Repairs to the stalled clock mechanism in Cork’s landmark Shandon church are due to get under way within weeks.
City manager Tim Lucey has confirmed that tenders are due to be invited soon in the hope of appointing a clock repair company in early March.
“The work continues to be addressed as a high priority and we aim to have Shandon clock back in operation immediately [once] the repair works are completed,” he said.
Concerns were raised last November after the famous, four-faced liar ground to a halt, with each of the four clocks showing at five to seven.
It was believed at the time that the clocks could have been stuck for up to five months. The clock hands have moved over that time to now show half past 12.
Fine Gael local election candidate Barry Keane, who first raised the issue, called on city bosses to address the issue as a matter of urgency.
But City Hall warned that it would take some time to restore the iconic clock to full working order.
A spokesman for City Hall said they had been liaising with the guardians of St Anne’s Church, and had inspected the clock mechanism.
Taking into account the historic nature of the clock mechanism, he said they were anxious to find the “right, sustainable, long-term solution”, which would take time to assess.
A maintenance engineer from John Smith and Sons Ireland had also advised the council that major works would be needed to prevent the clock from stalling again.
However, on Monday, Mr Lucey told councillors in a written reply to a question from northside councillor Joe O’Callaghan that a review of repair options was conducted in December.
He said pre-qualification submissions have been received from potential tenderers.
“Tenders are due to be invited shortly and appointment of a clock repair company is anticipated in early March,” he said.
“The clock mechanism, which was last refurbished in 1986, requires a complete overhaul.”
A clock repair company will be appointed in March to get the Shandon Clock back on schedule. Requires a complete overhaul. #corkcc— Alan Healy (@AlanHealy) February 10, 2014
It is not yet clear how much the repairs will cost or where the funding will come from.
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