Residents of Ballygall may have noticed a new statue as they walk to Finglas village but behind the 12 foot bronze statue lies a bit of a local mystery. According to Ruairi O’Cuiv Public Arts Officer for the City Council “The story behind this sculpture is interesting, complicated and is still being unraveled.”
The statue which is known to many as the Mother and Child was originally located in the hedgerow of the Finglas By-pass. Following a motion put forward Councillor Paul McAuliffe which was agreed by fellow councilors, the statue was moved and found a new home in Ballygall this summer. While it may have found a new home, the official name and the identity of the sculptor was more difficult to find.
Now a local Finglas women has come forward to Cllr McAuliffe claiming that in 1996, as a school girl in Saint Canice’s Girls school, she won a completion to name the statue and actually visited the sculptor in her studio. The Council’s Public Domain Officer for Finglas Jackie O’Reilly who made the move happen has confirmed that after investigation the sculptor was identified as Elizabeth McLaughlin But all attempts to track her down have failed.
Explaining how the information came to light Cllr McAuliffe said “After putting up photos on my Facebook page, I was contacted by Adrienne Farrelly who said not only was she was one of 100 local children from 4 local schools who helped design the bronze blanket which drapes the statue but she was the one who gave the statue its official name ‘Let the Life Flow through’ a reference to the mother and child and also to the new road being built at the time.
Telling the story Adrienne said “I think I was in 5th class in Saint Canices Girls at the time there was a competition with all the schools in Finglas and I won with the entry “Let the Life Flow through”. We all made pieces in school that were meant to be put on it and also there was meant to be a proper unveiling but that obviously didn’t happen. A few of us got to go to where the sculpture was made…but I can’t remember where that was, I’d love to meet the sculptor again and maybe have the official unveiling that never happened.”
Cllr McAuliffe is appealing to those in the art community to help find the sculptor Elizabeth McLaughlin so that she can be reunited with Adrienne Farrelly and local people to officially unveil a statue 17 years after it was erected. I’m hoping people will use google, facebook twitter and the web to spread the news about the search for Elizabeth McLaughlin so that she can see he work in its new surroundings.
|Cllr McAuliffe and Adrienne Farrelly with Let the Life Flow Through a statue by Eizabeth McLaughlin|