Prince Albert of Monaco in the Newport County Mayo sits alongside the sculpture of his late mother, Princess Grace, the specially commissioned sculpture situated on Castlebar Street, at the entrance to Newport’s landmark seven arch bridge was created by Mayo-based sculptor Mark Rode. Photo: Conor McKeown

Prince Albert unveils impressive sculpture to his mother in Newport

Prince Albert of Monaco has unveiled an impressive sculpture of his late mother Princess Grace at Castlebar Street in Newport.

It was created by Mark Rode, who worked from an image of the former Hollywood actress and Oscar winner which was personally selected by the prince.

The sculpture is located within close proximity to the town's seven-arch viaduct.

Darragh McGee, one of the organisers, told RTE News: "We're delighted to have Prince Albert unveil the statue.

"Mark Rode is a very talented sculptor and we've enjoyed watching him over the past year as his project nears completion.

"He works out of his studio in Swinford and we've been in and out watching him put the finishing touches to the statue."

Prince Albert's visit was organised by the Newport Business Association as part of The Two Graces project, the other icon being legendary Mayo Pirate Queen, Grace O'Malley.

Princess Grace's ancestors came from the village of Drimurla, just outside Newport, and both the princess, her husband Prince Rainier and her son had previously visited the area.

Princess Grace died at the age of 52 in Monaco in 1982.

Today's event was attended by elected members of the Oireachtas and Mayo County Council.