Ini­tial de­sign of statue to hon­our Jack Doyle un­veiled

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Seán O’Riordan

This is an ini­tial de­sign of a statue to com­mem­o­rate Cobh’s great­est son, boxer and film ac­tor Jack Doyle.

A spe­cial com­mit­tee set up to carry out the project has cho­sen the pro­posed de­sign by artist Mick Wilkins, who con­trib­uted art­work for the 1916 com­mem­o­ra­tions in Cobh and on South Mall, Cork.

He also pro­vided sculp­tures at Elizabeth Fort in the city’s Bar­rack Street.

The de­sign was wel­comed by mem­bers of the Cobh/ Glan­mire mu­nic­i­pal district coun­cil when pre­sented by Cllr Diar­maid O’Cadhla, one of the first peo­ple to pro­pose Doyle be­ing hon­oured in his home­town. It planned to place the sculp e on the south east cor­ner of Cobh’s Pearse Square, close to the BMC shop.

It rep­re­sents Doyle in a seated po­si­tion on a bench with his boxing gloves.

“The fin­ished sculp­ture is ex­pected to be hugely pop­u­lar, not just for lo­cals but es­pe­cially for vis­it­ing tourists,” Jack Doyle Statue Com­mit­tee chair­man Colin Barry said.

Cllr O’Cadhla said the mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil would work with the com­mit­tee to aid the plan­ning ap­plica ion and would also help fi­nan­cially.

Mu­nic­i­pal district of­fi­cer Paraic Lynch said he would ar­range a meet­ing shortly, between coun­cil of­fi­cials and mem­bers of the com­mit­tee to dis­cuss the finer de­tails. Cllr O’Cadhla said it was hoped to have the statue in situ by the year-end. He be­lieves the de­sign will be slightly al­tered, with an arm out­stretched over a rail al­low­ing peo­ple to sit and have a pho­to­graph taken.

Cllr Kieran McCarthy said he also thought the ad­di­tion of the statue was a great idea.

One was re­cently erected in the town to its most fa­mous daugh­ter, ath­lete So­nia O’Sul­li­van. “I didn’t know Jack Doyle, but I at­tended his funeral. I knew his bro her though,” Cllr McCarthy said.

Doyle, in ad­di­tion to be­ing a for­mi­da­ble boxer who fought for the world heavy­weight ti­tle, was a fine singer who made 78 records with Decca and starred in two Hol­ly­wood movies.

Later in life, how­ever, he fell on hard times and drank much more than was good for him.

He died in Lon­don in 1978, at St Mary’s Hos­pi­tal in Padding­ton. It looked as though he would be buried in Britain un­til two Cobh peo­ple, in par­tic­u­lar, or­gan­ised for his body to be brought to his home­town for a fi­nal rest­ing place.

The ini­tial de­sign of a pro­posed statue of boxer Jack Doyle.

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