Muckross House, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Muckross HouseThe world renowned Muckross House is situated amidst the spectacular scenary of Killarney National Park - Ireland's premier National Park, comprising 10,000 hectares of mountains, woods and lakeland.

Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the house, visit the traditional farms, the craft shop or the garden restaurant.

Phone: +353 64 6631440 or visit our website:

Tuesday 2 July 2013

The A.W.B. (Billy) Vincent Memorial

The A.W.B. (Billy) Vincent Memorial

A memorial to Billy Vincent, whose family donated Muckross House and its Estate to the Irish State in 1932, was unveiled here in Muckross by Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan T.D. on the 28th of June 2013. 

Billy Vincent died in Monte Carlo in October 2012 aged 93, an extraordinary man, Billy had a close connection to Muckross which he kept throughout his life; this sculpture is a fitting tribute to his memory. 

The image of the Heart which represents Billy's generosity and kindness which faces the Park entrance.

The Memorial was crafted here in Muckross by German sculptor Rolf Hook from a large piece of Oak that from a tree that fell in the National Park near Muckross House. The shapes, textures and lines in this sculpture have all been carefully considered and carved the master sculptor to reflect the unique characteristics of Billy Vincent, to represent his connection with the Park and reflect his love for Killarney.

The image of the Butterfly, facing the House which represents Billy Vincent's gentleness and genius.

The most obvious of the images which can be seen are the Heart and the Butterfly, which stand on opposing sides of the sculpture, representing Billy’s generosity and kindness and his gentleness and genius respectively. More refined detail such as the rough chiseled textures representing his unrefined approach and the smooth surfaces representing his style and character combine with the striking images to build an amazing representation of Billy Vincent’s character and life. 

Installing the Memorial

Made from an enormous single piece of 300 year old Killarney Oak and weighing 3 tonnes it is one of the largest, if not the largest sculptures to ever have been crafted from a single piece of wood in Ireland.

The sculpture is 3.5 meters in length and 1.8 meters in height. Billy Vincent was considered to be in the sculptors words, a "giant of a man", the size and powerful stance of the memorial show this while reflecting the gentler features of his personality in its intricate details.

The use of nature’s beauty is central to this piece, and thanks to its unique characteristics it will be an ever changing and evolving piece as nature changes the woods colours and develops a unique pattern on the sculptures base. These changes will be documented as they take place and as the sculpture becomes more and more a part of Muckross.

As time progresses the sculptures base will continue to naturally develop a beautiful,  unique pattern, ever changing with nature itself. This picture was taken just one week after the unveiling and already the base has begun to change.

This picture, taken a month on from the unveiling shows the development of the natural colouration on the base.
The Sculptor, Rolf Hook, is a German sculptor working in wood, has refined his craft from an early age. Working from his childhood at his father’s side he progressed to complete a Masters Degree in Fine Woodworking and went on to win a German State Award for his unique contribution to the Arts. In his work he always highlights the inner beauty of each tree, studying each piece of wood, carefully observing its composition before placing his first all-important cut.  Rolf aims to project his idea, as gently as possible, into that piece. The result is a display of his fine, unique art – stunning natural beauty, with a story, perhaps hidden, all its own. For more on the artist and his work see