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Bandon to get €7,500 for King Billy banner

June 7th, 2016 5:25 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The King Billy banner which will be restored thanks to the heritage grant of €7,500 for its conservation.

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A BANNER celebrating King William of Orange’s victory at the Battle of the Boyne, dated to 1830 and displayed in the West Cork Heritage Centre in Bandon, has been given a grant of €7,500 for restoration. 

The banner was one of several projects that was granted funding in Co Cork by the Heritage Council, under its 2016 Community-based Heritage Grants Scheme. The Bandon Walled Town Committee had applied for the grant to restore or ‘conserve’ the flag.

According to Cllr Gillian Coughlan, it was only when Liam Mannix of the Heritage Council saw the banner that he realised its significant historical importance.

‘When he saw the banner which had been on display at the heritage centre, he was excited and then the group was encouraged to apply for funding for its conservation,’ Gillian told The Southern Star.

‘This is the start of getting funding from the Heritage Council with a view to getting more funding to maintain the building and fix the roof and we want the Heritage Council to become more involved in the centre.’

The banner celebrates King William of Orange’s victory at the Battle of the Boyne and was commissioned by the Bandon branch of the Orange Order at the time. ‘The banner was examined on site in March and is in poor overall condition, with several tears and evidence of inappropriate previous repairs,’ said Isabell Smyth of The Heritage Council. 

She said the conservation project would document the flag and the surface would be cleaned and the paint consolidated, and the banner would be humidified. ‘Given the plantation origins of Bandon and the role of West Cork in the struggle for independence, this banner provides the opportunity to present a complex story of local and national identity,’ she added.

Cllr Coughlan also commented on the importance of this banner in the context of Bandon’s history. ‘This is an important part of the heritage of Bandon and in the spirit of 1916, we should respect all traditions.’

Sinn Féin Cllr Rachel McCarthy said she would not criticise someone else’s heritage and said ‘it’s about embracing equality and diversity’ within the town.’

Other projects funded included €5,000 for the Allin Institute Community Building in Bandon and €2,000 for the church and graveyard in Inchigeela. 

St Fin Barre’s Cathedral in Cork received €7,000 towards protecting the stained glass windows at the famous cathedral.

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