Northern Ireland

Manannán Mac Lir: 'Missing person alert' for Games of Thrones sculptor's statue

Limavady unusual missing person appeal
Image caption Police in Limavady issued their unusual 'missing persons appeal' on Facebook

The theft of a six-foot sculpture statue of a Celtic sea god, that has prompted a campaign for its safe return, has now led to a 'missing persons appeal' by police.

Manannán Mac Lir, which is made out of fibre glass and stainless steel, was stolen last week from Binevenagh Mountain near Limavady in County Londonderry.

Limavady police have asked the public to look out for "a well-known 6ft tall striking local male with an athletic build," which seems normal enough.

Suspicions may be raised by the description of him as being "bare-chested with only a thin shawl held at the neck with a decorative clasp to keep his top half warm".

"Evidence at the scene suggests he has injuries to his feet!" is the tongue-in-cheek giveaway line in PSNI Limavady's Facebook appeal that the man in question is the missing statue.

It was installed about a year ago and had become a popular tourist attraction.

Those who made off with the statue left a wooden cross with the words, 'You shall have no other gods before me' in its place.

Image copyright PSNI press office
Image caption Police released photographs of the statue taken before the theft and appealed for information

In its renewed appeal issued on Tuesday, the police said: "He is a very striking fella so if you have seen him please let us know."

Sculptor John Sutton, who has worked on the Game of Thrones television series, said last week that it would have taken a number of men with angle grinders several hours to remove the £10,000 figure from its base, but the materials would not have been worth stealing.

Image copyright Owen Anderson
Image caption The Manannán Mac Lir statue overlooked Lough Foyle, but has been removed, as the picture on the right shows

"It took me months and months to make and five or six men to carry it up there and install it," he said.

"It was very heavy and would have taken a long time to remove."

A "Bring Back Manannán Mac Lir the Sea God" Facebook page has already received more than 5,000 likes.

A sea deity in Irish mythology, Manannán Mac Lir is also said to have been the first ruler of the Isle of Man.

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