s and finished them in 1786.*
* The River gods by Micheal Scott
Dublin-A City defined by it’s Sculptures.