A fountain with a sculpture of The Wilde Geese is a shadow of its former glory, according to Councillor John Gilligan who has proposed the motion to have a complete repair carried out.
“This beautiful fountain was a gift from the city of Spokane in Washington. Unfortunately, it was vandalised many years ago and the repair job did not return it to its original state,” Cllr Gilligan said.
The artefact is located on the grounds of the Council’s Corporate Headquarters at Merchants Quay.
The Wild Geese is the name given to the thousands of Limerick people who fled the city after the Siege in 1691.
Councillor Elenora Hogan spoke in support of the motion for the repair. She was present during the first installation of the fountain in 1991.
“Looking at it (the sculpture) this morning, I can see that it is hugely diminished from its original design. The bull-rushes which were such an important feature of the design are all gone. It’s unfair to the people of Spokane who made this gift and shipped it to Ireland,” Cllr Hogan added.
“It’s a scandal that we have not done this full repair before,” Cllr Gilligan added.
There was widespread support among Councillors for Cllr Gilligan’s proposal. Many citied the potential tourism value of the project.
“There are hundreds of Wild Geese associations around the world, and many will want to see this fountain,” added Cllr Gilligan
Fianna Fail Councillor Gerry O’Dea seconded the proposal also highlighting the diaspora impact of the project.
Jayne Leahy, Head of Property Services, Limerick County Council updated the council on the status of the research work on the fountain.
“Efforts are ongoing to secure the detailed drawings of the original design,” Ms Leahy said.
The proposal to repair was agreed by the Council.
Having secured funding for the work in the estimates, Cllr Gilligan has high expectations that the work will be carried out without question.
This decision will hopefully see the Wilde Geese come home to their original grandeur.