Clare County Council has paused plans to erect an interpretative art piece in Ennistymon to enable a broader public engagement process to take place.
Following local objections to the Artist Sculpture concept, Clare County Council will review the submissions received and will engage in a listening process with the local community over the coming weeks.
The proposed ‘Púca of Ennistymon’ sculpture forms part of a capital project investment aimed at increasing visitor dwell time in the town, as well as improving and developing signage, pedestrian access and significant additional car parking. €500,000 has been allocated towards the overall street improvement project by Fáilte Ireland under the Destination Towns Programme, with the Local Authority providing an additional 25 per cent match funding.
In addition, the Council has recently developed two car parks at Monastery Lane and is in the process of developing a third car park as proposed by the local community. There has been overwhelmingly positive support for the overall tourism destination town project with strong input. As is the norm in public capital contracts, a small portion of the project is assigned towards the commissioning of a public artwork. This was included for this Ennistymon town project.
Clare County Council says the overall capital project will develop Ennistymon’s untapped potential from being a transit zone, that people pass through, to a destination where visitors want to stay longer and experience the local culture.
The Púca of Ennistymon artwork, which is inspired by Ennistymon’s equine heritage and Irish folklore, was commissioned in early 2021 having been among 18 submissions received following the advertising of an artist’s brief. An adjudication panel comprising a community representative, an independent artist, the project manager for the Ennistymon scheme and Clare County Council’s Arts Office selected the winning entry in accordance with the General National Guidelines on Public Art commissions.
In light of the questions and concerns raised about the artwork Clare County Council says it has today paused the process and, instead, is initiating a public engagement process. Full details of the review will be publicised in due course.
Earlier on Clare FM, there was an “outpouring of calls” for the process to erect what has been described by some locally as a “satanic” statue in Ennistymon to be halted.