US official warns over Che statue plan

Officials in Galway have been warned by a leading US politician that there will be ramifications if they proceed with a plan to erect a statue to Che Guevara in the city.

The chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the House of Representatives, Peter King — who has Galway roots — has urged Galway City Council officials to shelve their plans to commemorate the Argentinian revolutionary figure.

The plan to erect a statue to Che Guevara was first proposed by Labour Party Councillor Billy Cameron and initially received widespread support from councillors, but subsequently confusion arose about the willingness to put a permanent structure in place.

During his traditional St Patrick’s Day visit to the America, Taoiseach Enda Kenny was also given a letter by the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, calling for the erection of the statue to be blocked.

In a letter to the city’s former mayor, Cllr Padraig Conneely, on House of Representatives-headed paper, Mr King admitted their could be ramifications for the city, should they go ahead with the controversial statue.

“This is a matter of considerable concern within the Irish-American community and should be addressed,” he said in the letter this week.

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