Sculptor, Maurice Harron
Duleek Heritage Group are holding an open public meeting to discuss the controversy over the proposed sculpture at the former Clarke’s Forge, on Monday (21st July) at 8pm in The Parish Centre Duleek.
The Heritage Group last month protested at the site for the sculpture and has indicated a preference for a piece of art depicting a stone horseshoe shape doorway with a blacksmith working on an anvil.
However, Meath County Council has pointed out that it had commissioned a sculpture by the internationally renowned artist Maurice Harron following a public consultation and tender process, which is now complete.
A spokesperson said the art piece, as initially commissioned, was subsequently altered to incorporate a reference to the forge in order to try and take on board some of the concerns expressed by the Heritage Group.
The piece of roadside art is funded by money donated by Indaver Ireland as part of their planning conditions.
The piece created by Maurice Harron is a 4.5metre high sculpture featuring a family of two parents and three children with a tree, whose individual leaves are designed to represent various aspects of the local community, including a horse being shoed by a blacksmith. Another of the leaves represents fruit picking reflecting Duleek’s history of market gardening.
Mr Harron points out he had stayed in Duleek for over a month talking to people in the community and local children and teenagers before designing the piece.
The Heritage Group says the purpose of Monday’s meeting is to inform the residents of Duleek about the project and to give them an opportunity to be included in public consultations before any final decisions are made by the council.
They say the decision was not democratic, open or inclusive.