The Big Fella is back in town.
The Cork public is invited to the unveiling of a new Michael Collins statue in Cork City next week, with the finishing touches currently underway in a studio in Macroom.
The near-lifesize statue will show Collins standing alongside a bicycle, a nostalgic nod to the iconic photograph of him taken with a Pierce bicycle in Wexford in 1922, a reminder of the time when he used to cycle around Dublin despite there being a bounty on his head.
The public ceremony will take place outside Cork City Library on Cork’s Grand Parade on Friday, October 20th at 12pm.
Renowned Mallow sculptor Kevin Holland, who also created the landmark statue of Collins in Clonakilty, was commissioned to create the new statue and the piece is being described as a “monument for the people, from the people” funded through a crowd-funding scheme spearheaded by the Michael Collins 100 committee.
The name of every person who made a contribution to the fundraising drive is in a time capsule which has been placed in the plinth of the statue.
‘We are expecting a large turn-out’
The Collins family, Ronan O’Gara, Jimmy Barry Murphy, and Rena Buckley will all be in attendance at the official unveiling and The Armoured car ‘Sliabh na mBan’ from the convoy that made the historic journey on the day of Michael Collins’ death will also be on show, with Cork singing legend John Spillane performing a new Michael Collins song that he scripted for the very first time.
Cast in Germany, the new bronze statue is currently in Macroom where the final coat of bronze patina is being applied.
The statue will be set at ground level, as a nod to Collins running the War of Independence among the people, inside a stone surround of carved limestone paving with information on Collins’ life.
“We are expecting a large turn-out, so I would advise anyone who wishes to attend to get there before 12 midday,” said Michael Collins 100 Committee chairman Tim Crowley.
“It should be a great day and a fitting tribute to Cork’s and Ireland’s greatest hero.”