Shandon's Dunscombe fountain is lost say city officials

Shandon's Dunscombe fountain is lost say city officials

Holly sellers pictured near Dunscombe’s Fountain, at the bottom of Shandon Street, Cork, in the early 1920s.

QUESTIONS have been asked about the whereabouts of a missing antique fountain which once stood at the end of Shandon Street.

The Dunscombe Testimonial Fountain was gifted to the city by the family of the same name in the late nineteenth century.

However, city officials this week confirmed that they have no idea about the current location of the antique fountain and gas light.

The fountain once stood at the end of Shandon Street in Brown's Square, adjacent to the North Gate Bridge.

It was gifted to Cork Corporation in April 1883 before being removed in the early twentieth century.

Fianna Fáil councillor Kenneth O'Flynn this week raised the issue with city officials, questioning whether the fountain is in storage, sold or possibly even destroyed.

Officials at City Hall confirmed that the current location of the Dunscombe fountain and gas light is unknown.

A report from City Hall said, "The historical records suggest that the structure was removed from the street sometime before the 1980s. Another fountain was installed in Brown's Square as part of the Cork 800 celebrations. This structure was subsequently removed in 2003 as part of the Shandon Street Renewal Project."

There are currently no plans to add another fountain to the area.

"It would be laughable if it wasn't so serious," Mr O'Flynn said.

"The fact that there is no record available of the whereabouts of this fountain begs serious questions about the management of this city.

"It is absolutely unacceptable that management has taken such a flippant attitude towards it."

Mr O'Flynn said he was considering reporting the matter to An Garda Síochána in a bid to find the antique structure.

He has offered €100 as a reward for anyone that can provide information that leads to the discovery of the fountain. This sum was matched by Neil Prendeville on Red FM.

Mr O'Flynn said that the matter raises other questions.

"This needs to be brought to the auditor general but it makes you wonder about the whereabouts of other gifts, antiques and items belonging to the city. We should have a complete and full list at hand."

The Dunscombe family were a merchant prince family who lived in the Lee Road area of the city.

The fountain served as a working drinking water fountain for the entire north side for the years that it was situated on Shandon Street.

Mr O'Flynn said, "My hope is that whoever has it would re-gift it to the city. It is part of the story of the city and it could take pride of place in Shandon or St Anne's Park."

It is understood that the fountain was cast in the George Smith & Company Sun Foundry in Glasgow in the late nineteenth century.

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