Management has ordered the removal of a statue of Christ that has adorned Killarney Community Hospital for over 70 years. Citing "health and safety reasons", but later hinting the decision had more to do with political correctness in not offending non-Catholics, Jesus was sent packing yesterday.

Politicians as well as patients and visitors to the hospital expressed sadness and dismay at the move and said it was political correctness gone mad.

Fr Kevin McNamara, a curate in Killarney, said: "People I visited today are extremely upset. We are demanding it be put back."

Councillor Brendan Cronin said staff and the elderly patients were extremely upset. "Where is the building survey that says this statue was a risk?" he said.

The HSE said that hospitals were "independent entities" and the decision to move the statue had been made by management in Killarney.

The statue had been there since September 1939 when World War II broke out.

COMMENT: If you walk round any European major town or city you will come across huge statues of long dead people dominating public spaces. During their lives many of these celebrated dignitaries were responsible for invading India, oppressing the workforce in sweatshop factories and mills and that sort of stuff. Heck, in Sutherland, Scotland there's even a huge column on top of a hill with a statue of the bloke who was responsible for the Highland clearances standing on top of it.

These statues are, in many ways, offensive but we are an intelligent race perfectly capable of viewing such things in context. Even the Scots believe the dastardly duke should stay on his plinth as a reminder of the awful things the English did to them (which is a bit weird as Mrs Sutherland, who erected the memorial after her husband's death was as Scottish as Billy Connolly).

So, yes, this story is about political correctness gone mad. If non-Catholics can't see it as a symbol of the care given in the hospital then they are just plain stupid and should be ignored anyway. What next - the Egyptian government demolishes the Sphinx because it's pagan origins might offend the tourists who go to see it?

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  1. I think the evil Earl was actually a Duke, MP. They tend have a higher historic ratio of knicking other folks stuff that mere Earls!

  2. What???? Is this for real?

    This happened in Killarney?


    There are religious statues all over the place in Ireland. Why this one?

  3. It was presumably so much part of the landscape I’ll bet non-Catholics and Catholics alike barely noticed it as they walked past.

  4. Isn’t there something priceless about the heading “Jesus removed for Health and Safety reasons”? We’ve always said that a living faith is a dangerous thing.

  5. If the statue was crumbling, I would be inclined to replace rather than restore, on aesthetic grounds.

    On the other hand, His Church branch formerly containing the bulk of the population has come into HUGE disrepute, over the 50+ year cover-up of priestly sexual abuse of children, Magdalen laundry slaves, etc. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if a sizable percent of the population would prefer their local public hospital be distinguishable from any Catholic institution.

  6. I can’t comment on Wot Dem Fur’ners Get Up To.

    In the (blessed, blessed) US of A, a “Community Hospital” would never have “Brand X God” on it [And if it did, I’d be the FIRST for pulling it down. No, I mean, gently removing it, and putting it in “Brand X God’s (Worshippers’) House,” where it belongs.]

    This being Ireland, I would think there might be some concern about the statue having “Brand X God’s Sub-brand Q’s Sacred Heart” on it. But WTF do I know?

  7. On this side of the Atlantic we are a lot more easy going about such things than you Americans AND A LOT LESS HYPOCRITICAL!!!!

  8. You asked: What next – the Egyptian government demolishes the Sphinx because it’s pagan origins might offend the tourists who go to see it?

    This could actually happen if extreme fundamentalist Muslims ever gain control of the Egyptian government. . . Remember those gigantic statues of Buddha that the Taliban defaced if not destroyed in Afghanistian? Of course that doesn’t say much about the management of Killarney Community Hospital does it?