Gardaí to investigate theft of historic Cork drinking trough sculpture

The limestone dog’s bowl had been on St Patrick’s Street since the 1950s

A limestone sculpture of a dog’s drinking trough stood at 124 St Patrick’s Street, since the 1950s when it was commissioned by a local businessman.

The limestone bowl was bedded in concrete and has the word “madraí” carved into its base.

Passers-by spotted that the piece was missing yesterday and Cork City Council's heritage officer has now confirmed that it was removed without the knowledge of the local authority.

They have reported it to An Garda Síochána, who are investigating the matter.


Niamh Twomey, heritage officer at Cork City Council, is appealing for the safe return of the piece and asked members of the public to contact Anglesea Street Garda Station or Cork City Council Heritage Office if they have any information on the sculpture's whereabouts or if they see the item for sale.

"Our overriding concern is that this item is returned safely, as this is a significant piece of Cork city's heritage, created by the sculptor Seamus Murphy, " she said.

“It is held in great affection by many Corkonians. It really is a great loss and every effort needs to be made to retrieve it and return it to its rightful place.”

The limestone drinking trough was set into the base of a shop front at 124 St Patrick’s Street and was commissioned during the 1950s by Knolly Stokes, owner of the Old Bridge Restaurant.

It was located just a few metres from the statue of Father Mathew, which still stands on St Patrick’s Street.

Its removal has been described as “cultural vandalism at its worst” by historian and city council member Kieran McCarthy.

“It is a well-known piece of heritage in Cork; it has been there for nearly 60 years and it has not been interfered with in six decades,” he said.