Initial design of statue to honour Jack Doyle unveiled
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.