THE work of one Ennis craftsman is sitting proudly in Áras an Uachtaráin after it was presented as a gift to President Michael D Higgins.
The bespoke wood sculpture by local man Thomas Moloney was given to President Higgins when he was named a Freeman of Ennis last week.
‘Sheeaun’, which means fairy mound, was carved from a piece of peat bog from Thomas’ home in Kilmaley.
It was presented at the conclusion of a ceremony held in the Civic Rooms of Ennis Town Council.
A qualified carpenter from the Turnpike area of Ennis, Thomas was chosen a to design the piece having previously had his work displayed in a local business.
He explains, “It was always a hobby of mine, something I’d always be tipping away at when I was a carpenter. I made a piece for the Ennis Gift Shop. That went up on the internet and after the council got onto me about doing a piece for the President. It has to be a natural piece.”
Now living in Kilmaley, Thomas says his work is inspired by the landscape of the west of Ireland.
He explains, “I became unemployed and decided to utilise my skills and craftsmanship as well as my surroundings to find bog oak or bog wood. The wood which has been preserved in the bog for many years has inspired me to create unique sculptures. When I discover a piece of wood an image comes into my mind. I then try and craft the piece to represent my artistic creation.”
Of his piece for President Higgins, Thomas says, “The piece called Sheeaun was buried in the peat bog on my land. When I first came across this piece of bog oak, I instinctively thought it as a sculpture which would represent some of the hidden artifacts and archaeological remains from the small community.”
Thomas says he is proud that his work has been presented to the President.
“It’s brilliant to have my work recognised in this way. It’s great to think that a piece I’ve done is in Áras an Uachtaráin.”
The President also received a copy of the Ennis Atlas. Written by local man Brian Ó Dálaigh, the atlas traces over 700 years of urban development in Ennis.

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A native of Ennis, Ronan Judge completed his Journalism and Communications Diploma course at Griffith College. The Clare People is his first newspaper appointment. Contact Ronan on [email protected]

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