A police ground and air search for the stolen sea god Manannán mac Lir that was sawn from its base at Gortmore Viewing Point on Binevenagh mountain outside Limavady has turned up nothing.
The disappearance of the six-foot statue has attracted a huge following on a Facebook page - ‘Bring back Manannan Mac Lir the Sea God’- campaigning for it to be brought home.
The majestic statue by ‘Game of Thrones’ sculptor, Dungannon man Darren John Sutton, was reported missing on Wednesday morning, 21st January, by a passerby. All that remains of the majestic 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 ...”
Limavady Area Commander Chief Inspector Alan Hutton said the search on Monday started at around 1.30pm, with 12 officers searching the cliff top and surrounding Binevenagh area. He said police made use of the PSNI helicopter which was already in the area at the time. At the end of the search at 3.30pm, he said nothing had been found.
“We checked to make sure it hadn’t been discarded and was lying over the cliff somewhere,” Insp. Hutton told the ‘Journal’, explaining police had made the most prudent use of resources available.
“The idea is to recover the item and find the person or persons responsible for removing it. Whatever the motive is for its removal, there is no justification for it. This is not a god that people worship. It’s a statue.”
Insp. Hutton issued a renewed appeal to anyone who may have been in the Gortmore area in the days prior to the statue’s disappearance to think back if they saw anything ususual.
“It’s very hard to keep to keep anything secret, and I would urge anyone who knows anything about where it was discarded, or is being kept, to get in touch,” he said, adding he hoped the statue could be returned and, if not too badly damaged, replaced at Gortmore. He said Limavady Council and local ratepayers were the victim of the crime therefore it important those responsible for taking the statue were caught, as theft is not an acceptable practice and to ensure they do not do it again.
Chief Insp. Hutton said they had received information, but urged anyone with information to contact Limavady police.