A campaign has been launched on social media to “bring back” one of Limavady’s iconic myths and legends statues that was stolen.
The Facebook page ‘Bring back Manannan Mac Lir the Sea God’ was created on Thursday and states: “On 21 January 2015 the sculpture of Manannan Mac Lir, the Sea God was stolen from his plinth at the Gortmore Viewing Point on Bishop’s Road, Castlerock/Limavady.
“We are all infuriated and want him back.
“Manannan was a magnet for photographers and was much appreciated by all who visited Gortmore.
“Please send him home.”
Sculptor, John Darren Sutton, who has worked on the award-winning ‘Games of Thrones’ series, told the ‘Journal’ he was shocked the popular piece of art, which took six months to craft, had been removed. He said he hoped the six-foot tall sculpture could be returned, and not too badly damaged.
“I worked on that night and day, every day, all hours. It’s brutal,” he said.
Manannán mac Lir, situated at Gortmore Viewing Point on Binevenagh mountain, was reported missing on Wednesday morning by a passerby. All that remains of the magestic fibre glass sulpture overlooking Lough Foyle is the boat. Those who made off with the sea god left a wooden cross with the words ‘YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME ...”
Mr Sutton told the ‘Journal’ if it was taken for religious reasons, why couldn’t the perpetrators have put the cross on the ground rather than target the sculpture.
Since the Facebook page started, it has attracted hundreds of ‘likes’, and a number of people have posted their pictures of the sea god online in response to a request from the page, which said: “We want our statue back! If you support this please post your pictures of Manannan Mac Lir, the Sea God we love.”
SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan is among those who hopes the fibre glass statue can be brought home, and says the campaign shows the strength of feeling about such an important part of local heritage.
“I was disgusted to learn of this criminal act of sabotage on one of the finest tourist attractions in the borough of Limavady,” said Colr. Mullan, a former Limavady mayor. “I was honoured to have been appointed a member of the selection panel who awarded the contracts to the artists who competed in Limavady Borough Council’s ‘Explore, See, Do’ competition and who also had the pleasant duty as mayor to launch the sculpture trail in June 2013.”
View the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-back-Manannan-Mac-Lir-the-Sea-God/630114243759074