Third application for ‘Gorgeous Gael’ statue

Third application for ‘Gorgeous Gael’ statue

The ‘Gorgeous Gael’ Jack Doyle with some of this supporters. Another application will be made to erect a statue in his honour in Cobh.

A COMMITTEE involved in erecting a statue to deceased boxer and actor Jack Doyle has plans to submit a third planning application to Cork County Council.

The statue, which was slated for Pearse Square, has already been turned down twice due to the lack of an environmental impact statement and the last application was rejected by county officials due to forthcoming streetscape improvements that might have been impacted by the statue.

Controversy has also surrounded the project with domestic violence service Women’s Aid raising questions over aspects of Doyle’s private life.

The disability-friendly statue was set to display Doyle seated on a stool, directly across from Cobh’s famous promenade.

County Councillor Diarmaid Ó Cadhla said a planning proposal will now seek for the statue to be built on the promenade where there is already a plaque commemorating Doyle’s life.

“We have had ups and downs on this project but the committee is still working on it and it’s on the agenda for the upcoming Cobh municipal district meeting, said Mr Ó Cadhla.

“We are asking that a new planning application be set up for submission. This is the third time we have got to this stage.

“It was hotly debated and there were a lot of nasty comments made [about Doyle], none of which had an impact because they were not relevant from a planning point of view.

“[The committee] has opted to propose it on the promenade.

“There is an existing plaque on the side of the entrance to the promenade on a rock. What we intend to do is put it behind that so the pieces compliment each other.

“People could take photos with the bandstand, Haulbowline and Spike Island in the background.

“I’m hopeful the members of the Cobh municipal district will give the project the nod,” he added.

Other options included placing the statue near the museum and the hill near the Sirius Arts Centre but these have been ruled out for a number of reasons.

A public consultation process will begin if the Cobh municipal district gives its backing to the latest application.

Known as the ‘The Gorgeous Gael’, Doyle was famous for a career in public life which encompassed boxing, singing, and acting but controversies surrounded some of his relationships with women and his lifestyle. He died in 1978.

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