The installation of a large electronic pay meter in front of a monument to 1916 leader Thomas Kent has been branded “an affront to his memory”.
By Eoin English, Irish Examiner
Cork city Worker’s Party councillor Ted Tynan has led calls for the immediate relocation of the Coca-Cola sponsored Cork Bike Scheme pay station from in front of the statue, located at the city’s train station which is named in Kent’s honour.
The row has flared in the aftermath of a series of commemorative events in Cork to mark the centenary of the execution of Kent who was among 16 executed leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising.
“It is bad enough that the meter was located in front of the monument but the Coca- Cola connection is an even greater insult.
“I am calling on the city council, in conjunction with Irish Rail who own the site, to see to it that this ugly electronic meter is moved immediately as we enter the peak of the tourist season and when interest in the 1916 Rising is higher than it has been in many decades,” he said.
He has also raised the issue with city officials and has tabled a motion calling for the meter to be moved immediately, well away from the monument. The train station monument honouring Thomas Kent was recently the scene of a commemoration to mark the 1916 centenary.
However, the two-metre high payment meter had been installed, some time ago, in front of the monument blocking the public from viewing it directly.
A spokesman for Irish Rail said it is aware of the issue and plans to move the meter as quickly as possible. “We were very proud to have marked at the train station recently the centenary of Thomas Kent’s execution and we don’t want to have his memorial obstructed in this way,” he said.
Kent was arrested in Castlelyons on May 2, 1916 following a two-hour gun battle after members of the RIC arrived at his family home to arrest him and members of his family.
He was transferred to Cork military detention barracks on May 3, 1916, and was kept in isolation.
On May 4, Kent appeared before a quickly convened court martial presided over by a British army major and two captains.
He was executed on May 9, 1916 against a wall at the perimeter of the prison and was buried in a shallow grave.
His remains were exhumed last year and he was buried following a State funeral in Castlelyons.