A WEST Cork-born councillor who called on Cork City Council to erect a statue of Michael Collins in Cork city centre said he is delighted that his motion was passed at a recent Council meeting, by 22 votes to one with one abstention.
Fine Gael councillor Shane O’Callaghan – who grew up in Castlelack, just outside Bandon, but now lives in Douglas – said that all he was asking was that the Council facilitate its placement at a suitable location in in the city centre.
‘The motion came about as a result of discussions which I had with Jerry Carey, Tim Crowley (Michael Collins Centre) and Noel Scannell of the Collins 100 Committee, which is an historical and strictly non-political organisation whose goal is to honour the memory of Michael Collins,’ Cllr O’Callaghan told The Southern Star.
‘They are proposing to raise the necessary funds to create a statue of Collins, then have the statue made and present the statue to Cork City Council for placement at a suitable location in the city centre.’
Cllr O’Callaghan said that a fundraising campaign, similar to the one which raised the necessary funding for the erection of the statue of Collins in Clonakilty in 2002, will get underway.
‘This is a unique opportunity for Cork to commemorate the centenary of the death of one of Ireland’s greatest heroes.’
Cllr O’Callaghan said the proposal is for a statue of Collins with a bicycle, similar to the one he cycled around Dublin on, while he was leading the military resistance to British rule and managing the finances of the outlawed government.
‘It will be based on that iconic photograph of Collins with a bicycle, which is probably the most famous image of any Irish person with a bike.’
Cllr O’Callaghan also added that he would be more than happy to support the erection of a statue of someone from the Anti-Treaty side of the Civil War also, particularly if the necessary funds are raised beforehand and the statue is presented to Cork City Council, as is the proposal with the Michael Collins statue.