The W.B. Yeats Memorial is situated in an area known as the “Mount” which consists of a series of irregular terraces, forming an amphitheatre within the park. It was designed with the intent of providing an area for quiet contemplation or theatre, in the round and oration, reflecting Yeats’ work as a poet & playwright, as much as an informal place for people to gather. The sculpture, “Knife Edge” by Henry Moore, is located within this area, and was donated by the W.B. Yeats Memorial Committee and funded by Irish American Philanthropist Mr. J. Kelly and Córas Tráchtála Teoranta. It was officially launched by the then Taoiseach, Mr. Jack Lynch on 26 October 1967.
Oldstone Conservation was appointed as Main Contractor & PSCS for the works which consisted of repairs to the stone paving and walls, the repair and fitting of new railings and the cleaning of the bronze sculpture & plaque.
Due to the public nature of the site a detailed method statement covering the site set up was required identifying the site boundaries, vehicular parking, entry and exit points etc. The existing artwork (bronze statue & plaque) was protected by enclosing them within an independent standing plywood box with viewing windows. Due to the limited space available, and the nature of the project, all works had to be completed by hand.
A photographic survey of the area was undertaken. Steam cleaning samples were prepared and once approved; the entire landscaped area was cleaned. The “Knife Edge” bronze statue was cleaned by a specialist.
The lifting and re-bedding of flagstones and setts was sequenced such that manageable areas were completed before proceeding to the next. This required stones to be numbered and dimensions recorded (line & level) prior to lifting. The stones were carefully lifted, cleaned of mortar and repaired where required. The existing bedding material was removed, a geotextile membrane applied, and new bedding material laid and compacted to the required falls. The stonework was reinstated to its original layout and repointed in a lime mortar.
The existing railings were repaired (where required) and new railings installed. This was undertaken by a specialist contractor who provided proof drawings prior to manufacture. All railings were painted upon completion.