MANY towns have grand, striking heritage centerpieces that almost define them in the mind’s eye — even if they are legacy pieces from a very different Ireland.
Cashel has a magnificent, restored castle; Cobh its imposing cathedral; and Lismore sits in the shadow of a castle looming over the Blackwater and the town like a predatory crow looks down from a lofty, see-all perch.
It is often a struggle to maintain these great documents from history. Some fall into disrepair. Some, tragically, pass the point of no return and are lost forever. Thankfully, that will not happen anytime soon to Youghal’s iconic Clock Gate Tower which has been re-opened after an eight-year restoration project was completed. The tower has played a central role in the town’s history. It was used as a store, a family home, a jail and a place of execution.
It is not easy to differentiate between nostalgia and heritage. One can be saccharine, the other an acknowledgment of the foundations our communities rest on. A shared heritage, like Youghal’s tower, is after all the glue that unites us all.
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