Sunday, August 06, 2017

Homeward is home — Jim Collins's view

Commissioned by Kildare County Council ten years ago for the M7 motorway, Dublin to Waterford at a cost of €62,000 the sculpture has finally been erected at Ballymount, writes Jim Collins. The sculpture was designed to be viewed by tens of thousands of motorists travelling by at speeds of 120km/h from both directions on the motorway.

Six years ago Kildare County Council offered this sculpture to Kilcullen valley park. My involvement in 2011 was, that the proposed location chosen by KCC in the valley was unsuitable, in that even one passenger in a car crossing Kilcullen bridge going south would not be able to see the sculpture through the trees, never mind someone going northwards on the bridge. It could be only viewed by someone standing in the square.

It was decided through 'A Kilcullen Diary' to have a vote on the project. The result of which was that the majority of people voted against the proposed location in the valley. However, it was then decided to have a public meeting in the Town Hall and put the proposal to a show of hands. The result of the show of hands was in favour of the valley location. I spoke against the proposal with a representative from the Council speaking in favour of the valley location, but looking at the assembled crowd I knew that my proposal was 'like pushing a rope up a hill' and would not be passed.

I wish to thank the people who supported my view as I was likened to a person past my sell-by date and not moving with the times. One contributor said that this project would put Kilcullen on the map with tourist buses pulling up and crowds of people walking down to view.

However, after six years the Homeward sculpture has found its original location. Maybe in the future the tens of thousands of people who pass by daily on the M7 motorway will exit from both directions and stop at the new Hide-Out which opens in September which originally put Kilcullen on the international map and thank the people of Kilcullen for sharing with them the view of the sculpture with the people who travel the M7 daily instead of the lone viewer in the square if it was in the valley.

I would have located the sculpture further south on higher ground for a better view.