Receivers remove three bears from Point Depot site

Sculptures commissioned by Harry Crosbie likely to be sold as Nama liquidates assets

The Three Bears outside the former Point Depot. Image: Google Streetview

The Three Bears outside the former Point Depot. Image: Google Streetview


The three bears which kept a watchful eye over concertgoers heading into the Point Depot for years have been knocked off their pedestal by the receivers overseeing the liquidation of businessman Harry Crosbie’s assets.

Earlier this week, the bears created by sculptor Patrick O’Reilly were hauled off by agents working for Grant Thornton at the behest of the National Asset Management Agency (Nama). They are being held in a warehouse at an undisclosed location in the city.

The Three Bears with their purposeful stride was commissioned by Mr Crosbie, the man widely credited with transforming Dublin’s docklands from the late 1980s until the crash.

He bought derelict land in the area for less than £1 million in 1989 after which his involvement included the building of the O2, which used to be The Point Depot, the Point Village, the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and the Gibson Hotel.

In 2012, he received an honorary OBE for his services to British and Irish cultural relations and for his part in the state visit of Queen Elizabeth to the Republic.

Mr Crosbie and Nama have been locked in a long-running legal dispute since it took over his assets in 2013.

When he commissioned the sculpture, his aim was to brighten up what he felt was a particularly bleak part of the Dublin landscape between what is now known as the Three Arena and the East Link bridge.

While the receivers declined to speak about the removal of the bears, The Irish Times understands they are being held in a secure location and will be valued in due course. Estimates suggest the bears could be worth in excess of €100,000 on the open market.

A source said that while sale via auction is the most likely outcome, Nama is in no rush to organise a sale. The source also suggested that the bears could become part of the ongoing legal battles between Mr Crosbie and Nama.