THE STEEL CROSS on top of Carrauntoohil has been re-erected this afternoon, one week after it was cut down with an angle grinder.
The five-metre tall cross was first erected in 1976 but climbers on Ireland’s tallest peak reached the summit last Saturday to find that it had been felled.
Today though the cross was reinstated following a decision to do so by the MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountain Access Forum.
The cross was reinstated by including members of local Beaufort Community Council and other local landowners.
There had been debate about whether to repair the cross with an Atheist group objecting to it on the grounds that it did not represent the whole community, asking that it first obtain planning permission.
The decision to reinstate the cross was yesterday supported by Mountaineering Ireland. The representative body for walkers said in a statement that they would be “absolutely opposed to it being erected” if it had not already been there.
The group says that a 2012 debate by their members came to the consensus that there was “no place for new memorial placements on the mountains of Ireland”.
They, however, decided that some memorials have become part of the “heritage and landscape” of some mountains.
In the case of Carrauntoohil, Mountaineering Ireland said there has been a cross on the mountain since the early 1950s with the current one in place since 1976. They also say that the cross had been cut down without debate and without the owners’ permission.
The cross is on privately owned land and Mountaineering Ireland says landowners have always allowed recreational access to Carrauntoohil.