In 2014, local resident Desmond Coen recalled his family’s history with the statue of Christ the King in Gort’s Market Square. His mother, Eileen Coen, had commissioned the statue in memory of her son, Mattie Coen, who died in a motorcycle accident.
Any mother who lost her child in an accident can understand the need to immortalize their lost child, but few could do it in such a spectacular manner. Eileen Coen’s grief speaks for all.
Christ the King has been an icon of Gort town ever since. But over time, the memorial suffered deterioration, as did the Square itself.
Enter the Burren Lowlands Group, who asked local architect Brent Mostert to develop a vision of the Statue in a rejuvenated square. Phase One, completed last January, saw Jethro Sheen remove the worn iron railings around the statue base, repair the plinth, and clean the statue. More work was planned, but Covid 19 interrupted all.
The plans aligned with the Covid 19 restrictions, and a new use for the statue and the Square evolved as seating. Burren Lowlands applied for, and got, a Town and Village Renewal grant to complete Phase Two: the installation of benches and planters.
Waiting for the bus will be less crowded. Residents and tourists alike can get coffee or tea from the available shops and enjoy them outside, now socially distant once the work is done. Completion of the project is planned for Christmas.
This facelift for the Gort Market Square needs your help to raise the required match funding. Visit our Burren Lowlands facebook page for the link to our GoFundMe page. Leave a photo of your own face in the Square for us there. Your family’s donation at Sullivan’s Hotel or Bank of Ireland in Gort gets us closer to resurrecting the Square as the modern icon of Gort town!
We think Eileen Coen would approve.