Tuesday 20 November 2018

Our Lady statue is 'talk of town'

Harry Walsh

A YOUNG Irish sculptor has just completed work on a marble statue of Our Lady in honour of the 150th anniversary of the Blessed Virgin Mary's appearances in Lourdes.

Redmond Herrity, from Letterkenny, Co Donegal, has been working on this commission for the St Mary's Church, Rasharkin, Co Antrim, for the past six months.

Today, Redmond travels to Rasharkin to place the statue on a plinth in the church cemetery in preparation for a vigil Mass this evening, the eve of the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Redmond admitted that this latest commission had been "all consuming" for much of the past six months.

"I would have charged twice the amount I did had I known it would have involved this much work," he laughed.

Redmond travelled to Carrara in northern Italy last year to select a piece of its world-famous marble.

Starting with the nose, Redmond slowly and painstakingly chipped his way through a two-tonne marble block on his way to carving the sculpture.

"I've spent almost all of my time this past six months working on the sculpture," he said.

Redmond started with a clay model of the Virgin Mary, made by local man Christy Keeney, before making a mould -- using rubber latex and fibre-glass -- and then made a same-size plastic model.

"The work had to be ready by Friday, August 15, the Feast of the Assumption, so there were time issues," he added.

Very Reverend Canon Malachy Murphy is parish priest in Rasharkin and he is delighted with the end result.

"There is a great devotion to Our Lady in this and neighbouring parishes and the statue is the talk of the town," he said.

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