Determination as iconic cross at Carrauntwohill is felled

‘Premeditated’ attack on ‘beacon’ unites defiant community

Louise McCarthy

A Co. Kerry community has been left furious but determined at the destruction of an iconic cross, apparently by vandals.

The five-metre steel cross at Carrauntwohill was cut from its base at the weekend, possibly using a saw or angle grinder. In 1976, 100 parishioners were recorded on RTÉ carrying the cross and building materials the 1,039 metres to the summit.

Climbers on Saturday morning discovered that the landmark cross had been cut down. “It was a very respected landmark by all denominations, and people are very annoyed, upset and hurt by it.

“I feel it was premeditated. People don’t just climb mountains with an angle grinder,” said Beaufort PP Fr Donal O’Connor.

Local woman Marie Keogh is part of the campaign to get the cross standing again by this weekend.

Her husband, Johnny, helped to paint the cross during the summer.

 “I could see the cross from my house on a clear day. I was devastated. There are so many photos. The times I brought my kids up to the cross, it is a very emotional thing.

“It was a beacon as you head over the mountain. You know you have a goal, to reach it. It will be up again, please God,” she said.

“People go up there for their own reasons, it is a symbol of achievement,” according to Mrs Keogh.


The act has driven the community to get the cross back standing again. Parishioners in Beaufort have been inundated with offers from people all over the world.

“It has rejuvenated a community spirit in Beaufort. We have people from outside Ireland who will come over and help to put the cross back up. It is utterly mindboggling that this cross was cut down,” said Mrs Keogh.