A BRONZE sculpture has been unveiled in Limerick to commemorate the iconic broadcaster and Freeman of the city, Terry Wogan.
Large crowds, including dozens of TOGS (Terry's Old Geezers), gathered at Harvey’s Quay ahead of the official unveiling of the sculpture by outgoing Mayor Kieran O'Hanlon and awarding-winning bronze sculptor Rory Breslin .
The sculpture, which was commissioned by Limerick City and County Council, depicts Terry seated on a chair with microphone in hand preparing to have one of his infamous chats.
BBC newsreader, Charles Nove, who worked with Terry Wogan on BBC Radio 2 was one of those who travelled from the UK for the unveiling ceremony.
"We heard there was a statue and that's a great thing because he was a great man and a whole load of TOGS were coming over and I though this is a great thing to join and I had never seen Limerick so it's fantastic. We have loved it here it's great," he said.
Patsy Carroll from Newcastle West says she's impressed with the sculpture.
"I think the statue is fantastic, it's really gorgeous, it's kind of more of a caricature of him - it's fabulous and I'd say he'd get a great kick out of it if he saw it," she told the Limerick Leader.
Prior to the unveiling of the sculpture, which is located at Poor Man's Kilkee, those in attendance got a chance to listen to Terry’s velvety tones on a large gramophone and watch some of his TV appearances on a large screen during a special event which organised by Goldiefish Events on behalf of Limerick City and County Council.
Fans were also able to share their memories of the broadcasting legend by visiting a special ‘pop-up museum’ run by the curator of Limerick Museum, Dr Matthew Potter.
Some of Terry’s favourite music was played by Emma Langford, Downtown Dixie Band, ad the Boherbuoy Brass and Reed Band, who entertained the crowds.
Terry Wogan, who died last year, received the highest honour possible when he was made a Freeman of Limerick in 2007 and was he also given a special lifetime achievement award by Limerick Person of the Year. He was conferred with an honorary doctorate of letters by the University of Limerick in 2004.
"Today, we honour a man who, certainly across the water, was our greatest export. Terry meant many different things to many people; but to all those he meant an awful lot. There was a huge outpouring of grief when Terry passed away last year and it is only fitting that we remember him in his home city," said Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr Kieran O'Hanlon.
"Terry has a special place in our hearts, and I hope those memories can be re-lived by fans with the unveiling of this sculpture, right in the heart of the city of his birth," he added.
Sculptor Rory Breslin said he was delighted to have been asked to create the sculture: “People have stories to tell about Terry, many of them about his skills as a broadcaster, but also stories of a decent man, who guided and helped many. It is an honour for me to make a piece like this, of such an iconic figure," he said.
“As Limerick is his home place I want to celebrate the man's skills but also to see the relaxed Terry, engaging and familiar to us all. He was a genial man, quick to smile, cheerful and warm. I hope this piece conveys that. That is the challenge in making a sculpture like this - to capture the nature of the person and to make sure it works in the context it will be located,” he added.