€4.5 million ‘Tinnys’ sculpture planned for Scalp Mountain

An ambitious new €4.5 million project that will see 31 giant metal sculptures erected on the top of Scalp Mountain in Burnfoot has been hailed as one of Inishowen’s most exciting developments ever.

A ‘Tinny’ sculpture.

‘Gathering On Scalp’ is the vision of renowned sculptor Maurice Harron and will comprise of behemoth steel and bronze “dream-like” Gaelic figures and animals – “colossal yet mysterious” creations designed to be seen from far away.

The group behind the Scalp project, including business and academic figures from both sides of the border, last Thursday presented their idea to county councillors at the

Spokesperson Nollaig Brolly said the ‘Gathering On Scalp’ would be comparable to the ‘Angel of the North’, the iconic public art installation outside Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

“This is something that is hugely imaginative and it would be of tremendous benefit to Inishowen and Derry City. It would be the crowning glory of the North-West and draw many, many people here.”

“People could visit Grianán and then see the colossal figures beyond in the distance. It is designed to be seen from far, far away,” she said.

Ms Brolly urged the Inishowen councillors to “champion the project”, which would be part-funded by Interreg European money as well as Donegal County Council and Derry and Strabane District Council.

She revealed that the ‘Gathering’, which is “dedicated to the Clans of Inishowen”, will be included in the joint-bid by Belfast and Derry to act as the European Capital of Culture in 2023.

Derry-born sculptor Maurice Harron is best known for works including ‘Hands Across the Divide’ at the end of Derry’s Craigavon Bridge, ‘The Workers’ monument at the Dry Arch roundabout in Letterkenny and ‘Let the Dance Begin’ in Strabane – with both of the latter dubbed ‘The Tinnys’ by local wags.

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Damian Dowds

Damian studied at NUI Maynooth and worked with Intel Ireland on graduation. Followings stints as a civil servant in Leinster House, and with magazine publisher Ashville Media, he returned to Inishowen to set up the Inishowen Independent in 2007.