SOCIAL Democrat Cllr Ross O’Connell expressed his disappointment that Cork County Council has rebuffed a proposal to install a bench for reflection at Ireland’s most southerly headland.
A senior executive officer explained that, as part of the Council’s own guidelines, it was opposed to ‘a proliferation of monuments in locations, especially signature locations like the Mizen.’
But the chairman of the West Cork Municipal District Council, Cllr Declan Hurley, intervened and suggested that a formal application ‘for consideration’ was part of the same set of guidelines and one should be submitted.
Both Cllr O’Connell and Cllr Caroline Cronin (FG) had spoken in favour of the Bench of Hope project, which aims to raise awareness of mental health difficulties.
Mr O’Connell said the bench design – which is not visually intrusive – has already been broadly welcomed at its twin location at Malin Head.
Both headlands, he said, have been significant markers for lots of individuals and groups who have done fundraisers for charities, and raised awareness of various health and societal issues. Cllr O’Connell said there would be ‘no cost to the Council’ because funds raised by the Bench of Hope project would cover it 100%, including installation.
The Council’s senior executive officer said that the project, if approved by the Council, would also require planning permission.