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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Moving statue causes holy row

Anne Lucey and Ciaran Byrne

Published 06/03/2010 | 05:00

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The statue was a staple of the Killarney skyline
Skyline looks bare after statue was taken down

A moving statue has caused a major row. Management has ordered the removal of a statue of Christ that has adorned a town hospital for over 70 years.

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Citing "health and safety reasons", but later hinting the decision had more to do with political correctness in not offending non-Catholics, Jesus was sent packing yesterday.

Politicians as well as patients and visitors to Killarney Community Hospital yesterday expressed sadness and dismay at the move and said it was political correctness gone mad.

In a statement yesterday, HSE South West said: "The statue is being removed as it is posing a health and safety risk due to deterioration from weathering."

Fr Kevin McNamara, a curate in Killarney, said: "People I visited today are extremely upset. We are demanding it be put back."

The statue was there since September 1939 when World War II broke out.

"This statue didn't fall on anybody," the priest said, rejecting the "excuse" from the HSE.

Councillor Brendan Cronin said staff and the elderly patients were extremely upset. "Where is the building survey that says this statue was a risk?" he said.

The HSE said that hospitals were "independent entities" and the decision to move the statue had been made by management in Killarney.

Irish Independent

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