The man driving a campaign to fix the stalled Shandon clock has vowed to resist any attempts to replace its ancient mechanism with electronics.
Barry Keane spoke out again last night as he launched a #fixshandonclock Twitter campaign in a bid to up the pressure on Cork City Council — the custodians of the iconic “four-faced liar”.
The Irish Examiner first reported his concerns about the landmark last week after it emerged that the clock has been out of action for several months.
City Hall issued a statement on Friday warning that it will take some time to agree on the right repair option. “The council will also need to consider alternative options, such as converting the clock mechanism to electronic control, as has recently been carried out to the clock at City Hall,” a spokesman said.
But Mr Keane, a Fine Gael local election candidate on the city’s southside, said: “This must be strongly resisted as the workings of the clock are as much a part of our heritage as the clock itself”. He has written to all Fine Gael councillors asking them to raise the issue directly with the city manager at the next full council meeting.
“The clock is the standout symbol of our city and as a major tourist attraction it needs to be fixed,” he said.
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy, who raised the issue on the council agenda last week, called for a co-operative approach to ensure a lasting solution.
“I will be asking the council’s tourism unit, Team, to engage with Church of Ireland leaders to see how this can be resolved. So much could be done with this building.”
Mr Keane said the clock needs to be completely refurbished and serviced for the first-time in 13 years.
He urged councillors to call for the reinstatement of a regular maintenance regime, and said it should be awarded to a local clock repair company who would inspect the clock mechanism at least once per year, and if necessary, service its wheels and cogs at a moment’s notice.
He said the four clock faces are covered in mildew and need cleaning.
He also called for the reinstatement of the €200 per year service and repair contract for the city’s other iconic public clock — Mangan’s clock outside Merchants Quay.
Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Paul Colton, was among those who offered their support for the #fixshandonclock yesterday.
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