Saturday 10 December 2016

‘Welcome back!’ – Tree ‘magician’ who turned Dublin landmark into wildlife art returns to finish the job

Published 17/05/2016 | 16:18

Scaffolding around tree being worked on
Scaffolding around tree being worked on

A tree ‘magician’ has been welcomed back to a north Dublin landmark site with open arms from locals – and passing motorists.

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Award-winning tree sculptor Tommy Craggs has returned to finish the incredible work he began on a sick Monterey cypress at St. Anne’s Park last year.

Tommy Craggs hard at work
Tommy Craggs hard at work

The tree, located at the north east corner of the park and at the crossroads that lead to Bull Island, had been determined to be hazardous and a danger to the public.

Rather than cut the landmark tree down altogether, Dublin City Council enlisted Craggs – who has won numerous carving championships worldwide – to create a wood feature based on the theme of the nature reserve and the nature reserve of Bull Island.

But the success of the beautiful piece that emerged from bringing a chainsaw to the ailing wood has exceeded expectations. 

At the end of phase one last October, sparrow hawks, hares, badgers, herons and, crowned by a majestic swan, all featured in Craggs’ masterpiece.

So when the scaffolding rose around the tree last week, excitement has ramped up among locals who wait to see what other creatures will be brought to life.

Footfall on that entry to park has increased substantially the last two days as locals try to catch a glimpse of Craggs’ handiwork. Motorists beep encouragement as they pass by on the busy thoroughfare as he works furiously on the wood.

“Welcome back,” a local shouted up at Cragg today to the smiles and approval of others.

“He’s a magician that man, I can’t wait to see what he does next.”

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