By Ann Marie Foley - 04 December, 2014
The Diocese of Kerry has expressed a “feeling of sadness and upset” at the content of a video released this week which shows the cutting down of the Cross at the summit of Carrauntoohil.
The video was sent to TheJournal.ie and showed the cutting down of the cross with an angle grinder. Gardaí are currently examining the footage.
Comments audible on the footage indicate it was in protest at the number of schools run by the Church in Ireland. A message on the video encouraged those who agree with the action to “share” the footage.
“The Diocese of Kerry believes that this is not an appropriate catalyst for discussion on matters of concern. This is not a way to encourage debate or dialogue,” the statement said.
It continued, “A great deal of positive energy has been channeled into the restoration of the Cross. The people of the surrounding community have a great fondness for this Cross. The Cross for all Christians is a sign of love.”
The cross was felled two weekends ago. At that time Bishop Ray Browne of Kerry said there was a feeling of sadness and upset among the local people over what had occurred as well as among hill-walkers and mountain-climbers.
“The people of the surrounding parishes have a great fondness for this Cross and I can feel their sadness and great upset. The metal Cross has been there for almost forty years and before that there was a wooden Cross for maybe twenty years. We do not know why anyone would do this and no reason has been given,” he said.
“The Cross symbolises the love of God for the world and the whole human family. The Cross always proclaims: God is Love; Love one another as I have loved you. My hope is that love will come to the surface in people’s reaction to this happening. Beaufort Community Council have already announced their intention to re-erect the Cross. Energy to restore the Cross rather than bitterness and anger is the Christian way forward.”
Last Monday, a group of 30 local mountaineers, landowners and people from the community of Beaufort climbed to the summit before dawn. With welders, hoists, and other equipment they reinstated the steel cross.
The cross was made by Liebherr Ireland in 1976 for the local community, and replaced an earlier wooden structure erected in the 1950s.
The iconic 16.5 foot cross was erected by group effort when 100 people carried it up the mountain in pieces and then welded it together at the summit.