Renovation of the Christmas Crib statues for the Holy Cross Dominican Church in Tralee

Photograph credited to Kerry’s Eye Newspaper

Christmas Cribs that depict the birth of Jesus hold a special place in the hearts of communities, serving as a visual representation of the biblical story of the nativity. The statues within these cribs are often handcrafted with intricate details, showcasing the skills and artistry of local crafts people from many years ago.  Over the years, these cherished symbols of the season may experience wear and tear, prompting the need for renovation to preserve their cultural and religious significance.

When the community of the Holy Cross Dominican Church in Tralee realised that there was damage to their crib statues due to age, Sr. Edel and Fr. David approached a local art teacher, Ann O’Shea Daly from Mercy Mounthawk Secondary School to renovate all 10 statues. She was honoured to accept the challenge and looked for volunteers from her 3rd year class. Eight girls and boys came forward and gave many hours to the task. The work ranged from painting, remaking parts in clay and firing in the kiln and then attaching them to the statues. Many of the statues have been reinforced within the structure to ensure they remain resilient for years to come.

“I want to take a moment to acknowledge and commend each and every one of the students who dedicated their time and effort to renovating the Christmas Crib statues. Your hard work has truly made a significant difference and the teamwork displayed by the students in renovating the Christmas Crib statues is truly commendable. I involved my granddaughter Lily, in a small way. She was filled with excitement at the prospect of being involved. She painted a little of Baby Jesus’ hair and a tiny part of another statue. Hopefully these statues will continue to tell the timeless story of the nativity, connecting generations and preserving the rich cultural heritage that defines the Christmas season” – Ann O’Shea Daly Mercy Mounthawk Secondary School Art Teacher