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Calls for Prince Albert statue to be removed from grounds of Leinster House

The petitioner is seeking its removal based on the fact that it represents British rule over Ireland.

The statue is still in place on the grounds of Leinster House.
The statue is still in place on the grounds of Leinster House.

THE OIREACHTAS PETITIONS Committee will tomorrow deal with a request seeking the removal of a statue of Prince Albert from the grounds of Leinster House.

The statue of Albert, who was married to Queen Victoria, is currently situated on the Merrion Road side of government buildings.

The petitioner is seeking its removal based on the fact that it represents British rule over Ireland.

Committee chairman, Seán Sherlock, said today: “The statue of Prince Albert, Consort of Queen Victoria, has resided in its current location, on the Merrion side of Leinster House since 1923.

“The statue was the work of notable Irish sculptor John Henry Foley, his other famous works in Ireland include the statue of Daniel O’Connell on O’Connell Street and Edmund Burke outside Trinity College. Its partner statue, that of Queen Victoria herself, was gifted to the city of Sydney, Australia in 1987.”

Victoria’s removal from the grounds of Leinster House wasn’t dealt with in the same administrative fashion. Unveiled in 1908, the large 15-foot statue of the woman who ruled Ireland during the famine, also had a message inscribed in the stone.

It read:

Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, erected by her Irish subjects.

The decision to remove the statue was made shortly after Ireland went from a Free State to a Republic in 1949. It had been offered to the British but they declined. Instead, the statue was put in storage until Australia took it in 1987.

Tomorrow’s Oireachtas committee will also consider petitions on ending the Irish arms trade with Israel, bringing Irish hospitals up to European standards and reinstating the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme exemption for children with special needs.

Read: Teenagers to make case for extra time in Junior Cert English exam >

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