Irish city spends almost $7K polishing door handles for UK royal visit

Making a venue fit for a prince is a daunting task, but an Irish city may have gone overboard in its preparations for a visit from the UK’s Prince Charles.

Cork City Council spent almost 6,000 euros ($6,800) on polishing door handles to prepare for a one-day stop by Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in June.

A total of 203,761 euros ($231,900) was spent refurbishing the city hall before the occasion. Of that, over 11,000 euros was spent on deep-cleaning offices and more than 6,000 euros on replacing a light in the foyer.

A councilor who revealed the amounts spent on Twitter labeled the expenditure “crazy,” asking why the money wasn’t put toward tackling homelessness in the city.

“I have no issue with them visiting but I cannot stand over this type of expenditure when we have the high levels of homelessness, hospital waiting lists (and) much more,” Sinn Féin councilor Thomas Gould tweeted, along with a picture of the list of expenses.

But the council has defended the costs, saying in a statement emailed to CNN that they included “specialist reconditioning, polishing and lacquering of over 260 individual brass items by a local specialist firm.”

It added that the money covered “reconditioning, polishing and lacquering door handles, escutcheons, push plates, finger plates, brass fittings and kick plates.

“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 (the) Royal visit,” they said.

Charles and Camilla visited Cork in June, and were greeted in the town hall.

Cork, which is sometimes known as the “rebel city” due to its history of opposing British rule, also spent around 4,000 euros on “sanding and varnishing,” 4,200 euros on power-washing railings, and almost 14,000 euros on banners and signs for its English Market, a permanent attraction that the royal couple toured during their visit.