A CORK COUNCILLOR who has been campaigning to have street names in the city changed to remove colonial-era influences has come in for criticism once again for the wording of a new poster.
Independent councillor Diarmaid Ó Cadhla of the Cork Street Names Campaign hung posters reading ‘Vulgar Victoria the Famine Queen Shame on Cork” around the city.
The Cork Street Names Campaign objects to the continued use of street names that stem from British colonialism. Ó Cadhla’s unusual campaign first came to light in February of this year, for painting over street name signs.
The ‘Vulgar Victoria’ posters, advertising Ó Cadhla’s public meeting, caused a stir in the last few days – and C103′s Cork Today fielded a number of calls on the subject.
Caller Nancy told presenter Patricia Messinger yesterday that she witnessed British tourists taking photos of the poster.
“I was walking around the city centre yesterday and I was disgusted to see posters up about the name Victoria and these posters referring to Irish history and Queen Victoria,” she said.
I feel this is so embarrassing for Ireland and Cork as we are trying to attract tourists and with Brexit this is the last thing we need.
Messinger later spoke to Ó Cadhla about the reasoning behind his campaign signs.
“The point of the campaign is that we should not honour people who were responsible for the genocide against the Irish people,” Ó Cadhla said.
He suggested that the streets in question should be named after historical Irish figures instead.
Messinger told Ó Cadhla that a number of residents living on streets named after the British monarchy didn’t want the names to be changed.
The councillor responded:
“There are quite a number of people all over who think that you should leave things as they are. I suspect public opinion may be divided, maybe 50/50.
“There names are offensive to a huge portion of our population,” he said.
Why do we use names that cause such division and controversy amongst the people? We shouldn’t do that. We should have better values and respect our ancestors.
Ó Cadhla said there were “at least” 100 such posters hung around Cork city. He said they were now being removed, in line with bye-laws governing posters that advertise public meetings.
Read: Cork councillor says he was called a ‘stupid eejit’ by gardaí after British street signs protest