Kerry Football Sculpture Unveiled

Released: 14 May 2007

A fitting monument to Kerry’s footballing heritage was unveiled on the main Tralee-Killarney road on Monday, 14 May 2007.

The bronze sculpture, created by artist Mark Rode, was unveiled by Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, John O’Donoghue TD, and Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Ted Fitzgerald.

The sculpture, which features four figures in a high-fielding stance, is situated on the Clashlehane Roundabout on the N21 on the outskirts of Tralee. It forms a fitting entry piece to the capital of the county.

According to Mayor Ted Fitzgerald, such a monument accurately reflects Kerry’s rich tradition in gaelic games.

“Down through the years, Kerry’s footballing success has been unrivalled, but it was felt that something was needed to pay tribute to those who have represented the county over the years.

“This sculpture will mark and honour Kerry’s achievements in gaelic games and it is fitting that Kerry Local Authorities have commissioned this piece,” he explained.

Acting County Manager, Tom Curran, paid tribute to those involved in bringing the project to fruition.

“Kerry not only has a great tradition in football, but there is great appreciation for the way in which we play the game,” he said.

“The sculpture, featuring players fielding a high ball, accurately reflects this, and pays tribute to all those who have played the game with such passion and skill down through the years.”

Nineteen artists originally replied to an invitation by Kerry County Council to design a piece of art that would depict the energy, vitality and skill of gaelic football, and would also fit with the Kerry tradition of football.

Sculptor Mark Rode, a native of Brisbane, Australia, is currently living in Foxford, Co. Mayo. He has carried out several public commissions, including a memorial of Brother Walfrid, founder of Glasgow Celtic Football Club, which was erected in Ballymote, Sligo.

“Throughout the years, Kerry footballers have become household names through their exploits on the field of play,” Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, John O’Donoghue TD explained.

“Names such as Mick O’Connell, Mick O’Dwyer, Jack O’Shea, Maurice Fitzgerald and Mikey Sheehy trip off the tongue, while this tradition is being carried on today with players like Darragh Ó Sé and Kieran Donaghy.”

Kerry County Council, Co. Buildings, Rathass, Tralee

Phone: (066) 718 3500     Email: info@kerrycoco.ie

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