It's cast in stone: Padraic faces permanent exileOctober 19, 2012 - 7:15am
By DENISE McNAMARA
Galway’s most iconic statue is to remain consigned forever to the foyer of a museum instead of taking pride of place in the city’s most eminent square if Council officials get their way.
Plans for a replica statue of Pádraic Ó Conaire have been all but shelved after the Director of Services for Economic Planning, HR, Corporate Services and Community and Culture, Tom Connell, said the estimated cost of €45,000 of a bronze copy and groundworks was prohibitive. The bronze statue quoted in limestone would cost €35,000 and groundworks €10,000.
Instead, he recommended that a plaque be placed at the site where the famous Galway writer once sat, directing visitors to the city museum where the original statue is now safely ensconced. This would cost €5,000.
Mr Connell said other than the financial aspect, it would be confusing for tourists to have two statues of Pádraic Ó Conaire, one at Eyre Square and one in the museum.
“I would like to state that from a culture viewpoint, the current location of the statue of Pádraic Ó Conaire in the city museum has proved to be a tremendous success. It is estimated that over 120,000 visitors will have passed through the city museum by the end of the current year and the comments received on the exhibitions have been extremely positive,” he remarked.
But Cllr Catherine Connolly lambasted the decision by City Hall to confine the statue to the museum, saying it was an insult to his memory and undermined the significant contribution made by him to modern Irish literature.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.