Monday, 17 January 2022

‘Flying a Kite’ at a winter
sunset in Bettystown

‘Flying a Kite’ or ‘Boy with Kite’by Jarlath Daly is now a landmark in Bettystown, Co Meath (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

During a recent walk on the beaches of Bettystown and Laytown in Co Meath, a slow, lingering winter sunset brought a new light to Jarlath Daly’s sculpture, ‘Flying a Kite,’ also known as ‘Boy with Kite.’

I have been familiar with this work for many years, but the setting sun cast it in a new light for me a few weeks ago.

The sculptor Jarlath Daly was commissioned by Meath County Council to create this work, which was unveiled by Councillor Tom Kelly on 16 July 2006. It is an imposing bronze figure that graces the main entrance to Bettystown Beach, where kite flying has become synonymous with the area.

It creates the image of a boy racing across the rooftops with his kite, and this sculpture has a sense of youth, timelessness and fun.

Jarlath Daly works in bronze and his sculptures reflect public attitudes, local themes, legends, history at both the local and the epic, and sport, and he is inspired by nature and childhood memories. His works range in scale from 10 inches to 30 feet. He also works with precious metals for jewellery-making.

Jarlath Daly was born in Tipperary in 1956. When he graduated from Limerick School of Art and Design, he became a teacher and taught at second level for two decades, gradually building up a portfolio of private commissions.

His teaching career may explain his many pieces of sculpture for schools around Ireland, including Gaelscoil Tiobraid Arann, Tipperary, Saint Caimin’s Community School, Shannon, Co Clare, and Scoil Mochua, Celbridge, Co Kildare.

‘Flying a Kite’ is a whimsical art piece not to be missed when walking on the Co Meath coast. It is now a landmark in Bettystown and has become synonymous with Bettystown Square and the entrance to the beach.

A slow, lingering sunset while walking on the beach at Relish in Bettystown, Co Meath (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

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