Friendship between Kerry and China is represented by a marble statue of a baby panda.
The panda is a gift from the Republic of China to the Republic of Ireland in memory of the late former President of Ireland Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, who spent the final years of his life in the Sneem area. The panda now sits in a Chinese rock garden in the village of Sneem, county Kerry.
Since the mid-1950s Ó Dálaigh had advocated Chinese membership of the United Nations and after resigning as President in 1976 he visited China. He later became the patron of the Irish Chinese Cultural Society.
Chinese government officials travelled to Kerry for the unveiling ceremony which took place on 17 May. Also present were the Chinese Ambassador to Ireland and Mr Ó Dálaigh's widow Mairín. The National Folk Theatre Siamsa Tíre from Tralee provided the entertainment at the ceremony.
A certain amount of controversy has emerged over the positioning of the panda behind a public telephone box in the village. Indications are that the phone box will be moved so that the panda will be clearly visible.
The panda is the work of leading Chinese sculptor Liu Huanzhang.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 27 May 1986. The reporter is Tom McSweeney.