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A protest group is painting over the names of 'British-sounding' streets in Cork

The Cork Street Names Campaign says it is focused on removing the names of “criminals and aristocrats” from street signs around Cork city.

1 The street sign on Victoria Road, Cork Source: Facebook

A GROUP CLAIMING to protest the naming of streets after “criminals and aristocrats” has been painting over street signs in Cork City.

The aptly named Cork Street Names Campaign has thus far painted over “about five” street names “at both ends” in its campaign to rid the city of nomenclature that could be connected with the British Empire.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Liveline, campaign spokesperson Diarmaid Ó Cadhla said the recent actions of the group were a protest after a report it compiled failed to gain traction and the offer of a meeting with the Lord Mayor of the city.

Ó Cadhla, who has something of a history of public outspokenness, was recently co-opted onto the County Council following the death of Cobh’s Claire Cullinane.

“We didn’t ask the residents of Victoria Road (the street signs of which were painted over on 2 February), why should we?” he said.

doc Diarmaid Ó Cadhla Source: People's Convention

No one on Victoria Road was in any way close to being alive when it was named. It was said that these people own the properties and would have to give their permission, that is not true.

Ó Cadhla, who says he has “never seen such support” as his campaign has garnered, said there are “about 80 or 90 streets named after criminals and aristocrats in our city, and in Victoria’s case a genocidal queen responsible for the murder and displacement of two million Irish people”.

Have we no values in Ireland and in Cork? Why should we put the famine queen’s name in a place of honour in our city?

Resident of Victoria Road John O’Donovan said that locals were “incensed” at the group’s actions.

“These people are quite fond of their road’s name, they are completely incensed that you wouldn’t even knock on a single door,” he said.

A running battle also took off between the two men as to whether or not the painting in question had happened “in the middle of the night”.

“These people went around about a week and a half ago during the night and painted out these signs without any consultation,” said O’Donovan.

“It was done in broad daylight and you know that,” replied Ó Cadhla, adding that locals had been notified of the group’s intentions “in advance by postings on social media”.

TheJournal.ie has requested comment from Cork City Council regarding the painting over street signs by the Cork Street Names Campaign.

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