Businesses offer space for Shane’s memorial

Several businesses have pledged to display parts of a massive art installation in memory of murdered rugby player Shane Geoghegan, after it had to be moved out of City Hall, Limerick yesterday.

The ‘Pitch for Shane’, which is the single biggest art installation in the country, was dedicated to the memory of Mr Geoghegan after his brutal murder in November 2008.

The project, consisting of more than 20,000 clay figurines made by people from all over Ireland, was officially launched at City Hall soon after the murder.

The 80x10 ft display had been in Istabraq Hall, City Hall’s main function room, but yesterday the City Council needed to take back the space to host an impending civic reception.

Mr Geoghegan’s aunt, Margaret Walsh, yesterday made a plea for help from the business community to house the exhibit in their shop windows. She did so as she began moving the installation, piece by piece, to a storage house for temporary safe keeping.

Ms Walsh told Limerick Today on Live 95FM: “It’s only right the people of Limerick see this and have the opportunity to see it. It would be very unfair of me to go and put it into storage. In my opinion, it would make a magnificent and unique display for Civic Week [in March] if businesses people displayed it in their front windows and had it lit up at night.

“It would be a fitting display because Shane’s birthday is in March. It was made by the people of Limerick. They have made a powerful statement in creating these individual sculptures.

“I would say to the business community, ‘Look, please come and help us’...it’s only for a period in March,” Ms Walsh said.

Addressing the impact his death has had on society, his aunt said: “He has been a part of a catalyst who will bring about the people to stop being afraid and this [installation] is a symbol of people standing up and their silent voice been lent to say, ‘Look, we’ve had enough, we don’t want to take it anymore’. It should be recognised I think.”

Following the request, several businesses contacted the radio programme and pledged to support the Geoghegan family’s quest that Shane’s memory never be forgotten.

“I rang my area manager and she said there’s no problem. She will allow space on our windows and in our shops for whatever period in the month of March,” said Ann Fanning of Unicare Pharmacy, Thomondgate.

Roger Beck, manager of Parkway Shopping Centre said he had a 2,000 sq ft business unit free that could display part of the exhibit.

“We’ve been involved with the Shane Geoghegan Trust from the start. It would be our pleasure.”

Several other businesses also offered to display parts of the installation.

Art work

* A ‘Pitch for Shane’ consists of more than 20,000 clay figurines made by the public from all over Ireland together with ceramicists and visitors from around the world.

It is intended to be a fitting tribute, not only to Shane and for all innocent victims of violence, but for the sporting and cultural ethos of Limerick.

The ‘Pitch’ refers to a notional rugby pitch, full of thousands of clay figures.

The clay figures have been displayed side-by-side, to create a terracotta team, a metaphorical ‘Pitch for Shane’.

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