8 October 2021
By Tom Collins
The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan says the artwork on the ‘Cut and Cover’ railway tunnel in Monkstown is something the entire community can be proud of.
Mayor Coughlan made the comments at a special ceremony to officially launch the mural which was commissioned by Cork County Council as part of Project ACT, the Council’s initiative launched last year to support the economic and social recovery of towns and villages
A team of artists from “The Walls Project” transformed the historic tunnel by painting a series of images reflecting Monkstown’s rail, industrial and maritime heritage. The artists were Gareth Joyce, Shane O’Driscoll, and Kerri Breen. Two local artists, Jamie Howard and Mark Quirke worked alongside and were mentored by the three Walls Project artists.
The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan, paid tribute to all those involved in the project,
“This work is transformative as it brings a sense of vibrancy and colour to the “Cut and Cover. It is a wonderful example of bringing art into the heart of our communities and creating spaces for everyone to enjoy. We all know how important and valuable it is to have inviting and engaging outdoor spaces. The images are sensitive to the heritage of Monkstown and I would like to acknowledge the input into the design by Monkstown Tidy Towns, The Passage West Maritime Museum and the pupils of Scoil Barra Naofa, making it a true community project.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey added,
“This highly anticipated work has lifted and energised the community in Monkstown. I’m sure it will attract more visitors to the area and generate interest in the history behind the artwork.” It is a marvellous example of how Cork County Council, through Project ACT initiatives, has enhanced and transformed public places across the county.”
The mural includes a train exiting the tunnel which echoes the era when trains came through Monkstown. There is a portrait of the legendary local man Captain Richard Roberts. Under his command the Sirius became the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to North America under continual steam power. The mural also depicts the well-known local fable about a dog rescuing a boy from the water which dates back to 1800.