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Cork Independent


Appeal to find missing dog trough

Friday, 25th January, 2019 10:11am

One of Cork city’s most unusual pieces of heritage has gone missing with Cork City Council appealing for its safe return. 

Cork City Council has said that it is aware that a much loved dog drinking trough, created by Cork’s best known sculptor of the 20th century, Seamus Murphy, has been removed from St Patrick’s Street without permission. 

An Garda Siochána have been informed and are investigating the theft. It is not known when the trough was taken but is bleived to have gone missing in the past week. 

The limestone drinking trough was set into the base of a shop front at 124 St Patrick’s Street and was commissioned during the 1950s by Mr Knolly Stokes, owner of the Old Bridge Restaurant.

Cork City Council Heritage Officer, Niamh Twomey is appealing for the safe return of the piece and asked members of the public to contact Anglesea St Garda Station or Cork City Council Heritage Office if they have any information on the sculpture’s whereabouts or if they see the item for sale.

She said: “Our overriding concern is that this item is returned  safely as this is a significant piece of Cork city’s heritage, created by the sculptor Seamus Murphy. It is held in great affection by many Corkonians. It really is a great loss and every effort needs to be made to retrieve it and return it to its rightful place.”

In Tom Spalding’s book ‘Cork City A Field Guide to its Street Furniture’, he described Seamus Murphy (1907 – 1975) as responsible for much public sculpture in Cork city and also the design of Blackpool Church. 

He said: “Apart from his main works he also undertook private commissions. Mr Stokes, who commissioned the piece, was a dog lover and arranged for a staff member to clean and re-fill the drinking trough each morning. It is said that he asked Seamus Murphy whether all of his dog-owning customers would understand the Irish for ‘dogs’, so crisply carved into it. Murphy is reputed to have said that whether the owners were bilingual or not, he was sure the dogs would be able to cope with the Gaeilge!”

Cllr Ken O’Flynn, who has been urging the public to find the Dunscombe fountain since May 2017, also weighed in on the missing dog trough this morning. 

He said: “The disregard for our city’s heritage is absolutely appalling and the blame lies on the doors of the management of city council who have been warned time and time again to get their house in order.

“To date there is no record of how much street furniture, sculptures, fountains are in the city no list or document has been comprised because the director of services stated he had no money to do so. The management of city council should hang their heads in shame.”

Anyone with information about the missing dog trough should contact Anglesea Street Garda Station on 021-4522000 or Niamh Twomey, Heritage Officer, Cork City Council on 021-4924018. 

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