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Seán Óg and artist Maura O’Connell.
Seán Óg and artist Maura O’Connell.

Watch: The hands that rocked Croke Park and the Páirc immortalised 

TWO Cork sporting stars received unique keepsakes recently, both the work of West Cork artist Maura O’Connell.

A cast of the hand of Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, cast by Maura O'Connell.
A cast of the hand of Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, cast by Maura O'Connell.

Ms O’Connell said it was a delight and honour to have been involved in these projects paying tribute to the gifts of Cork legend Seán Óg Ó hAilpín and current football star Melissa Duggan.

Both spoke recently at schools in Dunmanway, Melissa at St Mary’s National School and Seán Óg at Togher National School. Both encouraged the young people they spoke to get and stay involved in sport, and emphasised the importance of hard work and dedication.

The artwork being presented to Melissa Duggan.
The artwork being presented to Melissa Duggan.
Ms O’Connell, who makes casts to celebrate weddings, new babies and other special occasions, was asked to cast the hands of the two talented sports people as a thank you. The casts are made of plaster and then finished with metallic waxes. 

“[Seán Óg] was really amused by the process of mouldmaking and casting and when he was presented with the finished product, he was fascinated with the detail in the piece and commented on how the tension in the hold was visible in the cast,” Ms O’Connell said.

He certainly appears fascinated by the whole procedure. 

Seán Óg and artist Maura O’Connell.

For St Mary’s National School a unique cast of Melissa’s hands was framed together with a Cork jersey and was presented to Melissa, a past pupil. It will be showcased in the school’s main foyer to inspire future students.

“I enjoy chatting to people and getting to know them but I must say I very much enjoyed meeting both Melissa and Seán Óg,” Ms O’Connell said.

“They were so humble when talking about their achievements and they are real inspirations for young people.” 

You can contact Ms O’Connell and see more of her work at West Cork Casting Studio facebook page or website.