Taoiseach urged to find funds for Shandon clock

The Taoiseach will be asked today to intervene and source emergency funding for the repair of Cork’s iconic Shandon clock.

Taoiseach urged to find funds for Shandon clock

It follows confirmation from Cork City Council yesterday that it has no money this year to fund repairs for the clock atop St Anne’s Church steeple, which has been stuck at 12.10 for months.

A council spokesman said options for repairing the clock mechanism have been identified, tendered, and costed.

“However, at this point Cork City Council does not have funds allocated or available for carrying out the necessary repair at the present time,” he said.

“The cost of this work will be included in the city council budget for 2015.”

It was not clear last night exactly how much money is required to get the clock ticking again.

News about the lack of funding was greeted with dismay by Barry Keane, a Fine Gael activist who is running in the local elections, and who first raised the Shandon clock issue last November.

Referring to the €2.3m revamp of Fitzgerald’s Park in the city, which opens today, he said: “I welcome that revamp. But we were able to find money to turn a perfectly good garden into a perfectly good garden, and the fact that we can’t find money for Shandon is shameful.

“I plan to raise the issue with the Taoiseach during his visit to Cork today, and with the transport and tourism minister, and the arts and heritage minister. Surely there is emergency heritage funding that can be sourced to repair this symbol of Cork.”

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. The church and its clock tower are known internationally as the symbol of Cork City.

However, the clock mechanism, affectionately known as the “four-faced liar” because the times never match up, stopped working last year.

Mr Keane called last November for City Hall, which is responsible for the upkeep of the clock mechanism, to fix it.

However, city officials warned that given its historic nature and significance, and the value of Shandon Tower to the city and as a tourist attraction, that it would take some time to identify the right sustainable long-term solution.

Mr Keane insisted time has run out for city officials and he plans to raise his concerns with Enda Kenny.

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