The Lord Mayor Cllr Deirdre Forde has officially launched a fundraising campaign to erect a statue of Michael Collins in Cork city.
Michael Collins 100 Committee members and some of Michael Collins' family members assembled in the Council Chamber in City Hall on Saturday for the launch.
The Lord Mayor said that a statue of Collins was long overdue as he was “a great Corkman who had made an enormous contribution to the struggle for Irish independence”.
On September 12, a motion proposed by Cllr Shane O’Callaghan had been passed by the members of Cork City Council, asking the Council to facilitate the placing of a statue of Collins in the city.
The proposal was for the Michael Collins 100 Committee to raise the funds, have the statue made and present the piece to Cork City Council for placement at a prominent location in the city centre.
The Michael Collins 100 committee proposes to create a statue of Collins with a bicycle, based on the iconic photograph of him with a Pierce bicycle in Wexford in 1922, to be located on Patrick Street.
Chairman of the Michael Collins 100 Committee Tim Crowley said that the idea for a statue of Collins had come about as a result of discussions between him, Noel Scannell, Cork businessman Jerry Carey and Cllr Shane O’Callaghan.
“The idea was for a statue of Collins as the rebel leader in the Rebel City, leading the military resistance to British rule, managing the finances of the outlawed Dáil government and running a war against the British Empire, the most powerful the world had ever known.
All of this, whilst riding a bicycle dressed as a businessman. It would also symbolise Collins’ efforts to develop the economy of the newly independent Irish State in 1922.
Mr Crowley highlighted how the statue of Michael Collins in Clonakilty had turned into “a major landmark in West Cork and had attracted a large amount of extra tourism to the area”.
He said that he has no doubt that the new statue on Patrick Street would serve as “a focal point”, which would attract lots of extra tourists and shoppers.
Mr Crowley thanked Chief Executive of Cork City Council Ann Doherty for the positive and proactive role played in the project since September and also thanked members of the Michael Collins 100 Committee for all of their hard work.
He said the Committee needs to raise in excess of €100,000 over the next number of months and all contributions, big and small, would be most welcome.
Grandniece of Michael Collins Fidelma Collins said the name of every person who made a contribution to the statue would go into a time capsule which would be placed into the plinth of the statue when it was being put up.
Details on how to make a contribution are on the website www.michaelcollinsstatue.com.