Nearly two years on from the crime, a stolen heron sculpture has been returned to the Cork harbour town of Cobh.
Hendrick Verwey was one local who had given up on it ever happening.
Now, however, thanks to an anonymous tip-off to local gardaí, the striking wire artwork, sculpted by Emma Jane Rushworth, has been found — a small bit worse for wear, but very much intact.
“I was delighted and surprised when I got a message it had been found,” said Mr Verwey, who is a member of the Cobh Tidy Towns Committee.
In July 2020, Cobh Tidy Towns launched a ‘Bring Back Our Bird’ appeal after the sculpture was stolen from the wildlife scene at Velvet Cross roundabout.
The public artwork, whose creation was supported by Cork County Council and Pobal, had only been unveiled a week before someone took a hacksaw to the bird's legs.
“We had replaced it within a year,” said Mr Verwey. “It took a while to get another one made.”
The discovery has dovetailed with the latest brainchild of the committee.
“We have a plan for this one," said Mr Verwey. "We are developing a Covid-19 garden of reflection close to the cathedral, an existing green area.
“We are going to landscape it and put in some paving and put in some seating, a place for people to go chill out, to take some time out. It will work very well there.”
He said work was beginning on the garden next week and will take probably two months to complete.
“It will be done for the summer," he said, "an ideal place to hear the community recitals and enjoy the fantastic views".