The Púca

I was intrigued by the furore around a sculpture by Aidan Harte based that was based on the mythical Púca back in Clare last year (it’s called the Púca of Ennistymon). The sculpture – paid for by Clare County Council – was originally intended to be installed in Ennistymon, but after feedback from the community, those plans were scrapped.

Given that it’s already cast (i.e. paid for), the sculpture’s since being offered to other towns around Clare to see if anyone wanted it.

The most interesting things about this topic is the way the story was carried by the media with a lot of national and overseas media trying to dramatize the story by giving the impression the opposition was the result of some (unnamed) priest denouncing it from the altar as a ‘pagan’ idol. That was also picked up by various Pagan social media groups who were outraged that they were being oppressed by the Catholic (presumably) Church.

If you actually go back to the original releases however, its’ pretty clear the opposition to its installation in Ennistymon was primarily because people thought the sculpture was really ugly. Given that it’s two meters high, constructed from bronze and not linked to any local stories, I can understand their reticence, particularly if they’re paying for through public rates.

It all seems such a wasted opportunity though. If the Council had linked an appropriate artist to local cultural experts from the start, the resulting joint venture could have been amazing.