Taking the bull by the horns in Navan

 

Navan's bull fight enters a new arena next week when public representatives oppos- ed to the controversial sculpture project place a motion before the town council calling for the plan to be scrapped.

Four town councillors have registered their opposition to the limestone sculpture which is destined to take up residency in Market Square if they fail to put a stop to its gallop.

Local business people, who have formed the Anti-Bull Alliance to oppose the project, plan to hand in a petition to council officials arriving for Tuesday night's meeting.

The alliance says it distributed 6,000 petition papers around Navan calling on the council to reconsider the plan and "almost all" the 3,500 returned up to early this week were in favour of putting the bull out to pasture anywhere other than the town's central square.

"I've met two people who said they liked it," said alliance chairman, Mr Paddy Pryle, a local taxi operator.

"I congratulated them. If people like it, well and good but the vast majority don't and, what's more important, they weren't asked whether they wanted it or not."

The seven-foot sculpture, which will be placed on a plinth in the square, was chosen by officials from 18 ideas submitted by artists following a competition announced over a year ago and was designed to reflect the square's traditional use as a cattle mart.

Mr Jim Holloway, a town council member who signed the motion to be debated next week, conceded it may be ruled out of order because the members already voted to accept the bull last December.

"I wasn't at that meeting unfortunately, but I believe it is an inappropriate sculpture for the location," he said.

Mr Pryle said that regardless of the outcome next Tuesday, the alliance would continue to protest and intended floating a replica bull down the Boyne until it was swept away from Co Meath during the St Patrick's Day parade.