Alfie Byrne memorial gets reprieve from Dublin council

Council apologises to artist St Ledger and agrees to discuss restoration

 

A stay of execution has been granted to the memorial to 10-times lord mayor of Dublin Alfie Byrne, following the intervention of its creator.

Dublin City Council has apologised to Andrew St Ledger for its comments and has agreed not to destroy the memorial seat, pending a review of options for its restoration.

The bench was commissioned in 1999 from St Ledger, who also created the wooden figurehead for the Jeannie Johnston replica Famine ship, but it had been neglected and vandalised.

The council had said the seat was “not considered to be of great artistic merit” and “the cost of maintenance or conservation required is considered excessive”.

St Ledger, a renowned wood carver, said he was not consulted by the council in relation to the decision to remove the memorial. St Ledger, who also created the wooden figurehead for the Jeannie Johnston replica famine ship, learned last week of the council’s plans from The Irish Times.

He said he was disappointed by the council’s failure to maintain the bench and felt “belittled” by its comments. He accepted its apology and hoped to meet officials next week.

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