If Limavady Borough Council opens a public fund for the replacement of the stolen Mannanán Mac Lir statue, a pagan priest has pledged to actively fundraise to help pay for it.
The six-foot fibre glass statue by ‘Game of Thrones’ sculptor Darren John Sutton was cut down from Gortmore in January. A wooden cross with the words YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME was the only clue left by those who made off with it.
Since its disappearance, almost 7,000 people from around the world have backed a social media campaign for it to be returned. An air and land search of the area by Limavady police turned up nothing.
Limavady councillors were asked to decide if they should replace the statue at Tuesday’s Council meeting.
It was agreed, in principle, Council would like to see the sculpture replaced as close to its original form as possible, hopefully costing no more than the original £10,000; that it would be funded by the public as much as possible and it would be reinforced as much as possible. It was agreed that Council officers investigate what is involved in setting up a public fund and bring the costs, and another information after having spoken with sculptor Darren John Sutton, back to members at the final Limavady Council meeting in March.
Pagan priest Patrick Carberry is the founder and Sovereign of the Order of the Golden River having left his job as a chef to become a full time ‘Traditional Celtic Shamanic priest’. He said if a public fund is started he would actively fundraise to help pay for a replacement sculpture.
“It is not the Council’s fault. It was a religious hate crime that took it down,” he told the ‘Journal’. “There is so much love for it. There is so much support for it from all over the world. People don’t want it happening. It is a statue of a pagan god, but it was put there for heritage purposes.”
Mari Ward Foster, who started the Facebook page for the return of the statue, expressed disappointment a more immediate decision wasn’t made by councillors, but said she hopes the sculpture will be replaced.
“We’ll have to wait and see,” added Ms Foster.