Broadcasting legend Terry Wogan, has been immortalised in bronze in his native Limerick, a year after he died of cancer.
Wogan had been made a freeman of Limerick in June 2007.
Speaking at the time, the BBC radio and television star had quipped, with trademark modesty: “No doubt, people will say that there are great men and women who have done a lot more for Limerick than I have. But, nonetheless, I am delighted to accept this honour, because I have such an affection for this great city.”
Crowds gathered throughout the weekend at Harvey’s Quay, on the banks of the River Shannon, to look at the bronze sculpture. It is the latest in a number of iconic statues dedicated to Limerick’s most famous sons.
It is the latest in a number of iconic statues dedicated to Limerick’s most famous sons.
The life-sized tribute to Wogan, who is seated with a microphone in one hand and his presenter’s script in the other, is just off Bedford Row.
That is where a bronze statue of local Oscar-nominated actor, Richard Harris, who died from cancer in 2002, stands as King Arthur, in memory of the role he played in the movie, Camelot.
Across the river stands a memorial stone unveiled only last week to another famous son of Limerick, rugby giant Anthony Axel Foley, who died suddenly last October, a decade after he captained Munster to their first European Cup, in 2006.
Paying tribute to Wogan at the unveiling on Saturday, the mayor of Limerick, Kieran O’Hanlon, welcomed past colleagues of Terry’s from the BBC and from the Children in Need charity, as well as members of the TOGs (Terry’s Old Geezers and Gals) fan club, who travelled from the UK.
“Today, we honour a man who, certainly across the water, was our greatest export. Terry meant many different things to many people; but to all those he meant an awful lot,” Mayor O’Hanlon said.
The bronze sculpture was created by artist, Rory Breslin.
“People have stories to tell about Terry, many of them about his skills as a broadcaster, but also stories of a decent man, who guided and helped many. It is an honour for me to make a piece like this, of such an iconic figure,” said Mr Breslin.
“As Limerick is his home place, I wanted to celebrate the man’s skills, but also to see the relaxed Terry, engaging and familiar to us all. He was a genial man, quick to smile, cheerful, and warm. I hope this piece conveys that.”
A gramophone played some of Wogan’s past radio shows and a large screen relayed some of his TV appearances.
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