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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 June 2006, 07:43 GMT 08:43 UK
Noise fears over Harris statue plans
Plans to erect a statue to actor Richard Harris on the west coast of Ireland have been hit by objections from residents fearing a noisy crowd.

A number of people in the west Clare seaside town of Kilkee are concerned a memorial to one of Ireland's most celebrated actors might draw a "rough element" to the Wellington Square area.

Harris attracted younger  fans for his role in Harry Potter
Harris attracted younger fans for his role in Harry Potter

Manuel di Lucia, the project director behind the Richard Harris Memorial Committee, said he was determined to erect a statue in Kilkee to mark the place where the Oscar-nominated actor spent many holidays.

"The objection is that it will bring a rowdy element to the area," said Mr di Lucia.

"I can't comprehend this piece of objection, I can't understand that. Phil Lynott was probably one of the biggest rock guys in Ireland. They have a statue of him in Dublin.

"How many people are standing around his statue at night causing problems?"

"The objections are completely unfounded because this is an area which is totally residential."

Harris, who starred in The Field and in more recent years as the wily head of Hogwarts School in Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone, died in October 2002 at the age of 72.

He had just finished work on the second Harry Potter movie, Chamber of Secrets, when he became ill.

We have the statue being made - it will go up in Kilkee somewhere, I can guarantee you that
Manuel di Lucia

Mr di Lucia, a cousin of Hollywood actor Danny DeVito, said Limerick-born Harris's ties to the area began when he spent holidays there with his brothers during his youth.

"Everytime he came to Kilkee he brought an air of joviality to the town," he said.

"He was very flamboyant, very well liked by everybody."

The statue, which is being designed by Seamus Connolly, will show Harris playing racquet ball - a game at which he excelled, winning a competition four years in a row at the town.

Mr di Lucia who raised more than half of the required 40,000 euro funding in donations from Harris's three sons, said the statue in honour of Harris would definitely go ahead.

"We have the statue being made. It will go up in Kilkee somewhere, I can guarantee you that," he said.

Harris built his reputation on his commanding performances in films such as A Man Called Horse and This Sporting Life.

He was twice nominated for Oscars for This Sporting Life and The Field and was also nominated for a British Independent Film award for his performance as the leader of a Liverpool crime syndicate in My Kingdom.

However, he was also renowned for his hellraiser lifestyle and heavy drinking.

He admitted his wayward nature almost lost him the role of Harry Potter's wise old wizard headmaster.

The statue in his memory is due to be unveiled on 30 September.

Obituary: Richard Harris
25 Oct 02 |  Entertainment
In Pictures: Richard Harris
25 Oct 02 |  Entertainment

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