Many influential people have streets or buildings named after them, but a proposal has been made to designate a roundabout in memory of the man widely-credited with protecting the country from foot and mouth.
County councillors want a roundabout in Clonakilty, Co Cork to be named after former minister for agriculture Joe Walsh, who died in 2014.
Walsh began his political career when elected to Cork County Council in 1974 and was elected, at his first attempt, to the Dáil in 1977. He lost his seat in 1981 but regained it again in 1982 and served as a TD until retiring at the 2007 general election. He served as minister for agriculture and food on two occasions (1992–1994 and 1997–2004) and as a minister of state from 1987.
As agriculture minister his skill was put to the test in 2001 when Ireland was confronted with the foot-and-mouth disease crisis.
His determination to prevent a full-scale outbreak saw many events being cancelled and travel curtailed.
County councillors Joe Carroll and Christopher O’Sullivan proposed at a meeting of the West Cork Municipal District the roundabout at the junction of the N71 on the Skibbereen side of Clonakilty be named after Joe Walsh.
The Fianna Fáil pair said the request came from a special committee set up in Clonakilty.
“He was the man who put the food indujstry on the map in West Cork and was one of the best ministers for agriculture we’ve had,” Cllr Carroll said. Cllr O’Sullivan referred to Mr Walsh being instrumental in securing Clonakilty’s technology park which employs 1,000 people.
Council officials said they would forward the request and design details, for signage, to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). Permission would be required from TII.
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