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Public Sculpture

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Hugh O’ Flaherty

During World War II in Rome, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty successfully organised an escape concept to safely remove innocent civilians and allied POW’s from the warfare. Hugh had gained the trust of many accomplices in Rome, including dignitaries, who helped him escape the Nazi troops on many occasions. By the time the allies had Rome surrounded, Hugh and his colleagues had already saved the lives of over 6,500 people.

Hugh O’Flaherty, a Killarney native in Co. Kerry, was awarded the highest honours, including the Congressional Medal of Freedom, the Commander of the British Empire and was the first Irishman proudly named Notary of the Holy Office.

A local committee in Killarney dedicated to spreading the good works of Hugh O’Flaherty spent many years organising events and fundraising for a statue to be erected in his honour. The unveiling of the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Statue took place in Killarney on October 30th 2013 and will forever mark a fitting tribute to a local hero.

Speir Bhean Memorial

The ‘Speir Bhean’ meaning ‘beautiful woman’ stands facing The Franciscan Friary in Killarney town centre. Sculptured by Seamus Murphy in 1940, the statue was perceived to be a personification of Ireland. It paid tribute to four of Kerry’s best native poets; Aogan O’Rahilly, Pierce Ferriter, Geoffrey O’Donoghue and Eoghan Rua O’Sullivan.

Johnny O'Leary Memorial Statue

Born in 1923, Johnny O’Leary was famed as one of Ireland’s most talented accordion players. Some years after his death in 2004 a local committee paid tribute to Johnny by commissioning a life-size bronze statue in Killarney Town Centre on April 28th 2007.

In traditional Irish music, Johnny O’Leary was known for his unique style of Sliabh Luachra music and subsequently brought interest and awareness from a much greater audience.

Johnny played from his heart, with enthusiasm and conviction. A man of many talents, he was a great character that will always be remembered with deep affection.0

The Eagle

The Eagle who resides in Killarney Town Centre was commissioned by a sub group of Killarney Town Council, the Killarney Arts Committee, in 2008/2009. The sculpture, a local artist Joe Neeson, initiated the concept from design to creation which represents the Killarney connection with the White Tailed Eagle. During that time the White Tailed Eagle project was well underway which saw the Eagle reintroduced to Killarney National Park.

The Deer

Sculpted by Don Cronin, the statue depicts two stags with antlers locked in battle. Erected in Killarney town centre, this bronze life size sculpture was commissioned as a celebration of saving the Killarney red deer population. The efforts made by the Kerry Red Deer Society saw the numbers rise when they were near to extinction.

Mission Road Commemorative Garden

The Fern Garden on Mission Road, Killarney houses a magnificent slate sculpture; the slate is a circular design to represent the world while the steps and stones represent the journeys undertaken by all the missionaries.

The names of all those who have been paid tribute to, are also present in the garden.

The O'Donoghue Legend

The O’Donoghue Legend is a beautiful sculpture located on Mission Road, Killarney and was designed to commemorate the memory of O’Donoghue, Ross Castle. The piece was designed and sculpted by French artist Leticia Mangan, who also worked with the Killarney Arts Committee during the innovation and fruition stages.

The War Memorial

As the name suggests, The War Memorial was commissioned in memory of all those who lost their lives during the fight for Irish freedom; from Kerry’s second brigade IRA and also to commemorate previous generations. Located at the top of High Street Killarney, the plaque was erected in January 1999 in commemoration of Redmond O’Sullivan who founded the Killarney Republican Graves Association.

Munster Fusiliers Memorial

Erected at the same site of the previous Munster Fusiliers’ statue, the memorial sits in the centre of Killarney town to commemorate the thousands of men who died from Munster during the First World War.

The memorial was commissioned to pay tribute and honour the lives of hundreds of soldiers from the locality who died fighting for the allies in France, Dardanelles, Gallipoli and Belgium between 1914 and 1918.

The A.W.B Billy Vincent Memorial

Billy Vincent along with his mother and father in-law donated Muckross House and the estate to the Irish State in 1932. The Irish people wished to honour Billy’s kind gesture and pay tribute to his connection with Muckross and so a memorial, crafted by German sculptor Rolf Hook, now stands in the garden leading up to Muckross House. Billy had a very affection relationship with Muckross and it is only fitting that the sculpture was crafted from an oak tree that fell near Muckross House in Killarney National Park.
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