CORK city councillors from across the political spectrum have voiced their support for a Sinn Féin motion calling on the council to erect a sculpture or a statue “in recognition for the contribution made to the Cork economy by the Cork dockers”.
The motion was submitted by councillor Kenneth Collins and held at committee level for further discussions prior to coming before full council earlier this month.
In a report to councillors in response to the motion, Director of Services at Cork City Council, Paul Moynihan said that as Cork Docklands “commences its reform and regeneration, leveraged by the significant Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) investment received and coupled with the relocation of the Port of Cork, a structured programme in Q2/Q3 2022, to capture and memorialise the maritime history will be developed and implemented to assist in the realisation of opportunities which will be presented as a result”.
Speaking at the council meeting, Mr Collins said: “Everybody has a story to tell about the Cork dockers”, and that they deserve to be recognised for their contribution to the local economy.
Fine Gael councillor Shane O’Callaghan lauded the motion as a “fantastic proposal”, stating that a monument to the Cork dockers would be “very well deserved” and should be part of the plans.
Independent councillor Ken O’Flynn said he supported the proposal “100%” and that he has a similar motion currently at committee level.
Mr O’Flynn said he believes there is a “bigger conversation” to be had about honouring Cork’s past.
“I think we should be putting aside a certain proportion of monies that are coming in from development charges into ensuring that we remember Cork history and we document it well, whether it be a type of sculpture, a monument, etc,” he said.
Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy suggested that the council should see if some funding might be able to be secured from Fáilte Ireland to help fund the monument.
Speaking to The Echo following the meeting, Mr Collins welcomed the cross-party support for the motion.
“It’s fantastic that the motion was passed.
“Obviously, we need to get the funding and chase up the funding but once it’s secured I think something will happen.”
He has been liaising with former dockers who would greatly appreciate a monument in recognition of their deceased former colleagues.