Nickey Rackard commemorative statue. Selskar Square, Wexford.

"It's a long time since a piece of art created such a level of debate in Wexford. Ironic when one thinks of the level of artistic activity in the county. Perhaps there was a small bit of snobbery attached to the fact that one of the most high profile pieces to be commissioned was be of 'a hurler, a common sportsman'? It wasn't going to be abstract or austere. It was going to be tangible and something that the ordinary person could immediately identify with. The Rackard story is so much bigger than GAA. His story encompasses sport, social upheaval, private battle and personal victory. He was the iconic leader of a band of men who brought immense joy to people at a time when they were quite simply on their knees socially and economically. In the 1950's Wexford (and Ireland) was a bleak place. Unemployment and emigration were the order of the day. Hopes and dreams were often conjured on the boat to Britain in search of a better life. In the midst of this gloom came a band of men who shattered the grey colour that encased their people. Rackard was the iconic leader of this band. His name was synonymous with power and drive. Kids in every corner of Ireland played 'Rackard specials' after school. Wexford people were relevant on the big stage! Hopes and dreams could actually come to fruition!" Cllr George Lawlor. 2012.

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RTE news 19/3/2012

Tom Williams

I have just heard the sad news that Tom Williams has passed away.

As part of my research for the statue of Nickey Rackard, his daughter, Berna, gave me two books to read; ‘The Way I Saw It’ by Martin Codd and ‘Cuchulainn’s Son’ by Tom Williams. Berna, Marion and Bobby had given me insight into Nickey’s private nature…the books were the conduit through which I got some idea of the person he was to his colleagues and the public. After reading them I felt as if I had met the man himself.

Both Martin Codd and Tom Williams went on to play significant roles in the statue. Martin’s son, Martin, made the plinth, and Tom’s words are carved on to three of the sides. They are from his song ‘Cuchulainn’s Son’ which is a vivid and beautifully composed work about Nickey Rackard and was sung at the unveiling.

Tom was a constant source of reference to me while I was making the statue. He was informative, acute and, above all, generous with his knowledge. I had the honour of meeting him in person at both the launch of my show in Greenacres (where we were all treated to a fabulous speech) and later that day at the unveiling.

Thank you, Tom, for your help and support.



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

Focus and intent

Nickey in action

Nickey in action

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