By Andrew Bushe
DUBLIN — A Cork native is obsessed with getting as many pairs of women’s knickers as he can — but he is no sexual fetishist — it is all for art.
Tralee, Co. Kerry-based artist Maurice Galway has so far collected 70 pairs of smalls from friends, relatives and acquaintances for his project, which is entitled "I would never throw my knickers at you."
He has launched a national appeal for donations and, depending on how many pairs of panties he receives, he will create his work for a gallery or use them for an arc that would cover the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin with knickers.
The bridge concept is inspired by President Mary McAleese’s theme of building bridges in the country.
"I thought all these women coming together, a representation of all of them, a joining of hands, and the bridge itself being covered," Galway said.
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He started collecting with the idea of lining a room from wall to floor. "It was a very clear vision," he said.
He says his wife and mother both find the idea "humorous" and have donated several of their own for his work.
People donating their knickers have told him stories about them. One woman remembered being in boarding school at the age of 8 and having to sort all the school bloomers every Sunday and stitch up any that needed to be repaired.
Galway has been working on the project since last September and so far has found Irish women’s undies are run of the mill, with about 70 percent being "comfort" knickers.