Handball Champion Statue
Sculpture of Irish Handballer Joey Maher
Sports Sculpture Commission by
the Joey Maher Sculpture Committee
Drogheda, Ireland - Unveiling Ceremony
|A Sculpture Commission
for Drogheda: Joey Maher Sculpture
Unveiling ceremony 25 October, 2008
Commissioned 3 January 2008, this sculpture of World Handball Champion Joey Maher was unveiled on the bank of the River Boyne on 25 October 2008.
Laury Dizengremel as the lead artist, worked on this sports sculpture commission with her usual team of fellow sculptors Shen Xiaonan and Zhang Yaxi, in their Chongqing sculpture studio in China. (All 3 of their signature-initials feature on the sculpture itself).
For the unveiling, as usual an emotional moment, the sculptor was accompanied by her father Jean-Pierre Dizengremel a former town councillor of Saint-Saens, now living in Dieppe, Normandy, France on this return visit to Drogheda in Ireland following their visit there in January when she accepted the commission. JP greatly enjoyed meeting all participants of the Joey Maher public sculpture commission. Also accompanying Laury for the October 2008 unveiling ceremony were her French agent Anne Bastid and Helena Tupholme, an English friend.
Below - an image of Joey Maher the legendary Irish handballer and Laury together just before the statue is unveiled (he had cheated by seeing it in its shipping crate a few days before)....
RTE Newsreader Eileen Dunne unveiled the sculpture with a short speech, after opening speeches by the Committee's chairman Frank Godfrey, as well as the President of the Irish Handball Association, the sculptor Laury Dizengremel, the Mayor of Drogheda Frank Maher and a blessing by a local priest.
The weather was sunny both the day before and the day after the unveiling.... but it rained on the day itself. This was met with good hunour by all attending as being typically Irish - typically County Louth - typically Drogheda!
One of Drogheda's Cathlolic priests read a blessing and doused the sculpture with Holy Water.
First it was former councillor Frank Godfrey, the chairman of the Joey Maher Sculpture Committee, who gave his comments to a TV crew (that had spent the morning filming Joey Maher at his home and then at his first handball court on Millmount in Drogheda).
Later, when the streets had cleared again, it was Laury's turn to be interviewed for the same national TV programme (RTE - Ireland).
Facing the River Boyne in Drogheda - this public artwork attracted a lot of passerby on the unveiling day and daily draws attention from the many visitors to the south side of the city of Drogheda, near Scotch Hall, the Millennium Bridge and the nearby "D" Hotel.
In her opening speech, Laury commented on the value of collecting public artwork that inspires young people who look up to sporting heroes such as handballer Joey Maher and the earlier commission featuring former Olympic Boxing champion Tony "Socks" Byrne.
See articles in the Drogheda Leader here...
For further info (names of members of the Joey Maher Sculpture Committee and other details), and images of the Joey Maher lifesize sculpture at clay stage see earlier press release page about the Joey Maher sports sculpture commission.
Photo credits on this page: Laury Dizengremel, Jean-Pierre Dizengremel (the sculptor's father) and Helena Tupholme
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