Plans are underway to erect a statue in honour of legendary Northern Ireland goalkeeper Pat Jennings in his home city of Newry.
The project took its first tentative steps when Newry SDLP Councillor Michael Savage brought a motion to the Newry Mourne and Down District Council acknowledging Big Pat’s legacy and calling on Council to engage with those behind the project.
The Friends of Big Pat Group has been established in Newry to commission a statue to honour Pat Jennings for his achievements on and off the pitch.
Councillor Savage said: “It is a privilege to have brought this motion to Council honouring one of Newry’s most famous sons and someone who has been a fantastic role model throughout his career.
“Pat contributed so much on the pitch but he also gave so much of his time off it to reconciliation work as well as supporting many charities and acting as an ambassador for Newry’s successful City Status Bid.
“I am delighted the motion was seconded by UUP Councillor David Taylor as this reflects how Pat connected with everyone across our community.
“Council has referred the motion to the Good Relations Committee which is the correct forum for a project like this and any proposals from the Friends of Big Pat Group will be assessed via the Council’s procedures relating to statues and artwork.”
Councillor Savage’s motion reads:
Council acknowledges the outstanding contribution son of Newry, and former Northern Ireland International, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Watford and Newry Town goalkeeper Pat Jennings has made to sport, charity, reconciliation and the promotion of his home city and district.
The Friends Of Big Pat Group has been established to honour Pat Jennings through the commissioning of a statue to be located in his native Newry in honour of his achievements on and off the pitch and in recognition of the high esteem in which he is held in his home city and district and across the world.
Council acknowledges Pat Jennings’ global recognition as an outstanding international and English club goalkeeper, his time as a young GAA player with Newry Shamrocks, his work with numerous charities over many years, his involvement in reconciliation work including his 35 years with Co-operation Ireland and his role as an Ambassador for Newry’s City Status Bid in 2002.
Council agrees to engage (without prejudice) with the Friends of Big Pat Group as per the Council’s agreed procedure and policy relating to the erection of artworks and statues if an application is made by the Friends of Big Pat Group relating to the erection of artwork/statue honouring Pat Jennings’ in the city.
Newry SDLP Councillor Michael Savage brought a motion to Council which could pave the way for a statue honouring Pat Jennings being erected in his home city of Newry.