Fingal County Council has just initiated a public display process for the installation of a twelve meter aluminium sculpture for Howth Harbour. The item can be viewed at www.fingalcoco.ie.
Below is my submission to the Council on the matter.
“As Mayor of Fingal in 2007/8 I had the pleasure of being a member of the committee that selected this piece of art. I am now pleased that the matter has reached the public consultation phase. While I feel the timing of the display process is unfortunate, I accept that Fingal County Council could not foresee the economic downturn and the perception that expenditure of this nature could or should be diverted to more practical projects. From my information, I understand that the monies assigned to this project have been spent as part of the Council’s commitments to public arts projects in our communities.
“I have no objection to the art work itself as I feel it will reflect its surroundings and become an integral part of landscape in the Howth harbour area.
“I would like to make the following observations regarding the proposed location:
- A twelve meter reflective aluminium structure will reflect public toilets, power lines, lamp posts and graffiti, currently located at the proposed site.
- If viewed from either east or west piers, the sculpture will be lost in the hillside/shop fronts/yacht masts
- The purpose of the sculpture is to reflect upon its surroundings, Land, sea & air. I do not believe this can be achieved successfully at this proposed location.
“Rather than dismiss this project outright, I would like to make two suggestions regarding alternative sites. I should preface these suggested locations by stating that It is my firm belief that various state agencies who claim ownership of land should not in any way deter the Council from selecting the right location within Howth Harbour for this sculpture subject to public demand.
“At the end of the East Pier, the lighthouse dominates the mouth of the Harbour. I believe that the end of the West Pier may provide a suitable location for this sculpture as it will balance the entrance. Also, this location has no items which could interfere with its positioning, therefore allowing it to reflect upon its surroundings.
“The other possible location would be the location of the former band stand between the east and west piers. This location could serve as a focal point for both locals and tourists alike with benches etc. I would however highlight that yacht masts may also present visual clutter at this location.