A renowned Derry-born artist is playing a key role in the restoration of the iconic Edward Carson monument at Stormont.
John Sherlock, a former pupil of St Columb’s College, was this week carrying out detailed work on the bronze statue of the founding father of Unionism, which is located in the grounds of Parliament Buildings in East Belfast.
In partnership with a specialist team from Powderhall Bronze, in Edinburgh, Mr. Sherlock has been working to restore the statue, bronze plaques and benches to their original beauty as created by English sculptor LS Merrifield in 1933.
Work on the monument is expected to be completed in the next week.
John Sherlock - based in Whiteabbey on the outskirts of Belfast - is one of Ireland’s leading sculptors.
Mr Sherlock, a native of Marlborough Avenue, has completed a number of public sculptures in Northern Ireland, including one of Professor Frank Pantridge, inventor of the portable defibrillator, which is located outside Lisburn Civic Centre.
He also created the bronze memorial of a UDR soldier and a Greenfinch erected in Lisburn’s Market Square.
The statue of Carson in dramatic pose is located at the top of the drive leading up to Parliament Buildings.
The 12ft figure stands on a granite plinth to which is attached four bronze plates depicting significant events from Lord Carson’s political life.
The statue was financed by public subscription and was unveiled in June 1933.
In a break from the norm, the statue was erected whilst the subject was still alive.
Lord Carson was a barrister, judge and politician. He was leader of the Irish Unionist Alliance and Ulster Unionist Party between 1910 and 1921, held numerous positions in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom and served as a Lord of Appeal in the Ordinary.
Carson is best known locally for his oratory skills and political stance in opposition to Home Rule for Ireland at the beginning of the twentieth century, but he also came to prominence due to his involvement in many high profile legal cases, most famously in the trial of Oscar Wilde.
When he died in 1935, Carson was one of the few non-monarchs to receive a state funeral.