The column was erected 1858-9 by public subscription in memory of Cornelius O’Brien. The monument is c.80 feet high and built of local limestone. It is comprised of a fluted Doric column surmounted by an urn and set on a square-profile plinth with inscribed plaques.
Cornelius O’Brien was a local MP and improving landlord who lived at Birchfield house nearby. The column is a dramatic landmark overlooking Liscannor Bay and his former home and is close to the Cliffs of Moher and so seen by the 1.4 million tourists who visit every year.
Brief Description of Project:
Due to the opening of joints in the abacus, water ingress to the shaft has occurred leading to lime-leaching throughout the structure and vegetative growth on the plinth. It was also believed that the interior steel dowel had rusted, causing the urn to tilt to a degree which threatened to collapse.
The Society pledged €6,000 towards the conservation works including full height scaffolding, removal and eventual replacement of the urn and supporting stone work, possible replacement of the interior steel dowel, killing of vegetation, re-pointing with lime mortar on the plinth and where necessary on the column as well as other remedial work.