Plans are ongoing to erect a plaque in Mitchelstown to honour the 50th anniversary of Mick Meaney’s 61-day spell buried alive in a coffin in London, a world record that catapulted him to fame both at home and abroad in the late 1960s.
On February 21, 1968, the Ballyporeen native was lowered underground in a coffin in a yard in London, as the world watched on.
The world record at the time stood at 45 days and although a Texan called Bill White, whose challenge began on the same day as Meaney’s, stayed buried for 55 days, Meaney stayed underground for almost a week more, until he was exhumed on April 22.
Mick Meaney died in Mitchelstown on February 17, 2003. A request for a plaque to be erected in Mitchelstown was submitted by Mr Meaney’s daughter and Cork County Council agreed to prepare a plan for the type of plaque and its location.
Up to a few years before his death, Mick Meaney claimed he was still prepared ‘to be put down’. “I am willing to be put down the depth of a Hymac in the square in Mitchelstown with any man who dares to take me on”, he would say.
The incredible feat has been retold many time in the intervening years, notably in a book by his daughter Mary titled ‘You Can’t Eat Roses Mary! the Story of Mick Meaney: a Man Who Dared to Dream When Dreams Were Not Allowed’, and in an award winning RTÉ documentary which won a gold medal in the biography section at the World Radio Awards in New York in 2016.