Mystery of missing Gráinne Óg remains unsolved

The mystery of the whereabouts of the 23 ft bronze sculpture stolen from the Moate interchange along the M6 motorway is no closer to being solved this week.

Gardai in Clara say they are not yet following a definite line of enquiry into the theft of the Gráinne Óg sculpture, which occurred early last week.

Westmeath County Council reported the valuable piece of public artwork missing on Wednesday March 16. In the previous month, incidents of the theft of public art from roadsides had also been reported on the M7 at Monasterevin, Co Kildare, and on the N72 at Rathmore, Co Kerry.

It is believed the work stolen from outside Moate last week, which weighed approximately one tonne, was stolen for the high value of its metal content. Constructed in bronze and stainless steel, the Gráinne Óg sculpture, together with the motte on which it stood, towered some 7 metres, or 23 feet, above the surrounding landscape.

The piece, commissioned by Westmeath County Council in 2007 at a cost of €64,000, was created by artist Ann Meldon Hugh and represents a figure of a woman standing on a motte representing Gráinne Óg.

Gardai are continuing their investigation into the theft, and both they and Westmeath County Council would urge any member of the public who has any information on the incident or saw suspicious behaviour in the vicinity of the public artwork to contact the Gardai in Athlone on (090 ) 6498550 or Clara at (057 ) 9331100, or any Garda station.

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