Volunteers from Pearse Celtic FC played their part in the restoration of the grotto in Dean Rock Estate in Togher.
“It was a great honour for our club to give back to the community and we are always looking to help out,” said Ger Sweeney, club spokesperson.
Seán O’Connor, committee member added: “We’re a small club but we’re keen to give back to the community whenever we can.
“Our underage football pitch is across the road from the grotto and we would have regularly seen elderly people from the community heading out to pray there.
“A lot of our kids would have been walking past it a lot and would have seen them praying there as well,” he said.
“When this whole pandemic thing happened, we knew there were a lot of elderly people cocooning and we wanted to see what we could give back to them.”
The club set about the project at the end of July.
“So over a period of about three or four days we got to work. We got rid of the weeds, gave the place a bit of a power wash and touched up the paint on the grotto,” said Sean.
“The chairman, players and others really got involved. “It was great for the young lads to be able to give something back, and for the elderly to see the young lads giving a hand,” he added.
“The reaction has been great, it was really appreciated by the elderly and to see their reaction was great.”
Local parishioner Nelly Morley, who prays at the grotto, said parishioners are very grateful for all the help to restore the grotto after a difficult period for all due to Covid-19 and churches being closed.
The club and parishioners paid special thanks to local men Paddy and Denis who painted the statue, and to Cork City Council’s Parks department for planting flowers.