123Archaeologist Peter Harbison described the original installation as "...the atrocious statue of St. Patrick..." (Harbison, Peter. Guide to the National and Historic Monuments of Ireland. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1992. pp. 268-70.)

Our photograph of that statue was made in 1978. Here is an earlier image, photographed prior to the installation of the fence and kissing gate.

On this early 20th-century postcard, it is not difficult to imagine the ancient pagan stone bowing in reverence before the statue of the saint.

Some sources record the date of the original statue's installation as 1829. Our source for the 1895 date is here.

The sculptor Annette Hennessey, whose design was selected for the replacement statue in 1997, did not win any friends in the local community when in a public forum there she referred to the saint as "just a myth." The antler-topped staff her St. Patrick is holding was inspired by the legend that the saint once turned himself into a deer to escape from danger.

The original statue came to a rather violent end, which you can read about here.