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Leap's oar-some wooden carving is proving a real traffic-stopper

September 7th, 2016 10:05 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

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THESE two wooden rowers may not have the West Cork wit of their human counterparts, but they’re proving just as popular as the real thing.

Taking pride of place outside Ger’s Wild Atlantic Diner in Leap, the sculpture of the two rowers with medals attached to celebrate the Olympic success of the O’Donovan brothers from Lisheen, is already a ‘traffic-stopper.’

Nathan Solomon, a well-known wood carver from Drimoleague, was commissioned by Ger O’Sullivan to sculpt a woodcarving to celebrate the O’Donovan brothers’ success.

‘It was done using a chainsaw and it took me three days to complete. I worked flat out to have it finished ahead of their homecoming,’ Nathan told The Southern Star.

‘It’s probably the most complicated carving I’ve ever done, but I’m over the moon with the finished product. I actually used to live in Lisheen and I feel inspired by the two brothers.’

Ger is equally pleased with Nathan’s completed work and described it as ‘just what he wanted’ to commemorate the Olympic achievements of Paul and Gary. ‘They stopped off on Sunday night to see it, and I will leave it on display here for another month at least. People are stopping to take pictures. I’ve also had television crews here, as well as several national newspapers all wanting to get a look at it,’ he said.

Meanwhile, London-based freelance sculptor Wilfrid Wood, who worked as a puppet head builder for the TV’s Spitting Image has fashioned striking plasticine head models of the two brothers. 

Wilfrid told The Southern Star that he made the models of the brothers because he loves their interview style. They featured in his ‘Heroes and Villains of Rio 2016’  alongside Usain Bolt, Mo Farrah and Michael Phelps, in a project called ‘It’s Nice That.’

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