Publicity on saga of Dungannon sculptor’s northcoast sea god boosts tourism

The statue of Manannan Mac Lir back up on Binevenagh. INLV0916-659KDR
The statue of Manannan Mac Lir back up on Binevenagh. INLV0916-659KDR

Worldwide publicity surrounding the theft of a sculpture created by a Dungannon man whose work featured in Game of Thrones has given the Roe Valley area a massive tourism boost.

The sculpture of Irish sea god, Manannán Mac Lir was stolen and vandalised by religious extremists but has proven to be a huge draw for tourists since being replaced. East Derry MLA Gerry Mullan, who was Mayor when the old Limavady Borough Council decided to commission the sculpture, said large numbers of visitors can frequently be seen travelling up to the summit of Binevenagh to view the sculpture which depicts the old Celtic god, who gives his name to the Isle of Man, with arms outstretched overlooking the mouth of the Atlantic from his mythical boat high above the ocean at Binevenagh.

Created by Dungannon man Darren Sutton, whose work has featured on the hit cinematic TV series Game of Thrones, the Manannán Mac Lir sculpture was commissioned as part of a ‘myths and legends’ trail. The theft of the sculpture by apparent Christian extremists made headlines all over the world, with articles about the bizarre incident appearing in publications such as the New York Times and Russia Today.

Mr Mullan is delighted with the resulting increase in tourists coming to get their pictures taken with it.