The saga of the now world famous Manannán Mac Lir sculpture is drawing to an end after Limavady councillors agreed to replace the damaged statue stolen two months ago and subsequently recovered by ramblers.
The fibre glass sculpture by John Darren Sutton from Dungannon disappeared from Binevenagh Mountain outside Limavady in January. Those who stole the statue left a wooden cross in its place with the words ‘YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME’. The statue was found 300 metres from its original location one month later by the Bannside ramblers.
Commissioned by Limavady Borough Council at a cost of approximately £10,000, the statue suffered extensive damage, including to the back of its head.
News of its disappearance fascinated people around the world and made global headlines. A Facebook page dedicated to its return was set up, attracting followers from around the world.
In one of the last decisions made by councillors before Limavady Council winds up, members agreed on Tuesday that a new sculpture should be made by John Darren Sutton at a cost of £9,950 and erected on Binevenagh.
SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan had proposed the damaged sculpture be exhibited in Limavady as a tourist attraction.
“I don’t care if only a toe nail is left, I think it should be used as a tourist attraction,” said Colr. Mullan. “The potential is huge. This is a golden opportunity to put Limavady even more so on the map.”
However, Colr. Mullan later withdrew his proposal and it was decided the new Causeway Coast and Glens Council should decide what happens to the original sculpture.
It is understood the new sculpture will take approximately five to six months to complete.