25 Jun 2012
The Last Statue Maker in Cork
A new documentary called ‘The Last Statue Maker in Cork’ was screened recently in the Firkin Crane, Shandon. This simple story tells of one man’s life and work. Maurice O’Donnell made things with his hands all his life and would happily spend all his free time doing so. From the little figures of DeValera and Mussolini that he modelled from turf as a small boy during the war years, to large statues that have been exhibited all over the world.
It tells how his fascination as a child with Mr Bernardi’s statue shop on Paul St in Cork eventually led to a job there. How his apprenticeship with the Italians developed his skill and how he too went to Italy to learn from the great masters. How he eventually took over the business and continued to make statues right up to his eighties, improving his craftsmanship all the time. The documentary also tells the stories of some of the statues themselves, including the famous ‘moving’ statue of Ballinspittle, which was one of Maurice’s creations. The film is an opportunity to honour a shy, gentle man, who sadly passed away in 2010 and to remember his great hidden talent.
The Last Statue Maker in Cork has been produced by Frameworks Films in collaboration with the Cork Mason’s Union for Cork Community Television. It was funded under the Sound & Vision scheme, an initiative of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. The documentary is also being broadcast on Cork Community Television which can be seen on Channel 803 on the UPC digital cable package and is also streamed online on www.corkcommunitytv.ie
Ballinspittle youtube video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZjM83wZmWw