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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 31 July, 2014

Limerick mayor launches art installation for murdered rugby player

Cllr Maria Byrne unveils the ‘Pitch for Shane’ art installation, which will feature 10,000 terracotta miniature figurines.

Schoolchildren contribute terracotta figurines to the Pitch for Shane project, in front of a portrait of the murdered rugby player.
Schoolchildren contribute terracotta figurines to the Pitch for Shane project, in front of a portrait of the murdered rugby player.
Image: Pitch for Shane

THE MAYOR OF LIMERICK has launched a plan for an art installation in memory of a murdered rugby player, which will include 10,000 miniature figurines representing sports fans.

The Pitch for Shane project, launched by Cllr Maria Byrne yesterday, will see members of the public make 10,000 figures which will then be used to create a “metaphorical pitch” in memory of Shane Geoghegan, the captain of the local Garryowen team who was killed in a case of mistaken identity in 2008.

The project is being led by Geoghegan’s aunt Margaret Walsh, who herself is a ceramicist. About 4,000 of the figures have already been created – some contributed by celebrated ceramists at a festival in Kilkenny last year, while Taoiseach Enda Kenny also contributed one during a stop in Limerick while campaigning there for the general election.

Walsh said she had been inspired by the Terracotta Army, and that she thought the idea was particularly fitting given that 2011 was not only the Year of Crafts and and the European Year of the Volunteer, but also because Limerick is the European Capital of Sport in 2011 too.

“I thought it was a fitting thing… that all the things were in line to try and put something together, not just for Shane but for all the innocent victims of violence.

“My passion is ceramics, and I felt that I could do something that would help people to get involved without feeling under threat in some way.”

The installation is set for completion by November 9 of this year, to mark the third anniversary of Geoghegan’s death, which Walsh described as “our 9-11″. It had been in planning for a number of months, but had to be delayed due to an ongoing criminal case relating to Shane’s death.

Figures can be made at the Milk Market in Limerick city every Saturday morning, and at the Continental Market on Michael Street in the city this weekend.

It is intended to display the exhibition at the Istabraq Hall in the Limerick City Council premises on Merchant’s Quay for around six weeks once it is completed.

Limerick mayor launches art installation for murdered rugby player
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