Two generations of the Forbes family combine in delivery of Westport’s iconic Sentinel
In June 2012, out of the 563 entries, Westport was declared the winner of the competition to identify “The Irish Times Best Place to Live in Ireland”. In 2013, to celebrate this accolade, Westport Town Council invited sculptors to submit proposals for an iconic contemporary piece of sculpture, to create a new landmark in Westport in the triangular space between Quay Road and Peter Street. Ronan Halpin, based in Achill, won the competition entered by thirty two sculptors. His piece in bronze entitled “The Sentinel” depicts an angel on the back of a horse protecting Westport. The sculpture is approximately six metres high and sits on top of a circular stone pier itself some four metres high. The pier is intended to symbolise the prow of a ship with “The Sentinel” as the figurehead.
TOBIN designed the foundations and stainless steel skeletal structure. It was erected on the 18th December 2014, and on 16th October 2015, his Excellency Kevin O’Malley, United States Ambassador to Ireland, officially unveiled the sculpture. In his speech, Peter Hynes, Chief Executive of Mayo County Council, acknowledged the contribution of Brendan Mulligan and the TOBIN team. Particular mention was reserved for Mark Forbes, who prepared the structural details, and indeed his father, also Mark, who was Clerk of Works on the project; a lovely story of two generations of the same family working together.