The Mayor, Seth, Elisabeth and David officially unveil the statue.

Statue view 5

Statue view 4

Statue view 3

Statue view 2

Statue view 1

Cllr George Lawlor, Mark Richards, Pat Collins

Mark and the great crew from Niall Barry & Co


Mark and the statue


Mark and Martin discussing the levels.


The sculpture is placed in position in preparation for levelling and sighting from Main Street.


Manoeuvring the work into position.





The sculpture is unloaded and guided down Selskar Square by Martin Codd (Martin Codd Stone), John Mullins (Carlow Stone Centre) and the crew from Niall Barry Co Ltd.


The work is braced to prevent it rolling in transit.


The finished bronze is wrapped in blankets and clingfilm and loaded into the back of a van.


Scott applies the patina. This is done by heating the metal and applying chemicals and wax.



The bronze sections have been assembled, chased and finished. The internal frame runs through the sculpture and keeps it rigid. Getting the engineering right was a feat in itself. Darren at DP Squared worked in conjunction with the Wexford Borough engineers to come up with the final specification. Andrew Carroll, seen here, was responsible for a great deal of the excellent assemblage.


I check the wax thoroughly and adjust details where necessary. The wax is then cut up into sections, invested and cast to bronze.


Wax is painted into the mould sections and assembled piece by piece. The wax is very delicate and has to be supported to stop it warping with changes in temperature. I am working with Charlotte Jones at Castle Fine Arts Foundry.


The previously severed limbs are moulded. We had to be very careful not to distort the angle between the hurl and the arm...this was avoided by excavating the clay, welding a frame to the armature and making good the clay prior to moulding.


The jacket has been removed and the sections of rubber peeled off. The domes and dips in the seam are so that the two halves register to each other once laid into the jacket. By this stage, we are all relieved. The clay is wrapped up in case we need to reference the original model during the bronze casting process.

The mould jacket

A plaster 'jacket' is made to hold the rubber mould in place once it has been peeled off the sculpture.

The rubber

Flanges are added to make seams and the mould is bulked out using stiffened rubber (thixotropic).

The rubber

The first coat cures.

The rubber

Silicon rubber is carefully painted over the clay sculpture. The first coat is liquid...this ensures that the rubber catches all my working marks and surface detail.

Preparing for moulding

The arms are cut off and moulded separately. You have to be careful that the cut does not distort the form - I overcome this by offering up the severed limb, supported by a steel exoskeleton, to the body several times until the match is exact. Tiny registration marks are made in the clay so that the two parts will match up in the next stage.

Finished clay

The clay work is complete and ready for moulding.

Finished clay

Finished clay

Blocked out form

The form is now pretty much blocked out to what I want and I can start on the detail. I have lengthened and straightened his left leg fractionally in order to exaggerate the movement, especially from the reverse angle. Also, the proportion of the head in relation to the shoulders is better, although the head still seems a little large. The family have emphasised how large Nickey's head was and I am getting this balance with trial and error. I am particularly happy with the shoulder to waist proportional ratio which I think is just as he was.

Positioning the hurl


‘Cuchulainn’s Son. The story of Nickey Rackard.’ Tom Williams. Blackwater Press. 2006.
‘The Way I Saw It.’ Martin Codd. Corrigeen Tee Publishing. 2005.

Media links


Life size clay head.

Working on the sketch head in Wexford. Nickey's grandson proves to be an enthusiastic and promising young sculptor.

Working with the Rackards

In October, I took a life size head of Nickey over to Wexford so that I could work on it with members of his family. This has proved invaluable. I will use this life size as my model for the full size work.

Life size head.

Clay 3

Blocking out the main form. This is the stage where the main volumes are brought up and adjusted. Here for example, the head looks a little large in relation to the shoulders...I will assess this and re-balance. The arms are absent so that I can access the main body...if the arms and hurl were there, I would be knocking against them as I modelled the drapery on the shorts and lower shirt. The uprights are temporary supports.

Clay 2

Clay begins

Armature 6

Armature 5

Armature 3

Armature 2

Armature 1

Back iron fixed

Lay figure complete. Base board for armature set out.

August 2011

Dressing the lay figure to study drapery. Liz has found a shirt in exactly the right weight of material and is adapting it to reflect Nickey's original Wexford shirt. Ignore the colours - at this stage, I am only looking for how the fabric flows around the body.

August 2011

Cheryl Evans begins the detailed process of enlarging the hurl.

August 2011

Blocking out the lay figure in clay.

August 2011

Blocking out the lay figure.

July 2011

Lay figure. Packing out the armature in preparation for the clay.

July 2011

Making the armature for lay figure.

July 2011

Steel armature for the lay figure. I will make all the major decisions regarding movement, volumes and likeness at this life size lay fihure stage before going on to enlarge to full size. This is a critical stage as all the decisions I make now will carry through until the final work. I take a good long time to complete the lay figure stage.

July 2011

Drawing from a model - I am looking for the core movements and volumes.

Preparing a comfortable structure for the model to lean into.

Preparing a stand for the model. In order to pose the model as if in action, I make a stop for the left foot and a brace for the body to lean into.

Assessing the camber of the ground.

Plaster Maquette

The first maquette (3D sketch model) for the statue, scaled 1:5 and cast in plaster of paris, shows my idea for the composition of the statue. I want him to be caught in movement, looking at the goal just before he throws the sliothar up for a strike.


The maquette with a scaled average human figure to give an idea of the finished dimensions of the statue.

The Story Behind the Statue

This is a post about the story behind the statue…

Nickey Rackard

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