Like many others, Ferrybank-based bricklayer, Paul Whelan, couldn’t escape the ill-effects of the downturn in the construction industry. So, with over 30 years experience at his craft laying temporarily dormant, Paul returned to his childhood passion, hurling. Combining his creative skills and his love of the caman and sliotair, Whelan’s Plaster Designs emerged from the mould!
Paul has designed two casts that capture the passion and determination of Waterford hurlers as they prepare to face Cork in next weekend’s Munster Hurling Final in Thurles. ‘The Wall’ is a cast of a determined hurler breaking through a brick wall to achieve his goal and ‘The Hand’ depicts a hurler’s hand gripping a sliotar.
A former pupil of Scoil Lorcain in St John’s Park, Paul proudly held the school’s Long Puck title and has always followed the highs and lows of the Waterford Senior Hurling Team.
“The idea to combine art and sport was quite simple. I love hurling and capturing the passion, power and determination of the hurler in a cast seemed to make sense”, said Paul.
Ciaran Cullen, Acting Chief Executive of Waterford City Enterprise Board which is backing the initiative, added “The concept presented by Paul is unique. His casts are distinctive and finished in the blue and white of the Deise. Paul was proactive in creating a product that will resonate with a large slice of the population. That is the type of enterprising spirit that we love to see alive and well in Waterford.”
‘The Hand and ‘The Wall’ are available in outlets throughout Waterford including Ken McGrath Sports, Waterford Gift Gallery, Ryan’s Shoe Repair, Excel Promotions, Pet World and GAA clubs throughout the county. Being a pragmatist, Paul can also produce the sculptures in any county colours upon request.