“Truck” Returned To Stone Man On Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

The finial (from Latin: finis, meaning end), which originally donned the flag on the 1798 memorial statue when it was first erected on Liberty Square, Thurles in 1901, has now, at last been, replaced.

Pic (1): 1798 Memorial Flag with finical replaced.
Pic (2): Old picture showing original finical prior to accident.

Accidently broken, together with the tip of the Arming Sword, during the erection of Christmas lighting some years back; while the Arming Sword tip was replaced, alas the finial was not and same vanished.

Back in the 19th century, this finial shape would have been better known as a “truck”, with its original purpose meant to keep a wooden flag pole from splitting.

At the very top of every flagpole can be found a finial, which is not just a decorative piece that users construct. Most finials today appear in the form of a gold ball and a few are observed as an eagle.
Back on September 16th 1898 the flag pole finial on the White House, latter located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. United States, was replaced by a patriotic eagle, same made of aluminium and coated in a gold anodized finish.

A finial ball is truly required for pole maintenance. A number of military flagpoles were at one time topped with gold-coloured eagles, but these proved impractical because flags would become entangled and torn, during high winds; hence the switch to spheres shapes, which eliminated this unnecessary waste and expense.

In the absence of the Stone Mans finical, many local people in Thurles believed the flag pole represented a pike, but of course it never was a pike.

The new finical is made from a left over piece of lime stone slab, which was used to replace a badly cracked piece of limestone previously, in Holycross Abbey, and carved by stonemason and sculptor Mr Philip Quinn.


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