Loveable otter makes Limerick her new home

  • Otter Mural Mary Conroy
Pictured at the unveiling of the Mural under the Shannon Bridge beside St. Michael’s Rowing Club at O’Callaghan Strand was Mary Conroy. (Pic: Alan Place)

A new mural of an otter has been officially unveiled in Limerick today (Friday 22 June 2018). The mural is located under the Shannon Bridge beside St. Michael’s Rowing Club at O’Callaghan Strand.

It was created and painted by local artist Mary Conroy thanks to co-funding by the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment and Limerick City and County Council under the Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund.

Local Agenda 21 is a programme that funds projects or initiatives that help to increase awareness of environmental issues locally or that could help communities to become more sustainable.

Projects focus on environmental awareness and actions which complement national environmental policies such as those on waste, biodiversity, water conservation and climate change.

Otters are strictly protected (wherever they occur) by law and the destruction of their resting and breeding places is an offence. They have been known to frequent Limerick city in the river along by the Condell Road, and their presence usually indicates good water quality.

The vibrant mural was created by Mary Conroy with help from volunteers from St. Michael's Rowing Club and is a wonderful art installation of public artwork celebrating local diverse wildlife.

Mary Conroy is a graduate of LIT’s Limerick School of Art and Design and is a cross-disciplinary artist with a strong environmental ethos. Her work explores humanity’s place within the natural world through sculpture, intervention, dialogue and imagery. Her work incorporates ceramics, installation, social practice. She is an artist-in-residence at Ormston House Cultural Resource Centre.

Otter Mural Mary Conroy and Volunteers from St. Michael's Rowing Club
Pictured at the unveiling of the Mural were Mary Conroy, Artist with St. Michaels Rowing Club volunteers who helped with the project, Cara MacMahon, Jack McKeown, Asia O'Brien and Ciara Marron. (Pic: Alan Place)

Officially opening the mural today [Friday 22 Jun 2018], Mayor of City and County of Limerick Cllr Stephen Keary said: "The mural by Mary is a fantastic addition to our growing urban art scene around Limerick. The brightly coloured mural transforms the area under the Shannon Bridge. This area is the start of a fantastic nature amenity that we have along the Condell Road and hopefully this will encourage more people to think about nature, and be on the look-out for the otter.”

“The otter also reminds us of the river and the joys that the river can imbue for a person but also for the city as we continue to embrace the River Shannon.”

Speaking about her latest work Mary Conroy said: “In my work, I look for a connection between people and place to promote stewardship of biodiversity in local environment. This my small contribution to the battle against the loss of global biodiversity.”​

Sinead Mc Donnell, Environment Awareness Officer with Limerick City and County Council said: “This is a wonderful collaboration between artist and St Michael's Rowing Club which was funded under the Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund 2017/18. I hope residents of and visitors too Limerick will enjoy this memorable depiction of the otter. It is fantastic to see the mural depict the otter which is regarded as one of Ireland’s most charismatic native mammal species.”

The otter is the latest installation of urban art in Limerick city.

Following a massive public interest in the Speaker’s Corner Mural, Limerick City and County Council is currently working with the Make a Move Festival to develop ideas received and will be seeking further public input in the coming weeks. There will also be a small exhibition of many of the submissions.

Otter Mural Shannon Bridge
The mural is located under the Shannon Bridge beside St. Michael's Rowing Club at O'Callaghan Strand. (Pic: Alan Place)

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