Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Mr. Paschal Donohoe TD, officially unveiled the Roses sculpture on the Tralee Bypass on Monday, August 18th 2014.
‘The Roses’ sculpture which consists of three red roses on their stems was created by Mayo sculptor, Rory Breslin, as part of the Percent for Art Scheme for the Tralee Bypass.
Situated beside the roundabout, linking the Tralee Bypass to the N22 Killarney road, the Roses sculpture highlights the well-known symbol of the Tralee area. It also links to the famous Rose of Tralee song which speaks of William Mulchinock’s love for Mary O’Connor, who was employed as a maid by the Mulchinock family.
Speaking at the official unveiling of the sculpture, Minister Donohoe congratulated all involved in both the construction of the Tralee Bypass and also in the creation of the sculpture. The Minister pointed to the success of the Tralee Bypass in diverting through traffic from Tralee town centre and reducing travel times for motorists in the area.
Speaking at the unveiling Minister Donohoe said: ‘It is important that we continue to support our artists through the Precent for Art scheme, which allows for a portion of the cost of a public infrastructure project to be ring-fenced for the commissioning of a work of art. Iconic installations such as this very quickly become a symbol of the area, and the consideration the public gives to them is evidenced by the fact that submissions for what would be placed here, just outside Tralee, were received from as far away as Australia and the US. I want to congratulate Rory Breslin on a wonderful design and wish him luck in what I am sure will be a bright future.
“The Tralee Bypass, which was opened last year by Minister Jimmy Deenihan, has had a significant impact on the region, through improved journey times for locals and tourist due to a reduction in traffic through r town. Ensuring that we do all we can to facilitate tourism, while removing obstacles to economic growth, is key to our future development and increased job creation. Linking road construction to artistic endeavours, as we have with the Roses, allows us to support and encourage our artist in an innovative and original way."
Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr John Brassil congratulated the sculptor Rory Breslin on his work.
“Through the Rose of Tralee song and the Festival, we have long associated the Tralee are with this beautiful flower,” he said. “The Roses sculpture at the entrance of Tralee town is an ideal depiction of this association,” he said. “Coupled with the football sculpture on the N21 entrance to Tralee, they present a beautiful initial image to visitors to Tralee.
The cost of the commission for the Tralee Bypass was €74,000 which covered all aspects of the commission, including the sculpture itself. Over 50 submissions were received following Kerry County Council’s advertisement seeking expressions of interest in relation to the commission.