Haunting statue of soldier marks centenary of WWI

A sculpture made from scrap metal of a weary World War I soldier has been unveiled in Dublin to commemorate the centenary of the end of the conflict.

Culture Minister Josepha Madigan unveiled the six-metre statue yesterday in a ceremony in St Stephen's Green.

It was designed by Dorset artist and blacksmith Martin Galbavy and constructed by Chris Hannam of Dorset Forge and Fabrication, using scrap including horseshoes, spanners, car jacks and brake discs.

The Haunting Soldier is designed to evoke the fragility and suffering of those in the Great War.

Ghostly

The ghostly figure was brought to Ireland by Dublin-based solicitor Sabina Purcell, who discovered she had a family connection with those who served in the war.

It led her to explore how she could remember and commemorate the Irish soldiers who died and those who survived.

When she came across photographs of the statue, it resonated with her and she decided to bring it to Dublin.

Ms Madigan said: "I congratulate Sabina Purcell for her vision and commitment in bringing this beautiful and thought-provoking sculpture to Dublin."

She said the centenary commemorations were shining a light, in some instances for the first time, on the stories of the many men and women from across Ireland who sacrificed their lives in WWI.

"The horrors of the battlefield left deep and lasting scars on those who survived, traumas which were often compounded by their difficult experiences on returning home," she said.

The statue is at St Stephen's Green until November 26.

Don't miss your special WWI souvenir pullout, only in the Herald on Thursday

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