Youghal, Co. Cork was among one of the major recipients of funding from the 2018 Town and Village Renewal Scheme, with €95,000 allocated towards public realm works on the quayside including a ‘Moby Dick’ themed statue. Cork County Council partnered with local voluntary group, Youghal4All, in delivering the project funding.
The funding will specifically go towards the replacement of old stone footpaths along the quayside with Carlow blue limestone, reducing and replacing seating and planters and will incorporate a ‘Moby Dick’ themed statue in the quay side area. The works will continue Cork County Council’s heritage-led regeneration works for the town centre, creating a town centre ‘hub’ and complementing current works to the Barry’s Lane ‘Plaza Area’ of the town.
The Youghal4All Community Group had campaigned locally, receiving huge public support for a piece of public art in recognition of the filming of ‘Moby Dick’ featuring Gregory Peck in Youghal. Working in partnership with Cork County Council on the project, volunteers from the group fundraised for a number of years, and successfully tendered for the detailed design for a piece of public art depicting Captain Ahab (actor Gregory Peck) standing on the prow of his ship. It is intended the statue will look out over Youghal Bay – exactly as it does in the film, becoming an iconic ‘photo opportunity’ (in a similar way the statue of ‘Fungi the Dolphin’ has done in Dingle, Co. Kerry).
Speaking at the announcement of the funding, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring said: “As well as supporting initiatives which support enterprise and job creation, the scheme will also support improvements to public amenities in town and village centres, to help make them more attractive places in which to live, work and visit.
“I am delighted with the response which I received to the call for proposals this year. I want to thank the Local Authorities for their efforts and co-operation in engaging with local communities to identify these projects. Once again most of the funding will benefit towns and villages, with populations of less than 5,000 people.” Concluded the Minister.
Under the 2018 scheme, up to 80% of the total cost for each approved project will be provided by the Department, with the remaining 20% being provided either through community contribution and/or the Local Authority.