Cobh set to erect a statue to the ‘Gorgeous Gael’ Jack Doyle

Cobh set to erect a statue to the ‘Gorgeous Gael’ Jack Doyle

‘The Gorgeous Gael’: Jack Doyle (centre) who will be honoured by the addition of a construction of a statue in Cobh by the end of the year.

COBH boxer and Hollywood star Jack Doyle is to be given a permanent statue in his hometown designed by Carrigaline-based artist Mick Wilkins.

The whole cost of the project is expected to be under €50,000 and it is hoped the statue will be in place before the end of this year, with councillors in the Cobh Municipal District putting the finishing touches on technical specifications in the coming weeks.

Doyle will be immortalised in the south-east corner of Pearse Square in the town resplendent with boxing gloves on his hand and a suitcase by his side — to reflect his immigrant status and his work as a suitcase porter along the Cobh seafront in his younger days.

He will be gazing out toward the harbour and a carnation will represent the ever-present flower he wore on his suit jacket lapel. A Part 8 planning application has commenced after representatives in the area supported a motion by Councillor Diarmaid Ó Cadhla to erect a statue last year.

Doyle was nicknamed ‘The Gorgeous Gael’ and is revered in Cobh and beyond for his public life which encompassed boxing, singing and acting.

After impressing as a boxer in the British Army, he turned professional and won ten straight fights inside two rounds in the 1930s.

He also excelled as a tenor and made several recordings with record company Decca, as well as selling out the London Palladium.

He appeared in two Hollywood movies while living in the United States.

He died in London in 1978 but is buried in the Old Church Cemetery in his hometown.

Councillor Ó Cadhla said: “It’ll be a massive attraction. Everybody in Cobh has a camera and they are all looking for a place to take pictures. I reckon there’ll be a constant queue of people wanting to sit down and have their picture taken beside Jack Doyle.”

Currently, Cobh also has a mural dedicated to Doyle, which was painted in 2013 by local artist Jack Hickey.

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