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Council to use public art funds for statue of hurlers

LOCAL authorities in Kilkenny are planning to divert €75,000 from a motorway art scheme to pay for a statue to honour their legendary hurlers.

The Department of the Environment set aside €150,000 for public arts projects in Kilkenny city and county under the 'Per Cent for Arts Fund' following the construction of the new M9 motorway.

Usually the fund is used for sculptures on approach roads and motorways, however, Kilkenny Mayor David Fitzgerald promised yesterday that half of the money would be spent on a statue to the hurlers which will be erected in the city centre.

The idea to erect a statue was first suggested by councillors Joe Reidy and Andrew McGuinness in 2008.

Mr McGuinness last night said he hoped the statue would go ahead in the city centre -- and not on the outskirts of the city.

It is understood to have the backing of both Kilkenny County Council and Kilkenny Borough Council. But it's not yet clear if the Department of the Environment will allow the monument in the city centre.

Ideas for a design are currently being discussed but locals have their own views on whether it should be the figure of hurling boss Brian Cody or one of his legendary players, such as Henry 'The Eighth All-Irelands' Shefflin.

Irish Independent