CAMPAIGNERS in Cork have defaced street signs referencing British monarchs, who they refer to as ‘aristocrats and criminals’.
Irish language activist Diarmaid Ó Cadhla said that members of the Cork Street Names Campaign wanted to honour Irish national heroes instead of British rulers who ‘committed genocide’ in Ireland.
Queen Victoria, the British monarch who ruled during the Great Famine, came in for particular flak, with the group targeting street signs bearing her name along Victoria Road.
The area surrounding Cork’s MacCurtain Street was recently rebranded as the city’s ‘Victorian Quarter’, which may have triggered the group’s actions.
The rebrand was inspired by the Victorian-era buildings common throughout the area.
“The group are engaging in Civil Disobedience to remove Victoria’s name, stating that this is necessary in order to respect the memory of the millions who starved and were dispossessed under her reign,” Mr Ó Cadhla said.
— Diarmaid Ó CADHLA (@GraTire) February 2, 2017
“When it comes to Victoria, it is glaringly obvious. There are mass graves in Cork with tens of thousands of people who died under her rule.
“We should remember the rule of these criminals and aristocrats in a more fitting manner.”
Mr Ó Cadhla called for local figures and Irish national heroes to be considered for street names instead.
“What does it say about us as a city? Do we have nobody worthy of commemoration?”
Mr Ó Cadhla also revealed that the Cork Street Names Campaign would be hosting a public meeting on Wednesday, February 8, to discuss what tactics to use going forward.
“People are suggesting civil disobedience, everything from ripping down the signs to plastering over them. Nothing has been decided yet.”
The Facebook group for the Cork Street Names Campaign says: “This Civil Disobedience is…to serve the people and help to raise our sense of national self-respect and dignity.
“Today’s direct Civil Disobedience will continue.”