19 February 2021
By Tom Collins
A new sculpture has been given a permanent home at Kent Train Station in Cork City. The piece titled ‘Our Crew Are the Best’, was placed on the green near the entrance of the Cork station after a nationwide search for a location which would enable the public to view the piece, created as part of a programme to assist those convicted of crimes to reintegrate into the community.
The piece reflects the theme of colleagues working together in teams on large engineering projects, thus the railway tracks and wooden sleepers, accurate in its simplicity, power and sensitivity. The sculpture was made by trainees tutored in metal work at PACE (Prevention Accommodation Community and Enterprise) workshop in Coolock, Dublin during an Artists in Prisons workshop with sculptor Donna Cooney. The concept was developed with the trainees through to a final design. PACE is a voluntary sector organisation that works with people with convictions for a wide range of criminal offences. They provide a variety of services to address their needs and that support their safe integration into the community.
The main materials were donated by Iarnród Éireann from its historic Inchicore Works, which will mark 175 years of operation later this year. The donation consisted of twenty-foot steel railway track girder cut in three and eight weather-treated wooden railway sleepers.
Maggie Clune, the Training and Social Enterprise Manager at PACE commented “We at PACE are delighted that our Sculpture which was designed and made by PACE workers under the direction of Artist Donna Cooney has found such a brilliantly appropriate forever home. We are thrilled that – when restrictions are lifted – so many Iarnród Éireann commuters in Cork will get to enjoy this amazing piece of art!”
This project was funded by the Arts Council and the Irish Prison Service, with support from PACE and Iarnród Éireann.