Mayor of Limerick’s focus on ‘that’ boot, not statues

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

CORK might be about to erect a pair of statues to Munster rugby players Ronan O’Gara and Peter Stringer, but don’t expect Limerick to follow suit.

CORK might be about to erect a pair of statues to Munster rugby players Ronan O’Gara and Peter Stringer, but don’t expect Limerick to follow suit.

Mayor of Limerick Cllr Jim Long is leading a charge to capture Ronan O’Gara’s rugby boot to put it on civic display, but is less concerned with erecting statues on the streets of Limerick in honour of the rugby stars.

News emerged this week that Cork City Council are in advanced talks to erect a pair of bronze statues in the city centre to the Munster players, which are to be privately funded.

However Limericks mayor said, while he “wouldn’t rule anything in and wouldn’t rule anything out”, he refused to engage in “the game of copy cat and what might suffice for Cork might not for Limerick”.

“I think Limerick would be ahead of Cork in relation to monuments and statues, for the size of the city,” said Limerick’s first citizen.

“We do what we do and it is the very best for Limerick. All the public monuments in place are treated with dignity and respect and we wouldn’t do something for the sake of doing it,” he explained.

“Now, if I get my hands on Ronan O’Gara’s boot and I have received a reply from Munster Rugby in that respect, we will put that on civic display for anyone and everyone to enjoy,” he added.

O’Gara has been approached about donating the boot that kicked the two match winning drop-goals against Northampton in Thomond Park and against Castres on successive weekends in the Heineken Cup and is said to be receptive to the idea. The mayor has not decided where the boot might be displayed if he is successful in attaining it.

“We can put it anywhere we wish, our aim is to get the boot first, but I would be quite confident of that. I have received a response and it is now gone to Ronan directly to make his own decision and I will be meeting him and team members in December to have a one to one on it,” said Mayor Long.

“What those two kicks did for the people of Limerick, Cork - all of Munster - can never be measured,” he added.