Statue of Michael Collins to be erected in Cork city 

At a city council meeting on Monday, councillors voted almost unanimously to erect a statue of Collins, which will be donated to the council by the Collins 100 Committee.
Statue of Michael Collins to be erected in Cork city 

Michael Collins bicycle

A statue of Michael Collins is set to be erected in Cork city centre, complete with his famous bicycle, to commemorate the centenary of his death and his contributions to the formation of the independent Irish State.

At a City Council meeting on Monday, councillors voted almost unanimously to erect a statue of Collins, which will be donated to the council by the Collins 100 Committee.

The Collins 100 Committee is a historical and non-political organisation committed to honouring the memory of Michael Collins.

The group are proposing to raise the necessary funds to create a statue of Collins, have the statue made, and present the statue to Cork City Council for placement in a suitable location in Cork city centre.

It is proposed that the necessary funding would come from a fundraising campaign similar to the one which raised the necessary funding for the erection of a statue of Collins in Clonakilty in 2002.

Proposing the motion to City Council on Monday, Fine Gael Councillor Shane O’Callaghan said that facilitating the erection of the statue is “a unique opportunity for Cork to commemorate the centenary of the death of one of Ireland's greatest heroes, and one that the City Council should grasp with both hands”.

The proposed statue will be based on this famous photograph of Michael Collins, with his bike.
The proposed statue will be based on this famous photograph of Michael Collins, with his bike.

The proposed statue of Collins is one of him with a bicycle, similar to the one he cycled around Dublin while leading the military assistance to British rule, and managing the finances of the outlaw government during the War of Independence.

“It's based on that iconic photograph of Collins with a bicycle, which is probably the most famous image of any Irish person with the bicycle,” said Councillor O’Callaghan.

Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy highlighted that there are already multiple tributes to Collins in the city centre, such as a bust in Fitzgerald’s Park donated by Dr Con Murphy, and the Michael Collins Bridge close to Custom House.

Sinn Féin councillor Mick Nugent added that there are many centenaries that should be marked apart from Collins, and that he would “like to see other ways of marking others from that period”, such as a commemoration for volunteer Patrick Burns in Ballincollig which he said would hopefully come before council for consideration next month.

Proposer Councillor O’Callaghan said that he would be “more than happy” to support the erection of a statue of someone from the Anti-Treaty side of the Civil War, “particularly if the necessary funds are raised beforehand and the statue is presented to Cork City Council as is proposed here”.

Solidarity Councillor Fiona Ryan was the only councillor who chose to vote against the motion, citing the “ultimate repercussions of the Pro-Treaty side” as the reason why she could not support the erection of a statue of Collins.

The motion to erect a statue of Collins in the city centre was passed with 22 votes for, 1 against, and with 1 abstention. City officials will now examine all aspects of the statue proposal, and prepare a report that will come back before the City Council before the statue is erected.

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