HOPES are growing that the statue of Christy Ring at Cork Airport could soon be found at the home of Cork GAA.
Officials at the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), which owns and operates Cork airport, have refused to rule out the relocation of the iconic statue. However, the final decision may rest with Cork Airport officials.
Former Lord Mayor, Cllr Des Cahill, has reached out to senior management at the DAA to move the statue to the redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
The stadium is set to host its first ties next weekend after a two-year redevelopment.
Mr Cahill said that moving the statue would be a 'fitting' finale to the project.
He said, "I think it would be a more appropriate location for it, so I reached out to the DAA and they seemed to be open to it.
"I would like to think that it is common sense, really. It is great to have such an iconic statue at the airport - but its current location means that an awful lot of visitors to the airport don't even see it."
More than €70 million has been invested in the rebuilding of the stadium next to the River Lee.
It includes an increased capacity of 45,000, as well as an all-weather 4G pitch and a host of state-of-the-art stadium facilities, such as conference and meeting rooms, bars and restaurants.
Mr Cahill, who lives just a few minutes from the stadium, said that bringing Christy Ring home would be a fitting tribute.
"It would be great. He lived in the area briefly, he played handball nearby and he was one of the most respected and best hurlers that Cork has ever had," he said.
"Can you imagine the impact that having him stare down the opposition fans and teams would have?"
While no decision will be made in time for next week's opening matches, Mr Cahill is optimistic that the correct decision will be made in the long run and that Christy Ring will once again grace the pitch at the home of Cork GAA.
He said, "It is the home of Cork GAA - not just in the city but also the county - and it is the rightful place for him to be standing so I am urging the DAA and Cork Airport to gift him back to the city."