There’s been a welcome reaction to the relocation of the famous statues of ‘The Emigrants’ to the Foyle riverbank but something’s missing - where’s the little girl?
The tableau was relocated from Waterloo Place recently but without the statue of the little girl who sat on the fountain centrepiece of the square with her hand dipped in the water. The original tableau, created by internationally critically acclaimed sculptor Eamonn O’Doherty, consisted of seven figures in total - the little girl, her grandparents, and the emigration cluster of a mother, father and two children. The little girl seemed oblivious to fact that emigration was taking her mother, father, brother and sister away.
A ‘Journal’ reader contacted the paper to remark about the “missing girl” after viewing the ‘The Emigrants’ at their new riverbank home near Sainsburys.
She said the statue, which had gone “missing” even before the move, was something close to her own family history. “I see the little girl in terms of my own mother who was left with her grandparents in West Donegal when her parents moved to Chicago.”
In an effort to clear up the mystery of the disappearance, the ‘Journal’ contacted Derry City Council, which has given an assurance that the statue had not been the subject of foul play and will soon be reunited with her long lost family.
“The child immigrant statue is to be installed at the same location along the Quay as part of an environmental improvement scheme for the area in the coming weeks. The statue has been reconditioned and improved and is to be integrated as part of a granite seating feature for the area,” said a spokesperson.