A group of businessmen, backed by the Lord Mayor of Cork, are hoping to put up a new sign on the outskirts of the city to replace one taken some years ago which honoured the legendary showband The Dixies.
The original sign stood for many years on the side of the old main Cork-Dublin road just south of Watergrasshill and read: “Welcome to Cork, home of The Dixies.”
Vincent Scanlon of B2B Signs has offered to recreate the original sign which is believed to be in a pub in New York.
He has already presented Joe Mac, one of only two former band members still alive, with a smaller version.
The presentation to Joe Mac was made at Canty’s Pub in Pembroke St recently to celebrate Joe’s 80th birthday.
Canty’s owner Ger Buttimer is leading the charge to have the replacement sign erected in the original spot and is being backed by other businessmen and Lord Mayor Des Cahill.
“People will always remember The Dixies for what they did and I think it’s highly appropriate that the sign goes back up,” said Mr Buttimer.
He said that, in January 2011, he asked Joe Mac to play a few gigs in his bar as a sort of one-off.
“He proved incredibly popular and still is,” he said. “Joe gigs here every Sunday from 6pm to 8pm and the place is packed. He’s created such a stir that we get people coming to the gigs from all over Ireland. We often get buses arriving from Galway and Dublin.
“He’s an exceptional character, and always up for a laugh and a bit of slagging. Now more than ever, we should recognise Joe and The Dixies for what they did for Cork.”
Mr Cahill said he wasn’t sure if planning permission would be required to erect the new sign because it was replacing one which stood on the spot for many years.
“We will be looking into that,” said Mr Cahill. “It was an iconic sign that many generations remember. I believe the original is in a bar in the US.”
He said the businessmen leading the campaign got the idea of replacing the sign after it was mentioned by comedian Brendan Grace.
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