The man campaigning to get Cork’s landmark Shandon clock fixed has called on city bosses to apply for emergency heritage funding to do the repairs.
Barry Keane made his comments last night after city manager Tim Lucey ruled out an open tender process for whatever repairs may be needed because of the specialised nature of the work.
“It is essential to have suitably qualified and experienced engineers carrying out work on the clock [pictured right],” said Mr Lucey.
“Only carefully selected companies will be asked to tender. Work is in progress to identify the scope of the necessary repairs and alternative options. It is too early to advise a completion date at this time.”
Mr Keane’s call came last night, almost two weeks after he first raised the issue of the stalled clock mechanism.
Since then, the hands on the “four-faced liar” have moved from being stuck at 10 to 7, to just beyond 10 past 12.
St Anne’s church in Shandon is registered on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage Buildings as a listed building of national importance. It is also listed on the city council’s register of protected structures.
These designations should allow the council apply for a grant of up to 75% of the cost of a heritage project, said Mr Keane, a Fine Gael candidate in next year’s local elections.
“In 2011 the Heritage Council granted money for emergency repairs to St Nicholas Church of Ireland in Adare, Co Limerick, after a fire.
“If Limerick could access these funds why can’t Cork get funds for Shandon? Have they asked?”
He also urged city officials to liaise with the Architectural Heritage Division of the Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht before they enter into any contract, and to consult with councillors before any works are agreed.
Meanwhile, Mr Lucey has agreed to ask for a detailed report on why the chimes on City Hall’s clock have been restricted to between 12noon and 2pm.
Cllr Michael Ahern raised the issue at the this week’s council meeting and said the chimes previously used to sound throughout the day.
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