Tuam residents call on Council to remove plaque honouring Confederate leader

A town in Co Galway has become embroiled in an American human rights row.

A number of residents in Tuam want to tear down a memorial to Major Dick Dowling, a local famine emigrant who fought for the Confederates in the American Civil War.

The bar of the Ard Rí House Hotel in the town is also named after him.

A decision to take down similar tributes in the US has provoked protests which occurred before the recent riots in Charlottesville, Virginia.

But local Independent Councillor Shaun Cunniffe thinks it is time for the Major's plaque to come down.

"It was put up in 1998," he said.

"The focus at the time from the Tuam Town Council was really on the enormous effect that this guy had, Dick Dowling, in Houston [Texas] - there was streets named after him, parks named after him.

"Unfortunately, I think they overlooked the fact that he was on the side of the American Civil War that wanted to uphold slavery."

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