Dispute over Kinsale artwork that claims to be the longest sculpture in Ireland but protesters say is dangerous.
The Band of the Southern Command played at the unveiling of Kinsale’s new sculpture, and the children were entertained by Piper and Reeves funfairs, but the protesters were not far away. Cork sculptor Eilís O’Connell’s work, commissioned to celebrate Kinsale’s achievements in the Tidy Towns competitions, did not attract universal approval.
The rust coloured sculpture, which comprises of a central archway and smaller arches on each side, and a snake-like seat, is located at the main entrance to the town park. It is now the longest sculpture in Ireland, measuring 179 feet.
Speaking at the event, Arts Council chairman Mairtín McCullough asked the protesters not to write off this piece of public art altogether,
Our reservations about this dramatic piece of sculpture and contemporary art would I think be well-advised to hold their peace just for a little while in terms of judgement.
Joe Walsh, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food, cut the ribbon and formally presented Kinsale with the sculpture, which is part of its prize for winning the Tidy Towns competition. Most people seemed happy with the latest installation in the town, in spite of the protesters. And the challenge of climbing up the sloping sides of the sculpture proved irresistible to many younger citizens,
The kids were busy making use of the sculpture. In the background it had become a slide.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 3 August 1988. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.