Local people unite to re-erect iconic cross
The Carrauntoohil cross, cut down by vandals as a protest against Catholic schools, is standing again due to local people working in darkness at the weekend.
About 35 people met at 5.30am last Saturday to scale Carrauntoohil, near Killarney, carrying heavy equipment, reaching the summit at about 10am.
The group – including Dr Claire O’Leary, the first woman to scale Mount Everest – spent several hours at the summit, until the cross was re-erected. Others involved in the re-erection of the cross included landowners, community and business representatives, county council staff, guides and National Parks & Wildlife services. A tour guide with KerryClimbing.ie, Piaras Kelly, was one of the first to discover the felled cross just two weeks ago. The five-metre-long steel cross was cut from its base, possibly using a saw or angle grinder.
Mr Kelly, who gives guided tours of Carrauntoohil about seven times a week, said he was devastated to see the cross cut down. He formed part of the group which re-erected the cross.
“The cross stood for a sense of accomplishment,” said Mr Kelly. “It means a lot for everyone in Ireland.”
Footage of the cross being felled is being examined by gardaí, after it was sent to journalists.
The footage also contains a number of anti-Catholic sentiments, indicating that the person or persons involved took this action because they objected to Catholic education.