Waiting on the Shore – bronze statue at Rosses Point, Co Sligo

Waiting on the Shore is a highly evocative statue of a woman with her arms outstretched to sea at Rosses Point in Co Sligo.

It was created by sculptor Niall Bruton and pays tribute to the men who sailed the seas off the west coast of Ireland, and to the women who waited at home and prayed for their safe return.

For centuries, successive generations of Sligo families had an uneasy relationship with the sea. On the one hand it provided them with a living with men going off to be fishermen, merchant seamen and sailors. On the other it was fraught with danger and took lives with frightening regularity. It meant that women could never be at peace while their husbands, sons, brothers and fathers were out at sea.

Rosses Point abandoned-boat--Image-copyright-Ireland-Calling
It was also left to women to run the family and the home while their men were away. And in those tragic cases when men were lost at sea, their wives would have to struggle on and raise the children alone.

Ogham, the mysterious language of the trees The Origins of the Ogham alphabet are still a mystery for many historians, but it is primarily thought to be an early form of the Irish written Language. Bealtaine Fire

Rosses-Point_sunlight breaking through the clouds -Image-copyright-Ireland-Calling
With seafaring so dangerous and the stakes so high, it’s perhaps not surprising that woman in Waiting on the Shore has her arms reaching out to sea and perhaps even to heaven, beseeching the safe return of her loved one. She looks as though she wants to pull him back to safety.

Rosses-Point_Waiting on the Shore statue detail-of-face-Image-copyright-Ireland-Calling-
Her face is full of sorrow and anguish … perhaps he is already late in his return and she is becoming anxious, praying and hoping against hope that her fears are groundless and his ship will appear any moment.

Hers is the plight of women throughout the ages along Ireland coastline and beyond. The plaque on the base of that statue reads:

Lost at sea, lost at sea,
Or in the evening tide
We loved you, we miss you
May God with you abide.

The three metre high bronze statue looks out across Sligo Bay and fittingly, is close to the base of the local lifeboat rescue service. It was unveiled on 10 August, 2002 in a ceremony involving local dignitaries.

Sculptor Niall Bruton was born in Dublin and now has a studio in Donegal Craft Village. As well as Waiting on the Shore, he also created the Famine Commemoration Statue on the Quayside in Sligo.


More popular articles and videos

The mystery of what Maureen O’Hara whispered to make John Wayne look so shocked

Meghan Markle can trace her family tree back to Ireland

Matt Damon winning hearts and minds with charm assault on Ireland

Cork trio perform best Irish dance video of the year

Action hero Tom Cruise was once attacked by an old man in a Kerry pub

Celebrate with the top 10 Irish recipes

Liam Neeson speaks about his late wife in emotional interview

Dating site explains why Irish men make wonderful husband material

How to become an Irish citizen

Billy Connolly says public should ignore politicians and listen to comedians

Take a look inside Hollywood star Saoirse Ronan’s stunning Irish home

Ireland Calling Videos

Check out the Ireland Calling YouTube Channel for more great videos like these.