Lunatics replace sea god with a cross
Christian fundamentalists are believed to be behind the theft of a statue of a Celtic sea god from a Binevenagh Mountain above Limavady in Northern Ireland.
According to this report, a 5ft wooden cross bearing the words “Thou Shalt Not Have False Gods Before Me” was left behind after the thieves took an angle grinder to the base of the statue of Manannán Mac Lir.
The statue was one of five scattered across the Roe Valley as part of a Sculpture Trail aimed at boosting tourism in 2013. The remaining four pieces of artwork were left unscathed.
Former Limavady Mayor Gerry Mullan said the theft was premeditated and was not a random act of vandalism.
Local people are extremely angry that this statue has been taken. It really enhanced what is already a beautiful spot from which visitors and residents alike can sit and enjoy the view and I would appeal to whoever took the statue to give it back.
He said it would have taken a number of men with angle grinders several hours to remove the figure from its base.
I’m very disturbed by this. It’s unreal. Some statues are stolen for their bronze. But this was cut down at the base and the materials would not have been worth stealing.
I made it out of clay first and then a silicone mould, before I cast it. It took me months and months to make and five or six men to carry it up there and install it. It was very heavy and would have taken a long time to remove.
Manannán Mac Lir is a sea deity in Irish mythology and is also said to have been the first ruler of the Isle of Man.
Manand is the old Irish name for the Isle of Man and as his surname suggests, he was the son of Lir, meaning sea.
Sutton’s £10,000 creation overlooked Benone Beach, Magilligan, Limavady and Donegal. He said:
I was very proud of this. It was very popular with photographers.
According to Limavady Borough Council’s website, people in the area believe that the spirit of Manannán Mac Lir is released during fierce storms.
Some elderly folk in the area are still heard to remark “Manannán is angry today” when the River Foyle is rough and refer to the angry waves as “Manannán’s seahorses.”
According to mythology, Manannán had many magical possessions.
He had a horse that could travel over land and sea and owned a metal boat, which obeyed the thoughts of its sailors.
The police said they were notified of the theft at about 10:25 GMT on Wednesday. Constable Nelson said:
This statue of Manannán Mac Lir was in the area of Gortmore viewing point and is part of the Myths and Legends sculpture trail. Anyone with any information about this theft is asked to contact Limavady police station on the non-emergency number 101.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn