21In her Guide, Stella Cherry lists the Ballyvourney figure as "probably a Sheela-na-gig." (Cherry, Stella. A Guide to Sheela-Na-Gigs. Dublin: National Museum of Ireland, 1992. 4-10.)
Lewis' Topographical Dictionary in 1837 noted "The ruins of the church are very extensive and interesting; in one of the walls is a head carved in stone, which is regarded with much veneration." (Lewis, Samuel. A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland‬: ‪Comprising the Several Counties, Cities, Boroughs, Corporate, Market, and Post Towns, Parishes, and Villages, with Historical and Statistical Descriptions..., Volume 1. London: Clearfield, 1837. 169.)
A journal article in 1935 described the sculpture as "A small figure known as St. Gobonet, cut in an ovoid depression on a rough lintel over a trefoil window at the east end of the south wall. It shows no definite features of a sheela-na-gig except the pose of the arms, but it seems to be connected with rites of very ancient origin." (Guest, Edith M. "Irish Sheela-na-Gigs in 1935." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 6.1 (1936): 110.)
According to Maureen Concannon, "The presence of all three aspects of the goddess at Ballyvourney - Sheela, Madonna and Hag - makes it the only centre in Ireland and perhaps of all the places where the Sheela now remains, to have preserved the tripartite aspects of the goddess - maiden, mother and crone." (Concannon, Maureen. The Sacred Whore: Sheela, Goddess of the Celts. Cork: Collins, 2004. 36-8.)