Reports at the moment are slightly conflicting as far as the circumstances of its discovery go but I'm sure the details will be firmed up as the story unfolds. According to the Derry Journal a rambler (or group of ramblers) discovered the statue and alerted a local regiment to its location, who then helped police recover it. According to a statement from the MOD, reported by the BBC:
In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said: "Soldiers from 2nd Batallion Royal Irish Regiment were deployed by helicopter to the north Antrim Coast last night for a weekend exercise.
"Whilst trekking through Binevenagh forest near Magilligan strand they discovered the missing statue and immediately alerted the PSNI.
"The Ministry of Defence is delighted this unique statue has been found."
So it doesn't seem to have been taken too far from its original situation at the top of Binevenagh Mountain. There appears to have been some damage to the statue, especially to the head, but whether or not it can be repaired is yet to be determined. Here's hoping!
This is a surprising and wonderful development in a sorry tale of intolerance and fundamentalism. The story's not over yet but I hope the statue can be reinstalled and some measures can be taken to make sure that it doesn't get stolen or vandalised again. And there's still the question of bringing those who are responsible for this to justice. Hopefully some clues were discovered at the recovery site to help with that, or at least somebody might come forward now and do the right thing.