€6,000 spent on ‘polishing door handles’ for royal visit

By Eoin English
Irish Examiner Reporter

Almost €6,000 of public money was spent “polishing door handles” in Cork’s City Hall ahead of the visit by Britain’s Prince Charles in June, it has emerged.

A champion of the city’s homeless, Catriona Twomey, of Cork Penny Dinners, said that while she accepts that some money had to be spent for the visit, she could not see any justification for such an enormous spend on polishing handles.

“To be honest, I’ve never heard the likes of it,” she said. “Why did they polish them? It’s not as if Charles and Camilla were going around trying all the doors. They have people to open doors for them. I’m sure this money would have been better spent turning around a house for a family.”

Ms Twomey was reacting to the publication of a detailed breakdown of the €203,761 spent by Cork City Council ahead of the one-day visit by Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, in June.

City Hall confirmed that just over €91,000 of the overall spend was on refurbishments in City Hall, which hosted a civic reception for the royal couple.

    Some of the money was spent as follows:

  • €29,416 on installing lighting.
  • €11,112 on deep cleaning of offices;
  • €7,137 on electricians;
  • €6,222 on replacing a foyer light;
  • €5,936 on polishing door handles;
  • €5,448 on blasting/ painting the gates of City Hall;
  • Just over €8,000 on sanding and varnishing, and on powerwashing railings and pillars.

In a statement last night, the council said the €5,936 spend on polishing handles related to specialist work on more than 260 individual brass items by a local specialist firm.

“It included reconditioning, polishing and lacquering door knobs, door handles, escutcheons, push plates, finger plates, brass fittings and kick plates,” it said. “These items had not been refurbished since they were first put in place over 80 years ago and were due to be refinished but the project was brought forward due to royal visit.”

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