A monument to 1916 leader Thomas Kent, which has been obstructed by an electronic pay station at Cork’s main railway station named in his honour, may have to be relocated.
The news emerged yesterday, more than a year after a large device erected directly in front of the monument was branded “an affront” to Kent’s memory.
The almost 2m-high pay meter was installed in front of the monument as part of the construction of one of the city’s public bike-sharing stands at Kent train station.
Workers’ Party councillor Ted Tynan last year called for the “ugly device” to be moved — particularly as the country commemorated the 1916 centenary.
Irish Rail said in May 2016 that it was aware of the concerns about the placement of the pay station and insisted it planned to relocate the meter “as quickly as possible”.
A spokesman said at the time that they were proud to have hosted an event a few weeks earlier marking the centenary of Kent’s execution as part of last year’s countrywide 1916 centenary commemorations and that they didn’t want to have the memorial obstructed in this way.
A spokesman confirmed yesterday that the company is now considering relocating the Kent monument after various options to relocate the meter and the bike parking stand were considered and then ruled out.
“We are now looking at an alternative location for the bust,” said the spokesman.
The committee involved in the erection of the Kent monument will be consulted before any move is considered, he added.
Kent was arrested in Castlelyons on May 2, 1916, following a two-hour gun battle after members of the RIC arrived at his family home to arrest him and members of his family.
He was transferred to Cork military detention barracks on May 3, 1916, and was kept in isolation.
On May 4, Kent appeared before a quickly convened court-martial presided over by a British army major and two captains.
He was executed on May 9, 1916, against a wall at the perimeter of the prison and was buried in a shallow grave.
His remains were exhumed in 2015 and were buried following a State funeral in Castlelyons.
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