THERE ARE HUNDREDS of statues of the Virgin Mary dotted around Ireland – on housing estates; at schools; near churches or railway crossings.
Most were put up in the Marian Year of 1954, when entire communities mobilised to erect a statue for their area.
Some have since fallen into disrepair – but many remain well-kept and regularly maintained by the people around them. Nevertheless their popularity has been on the wane – with the exception of July 1985 when a statue in Ballinspittle, Co Cork was reported to have spontaneously moved.
Photographer Steve Ryan travelled Ireland capturing the Marian statues – as well as Sacred Heart figures and other religious icons – for his exhibition Sometimes They Move.