Should the Market Cross in Kells in County Meath be moved from its present position?

Kells in County Meath has five crosses, the earliest from around the 8th century, the latest from the 10th or 11th century. Four of the crosses are in or near the graveyard of Saint Columbas Church, Kells. The fifth, a sandstone high cross known as the Market Cross, stands at the heart of the town in the centre of a complex road system.

No one can say for certain that it always stood here.

It is generally accepted the cross has been moved on a number of occasions. It has been at its present position at the junction of Market Street, Castle Street and John's Street since 1688.

The Kells Tidy Town committee is advocating for the removal of Market Cross to a less prominent position. Patrick Skelly would like to see the cross moved and points to three reasons for this viewpoint. The main one is because the cross is a traffic hazard. He is worried the cross could be damaged which he believes will reflect badly on the Kells Tidy Town committee. He also points out the cross is not in its original position as it is facing north to south,

All those crosses when they were first erected were erected east to west.

To preserve the monument and facilitate the study of its sculpture, he would like to see the cross moved to the grounds of Saint Colmcille's Church, Kells.

The people of Kells have differing views regarding the location of the cross. Some believe the cross is creating traffic problems. Others think its removal would make traffic worse. Many want the cross to be left alone. One man thinks,

The cross would lose its identity if it were shifted elsewhere.

Patrick Skelly is adamant the cross should be moved and would like to see the county council take responsibility for the relocation.

'Newsbeat' was a half-hour feature programme presented by Frank Hall and ran for seven years from September 1964 to June 1971. 'Newsbeat' went out from Monday to Friday on RTÉ television and reported on current affairs and issues of local interest from around Ireland.

This episode of 'Newsbeat' was broadcast on 7 March 1967. The reporter is Cathal O’Shannon.