In his wonderful autobiography A Shared Home Place the late Seamus Mallon warned that if, after a narrow vote, a united Ireland was imposed on those averse to the idea that “we would be doing to them what they did to us”.
Recognising that principle of fairness and equity is appropriate in the context of an opportunity that may be offered to the people of Cork city.
Councillors intend to progress plans rename Anglesea Street and that renaming may be done through a public vote. However, the record in this area is very mixed. Last year the council laudably honoured Mary Elmes by naming a footbridge in her honour. Prior to that it indulged preposterous gentrification by renaming Faulkner’s Lane as Opera Lane, an expression of low-brow insecurity more in tune with marketing than history.
There is a long history of honouring saints, republicans, All-Ireland hurlers, and churchmen in this way. It may be time to consider options from a different palette, a palette that better reflects today’s increasing diverse Ireland.