Fears for miss­ing bronze sculp­ture

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS - By JES­SICA FARRY

THE Drum­cliffe com­mu­nity is fear­ful for what might be­come of the miss­ing bronze sculp­ture which was taken from out­side Drum­cliffe church some time in the last two weeks.

It forms part of a larger piece dis­play­ing the poem “He wishes for the cloths of heaven” by the renowned Ir­ish poet, which is si­t­u­ated in the car park at Drum­cliffe Church.

The sculp­ture has not yet been found, but a num­ber of leads are be­ing fol­lowed.

Jar­lath Gantly, spokesper­son for the Drum­cliffe De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion told The Sligo Cham­pion: “We have had good leads from mem­bers of the pub­lic.

“We ini­tially thought that the sculp­ture had gone miss­ing on Fri­day or Satur­day be­cause it was only no­ticed on Sun­day evening.

“We re­ceived a re­port from a mem­ber of the pub­lic that there were two vans in the area act­ing sus­pi­ciously. Two vans were seen in the car park around 1am on Wed­nes­day night,” he said.

He added: “The lo­ca­tion of the piece is sort of hid­den. It’s in the car-park tucked away in the cor­ner so it’s not some­thing that peo­ple might no­tice straight away.

“One of the prob­lems is that we can’t iden­tify ex­actly when it was taken. There was no an­cil­lary dam­age, there were no bar­ri­ers bro­ken or any­thing like that.”

Mr. Gantly says that it would be rel­a­tively easy to re­move the sculp­ture from the piece, and he feels it could have been done quickly.

“It weighs less than 100 ki­los so two men could eas­ily lift it. There were only two bolts hold­ing it to the ground so it wouldn’t take that much work to re­move it.

“It was snapped cleanly off. Some­one could have just put a rope around it and snapped it off or some­thing like that. It could well have been planned, I doubt this was spon­ta­neous. There’s a low foot­path there too so some­one could have been in and gone in 20 min­utes.”

He ad­mits, though, that they are fear­ful for what might have hap­pened to the sculp­ture.

“We are fear­ful for what has hap­pened to it. There has been sim­i­lar in­ci­dents around the coun­try. Peo­ple of­ten mis­take bronze for an ex­pen­sive metal but it’s not. It wouldn’t be any­thing like cop­per. When peo­ple try and scrap bronze they re­alise how lit­tle it is worth. If this was melted down and put in a block it would only be worth a few hun­dred.

“It’s re­ally heart­break­ing for ev­ery­one. Drum­cliffe is a small com­mu­nity. The sculp­ture has been there for 15 years. In 2013 a part of it went miss­ing but ob­vi­ously when who­ever took it re­alised that it was bronze, they tossed it. Sim­i­lar might hap­pen here so we want peo­ple to keep an eye out and con­tact Gar­dai if they see any­thing.”

There’s a €500 cash re­ward for any­one with in­for­ma­tion that leads to its safe re­turn.

Gar­dai are ap­peal­ing to any­one with in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the piece to con­tact Grange Gar­dai or Sligo Gar­dai on 0719157000 or the Garda con­fi­den­tial line 1800666111.

The miss­ing bronze sculp­ture.

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