Saturday, 31 January 2015

Follow up on the statue theft: Where is Manannán?

It's been just over a week since the statue of Manannán was stolen and a cross was left in its place, as I wrote about in my last post. Although the perpetrators haven't yet been found, or the statue recovered, there are a lot of people who are still hoping that some good can come of this. Whether that means the statue is recovered, or a replacement is made, either option seems like as "good" an outcome as possible under the circumstances. As the sculptor himself notes, the statue is more than likely to be in pieces already, but he's issued an appeal to the thieves:
When asked what he would say to the person, or persons, who made off with his statue, Darren made a simple appeal: “Just bring it back. Bring it home and see if we can get it repaired,” he appealed. 
Darren says although he has got over the initial sick feeling he had when he first saw the damage to the sculpture, which took more than six months work to create, he is still crushed about what happened but says the worldwide outpouring of support has provided some comfort and makes him feel proud people held his work in such esteem.

So there's still hope that the statue may be returned. If it isn't, I do hope it will be replaced, and I think it would be incredibly short-sighted of the council not to considering the amount of attention this has all been giving them, and if there are fundraising efforts established locally then Gaol Naofa has pledged to support that. The huge amount of attention the story has been getting is almost as big a story as the theft itself; a Facebook page that was set up shortly after the news broke now has over 6,000 likes within the last week, and people from all over the world have been sharing their own pictures of the statue, articles from the news, as well as sending in messages of support. The person running the page is urging people to keep sharing and spreading the news, in the hopes that the attention will help with the statue's recovery, and many members of the page have been very generous in giving permission for their images to be used in making memes that can be shared. I posted one that Kathryn made in my last post, and with the help of Caoimhín Ó Cadhla translating for us (to whom we're most appreciative) we've now produced an Irish language version to share:

You can find others we've done hosted on the Gaol Naofa website at a new page we've created in our Resources section, and you can also find them on the Gaol Naofa Facebook page -- feel free to share!

In addition to that, The Wild Hunt got in touch with Gaol Naofa for some comments about the statue's theft, which I took point on as sacrificial lamb head of the organisation, and the resulting article gives a really good overview of reactions from the locals of Limavady as well as polytheists (like myself...) and pagans. As I said there, we've been following the story closely on our Facebook page, and have been sharing some resources about Manannán ma Lir (like the video we did for Midsummer last year), including prayers and traditional songs, since this is something people can do wherever they might be in the world.

We decided that maybe a video was in order to help keep the story circulating, so Kathryn took point on writing up a script and creating a prayer to share, and with the kind permission of some of the photographers who shared their photos of the statue with the Bring Back Manannán page, we've put something together and we're ready to share:

So if you want to share the video and join us in singing Manannán back home, then please do so! We have a little introduction to it on the front page of the Gaol Naofa site, and the prayer from this video is available on a meme we've created, which you're also welcome to share:

This is another one of the images we have up on the new page I mentioned above (along with a different-sized version of this one). If you click through to the front page of the Gaol Naofa site then you can find them in the Resources section of the Library. There are plenty more on the Bring Back Manannán FB page, too.


jane B said...

Thank you for this follow up also wanted to say I really enjoy your writing & posts. Blessings Jane

Seren said...

Thank you!