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Sunday 17 December 2017

Dubs great Heffo 'not been dead long enough for a statue,' says city council

Kevin Heffernan
Kevin Heffernan
Paddy Cullen

Dublin City Council has knocked back a call to erect a statue of legendary Dubs manager Kevin Heffernan near Croke Park.

The proposal came from Boys in Blue supporter and assistant council gardener John Roche.

He hoped the statue to the multiple All-Ireland winning coach and player could be erected in small garden being created at the corner of Clonliffe Road.

However, a council official said city rules state a statue of cannot be commissioned unless the person in question has been dead for 20 years or more. Heffernan died in 2013

"The council recognises the role Kevin Heffernan played as manager of the Dublin gaelic football team from the 1970s and into the 1980s," he said.

"However, it is important to adhere to city council policy on public art."

Impact

"This states a person has to have been dead for more than 20 years before a statue of them is installed on city council property."

Mr Roche, who was also behind a mural of Diarmuid Connolly at Croke Villas, said he would like the council to reconsider its policy because of the impact Heffernan had on the GAA.

" I just think that the 50,000-60,000 Dublin supporters that go to every game, they would not be there without Kevin Heffernan.

"We really were nothing before him," said Mr Roche.

Cllr Christy Burke said he backed the idea of a statue and wanted the council to make an exception to the rule.

However, Dubs legend Paddy Cullen - who played in goal for Heffernan during the 70s when the Dubs reached six All Ireland Final's in a row - said he did not think the idea would get support from the GAA.

"I can't see the GAA allowing it so close to Croke Park," he said.

"I'd like to see it but I don't see it happening. I think there would be too many counties objecting.

"You could maybe understand it more if it was in Marino or Donnycarney, where Heffernan was from."

Regarded as one of the greatest Gaelic footballers of all-time, Heffernan made his debut during the 1948 championship.

He was a regular member of the starting fifteen until his retirement after the 1962 championship.

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