‘They’re part of the fabric of the city’: Calls for monument in recognition of Cork dockers

‘They’re part of the fabric of the city’: Calls for monument in recognition of Cork dockers

Pictured in May 2021: Cllr Kenneth Collins and Cllr Mick Nugent at the site of a new development and demolition at Bramble Cottages, Old Spangle Hill in Farranree. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

A MONUMENT to honour former Cork dockers is being sought ahead of the Port of Cork’s move to Ringaskiddy.

Sinn Féin councillor Kenneth Collins has submitted a motion calling on Cork City Council to erect a sculpture or a statue “in recognition for the contribution made to the Cork economy by the Cork dockers”.

Speaking to The Echo Mr Collins said Cork dockers had a “major part” to play in terms of their contribution to the local economy.

“Obviously the Port of Cork is moving out to Ringaskiddy and Kennedy Quay and Horgan's Quay, the bonded warehouses were a hive of activity for generations with dockers down there working.

“They were big strong men that worked very, very hard every day of the week.” 

Mr Collins said he remembers getting bunches of bananas from Cork dockers when he was a child.

“The banana boats would come in and you’d get a bunch of bananas off a docker. They’d be green - I remember putting them into a cupboard at home or into the hot press and after a couple of days they’d be after ripening.” 

He has been liaising with former dockers who would greatly appreciate a monument in recognition of their deceased former colleagues. Mr Collins suggested that perhaps the Port of Cork and shipping companies could contribute to the cost of the monument.

The last dockers in the city collected their redundancy packages in February 2009 as part of a rationalisation at the Port of Cork to modernise work practices. Some had worked in the trade for almost 50 years.

Mr Collins' party colleague, councillor Mick Nugent agreed that the former Cork dockers deserve recognition. “They’re part of the fabric of the city,” he said.

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