Work starts on Maurice Davin memorial statue

A planning application seeking permission to erect a nine-foot statue of GAA co-founder Maurice Davin outside Davin Park in Carrick-on-Suir is currently being considered by Carrick-on-Suir Town Council.

A planning application seeking permission to erect a nine-foot statue of GAA co-founder Maurice Davin outside Davin Park in Carrick-on-Suir is currently being considered by Carrick-on-Suir Town Council.

And a leading sculptor has started work in his studio on creating the monument.

The Maurice Davin Memorial Committee submitted the planning application for the proposed Kilkenny limestone statue honouring the GAA’s first president on June 26 and is due to decide on the application on August 23. The plans for the statue can be viewed at Carrick-on-Suir Town Hall.

The statue is to be erected in the car park of Davin Park GAA Grounds on the Clonmel Road beside an existing wall plaque commemorating Mr Davin, who hailed from Deerpark, Carrick-on-Suir and was a renowned athlete.

Cllr Bobby Fitzgerald, who is chairing the Maurice Davin Memorial Committee said the sculptor Barry Wrafter has started work in his studio on the statue and he expects to have it completed by March next year.

He pointed out that the Memorial Committee has decided to refurbish the wall to the rear of the statue in traditional Kilkenny limestone to blend in with the memorial piece.

“There will be limestone capping with the date of the formation of the GAA together with the four Provisional Crests of Ulster, Leinster, Munster and Connaught etched into a 50 mm limestone,” Cllr Fitzgerald explained.

“The traditional crest of the GAA will also be etched in the centre of the Kilkenny Stone back wall to give it rightful prominence and enhancement.”

Plans for the statue and a miniature replica of it went on public display at the Davin GAA Club on the afternoon of May 29.

Tipperary hurling greats Eoin Kelly and John Leahy, manager of the All-Ireland winning Tipperary Minor Football team Dave Power and GAA County Board Chairman Sean Nugent were among the senior GAA figures who attended the public consultation afternoon to view the plans and show their support for the project.

Meanwhile, plans are being progressed for the Maurice Davin Sporting and Cultural Festival at which the sculpture will be unveiled.

It will take place on the June Bank Holiday weekend next year, the same weekend as the Clancy Brothers Music & Arts Festival.

Cllr Fitzgerald said the Maurice Davin Memorial Committee has been working very closely with the Clancy Brothers Festival Committee to ensure the combined festivals will be mutually beneficial leading to an enhanced profile for the town and ensuring that the extended festivities will be enjoyed by all.

The sporting and cultural festival will include an inter-county hurling match, juvenile matches and handball in Davin Park.

There will also be an exhibition of photographs, memorabilia, an award ceremony honouring players of the past, a celebration of the GAA, together with the three Carrick-on-Suir GAA Clubs historical achievements.

South Tipperary Development Company has approved a E44,000 grant to assist with funding the statue and festival, which it’s estimated will cost about E70,000 overall.

The Memorial Committee has also applied to the GAA for funding. It recently received a E750 from the Kilkenny County Board and a further donation is expected from the Tipperary Co. Board later in the year.

A Maurice Davin Memorial Fund has also been set up to raise funds for the project through voluntary donations.

Cllr Fitzgerald said donations, no matter how small, can be made through any committee member of directly to the Memorial Fund bank account Bank of Ireland, Sort Code 905969, Account No. 94389749, IBAN code: IE14BOFI90596994389749.