A rare medieval wooden sculpture of the Madonna miraculously discovered among the burning thatch as a fire gutted the Cosy Thatch pub at Kilmeaden, is to go on permanent display at Waterford Museum of Treasures.
The statue, which is thirty-one inches in height and dates back to the 15th century, has been donated to the museum by the proprietor of the Cosy Thatch, Martin Doyle.
Hidden possibly for centuries in the thatch of the Cosy Thatch public house, the beautifully sculpted hardwood statue was discovered at midnight on the 12th August 1996 when firemen trying to control a fire at the premises pulled down the burning thatch thus exposing the statue.
The discovery of this extremely rare object of Roman Catholic religious devotion is almost miraculous, as only seven medieval statues of the Madonna have survived in Ireland.
The Director of Waterford Museum of Treasures Eamonn McEneaney described the donation as a remarkable act of generosity – of all of the objects donated to the museum since opening in 1999 this sculpture is beyond doubt the finest and rarest. [Source]