A four-meter high bronze statue of the former politician Éamon de Valera is to be erected on Cork’s main thoroughfare of Patrick’s Street.
Cork City’s Lord Mayor Cllr Frankie Purcell announced the go-ahead for the controversial statue at a meeting of the City Council last night.
Motion passed by slim majority
There was widespread opposition to the plans which were passed by a slim Fianna Fáil majority in the Council. There were sixteen votes in favour and fourteen votes against.
Councillor Dermot O’Shaugnessy of People Before Profit abstained, saying that he had “never heard of de Valera” and “to be honest couldn’t care less as no one listened to him anyway”.
Opposing councillors argued that the estimated cost of three-million-euros and the two-year disruption to the Patrick Street traffic flow was unwarranted.
Angry exchanges broke out in the Council Chamber before the Lord Mayor put the motion to a vote.
Civil war politics
“de Valera; wasn’t he the lad that shot Michael Collins — why are we erecting a statue to that gob-shite?” asked Cllr Martin Lynch of Fine Gael.
“He wasn’t a gob-shite,” replied Cllr Pierce McNamara of Fianna Fáil. “He was one of Ireland’s greatest statesmen. Sure he was a TD and Taoiseach and served us well as President.
“Anyway, Collins was shot by your lot, and that’s a proven fact. Dev had absolutely nothing to do with it,” McNamara replied angrily.
Dev’s Cork connection
At this stage, Cllr Owen Murphy of the Green Party asked; “What exactly are Dev’s connections with Cork?
“Wasn’t de Valera born in America, raised in Limerick, educated in Tipperary, elected in Clare and lived all his fecking life in Dublin?”
“Jaysus he has as much connection with Cork as Ronald Mc fecking Donald,” the councillor concluded.
At this stage the Lord Mayor interjected; “I have it on the best authority that Dev’s last wish when he was lying on his death-bed surrounded by priests, cardinals and even the Pope himself, was that he be remembered in Cork.
“Shur how can we deny the last wish of Ireland’s greatest hero and the father of the illustrious Fianna Fáil Party,” the Mayor stated.
Alternative proposal sparks violent exchange
“Well, I propose we erect a statue to Michael Collins, a true Cork man,” was an alternative proposal put forward by Fine Gael councillor Jim Fitzpatrick.
“Oh for feck-sake!” Shouted the Lord Mayor as he threw the ceremonial mace narrowly missing Fitzpatrick’s head.
“Jaysus, Collins gave away six of our four-green-fields to the Brits in Ulster. No-way are we spending money on that traitor,” the Lord Mayor continued.
Violent exchanges then broke out in the chamber necessitating the Garda riot squad to deploy pepper spray before order could be restored.
Other plans proposed by the council
Meanwhile in Ireland News has learned that next week, the council will debate the introduction of water-rates along with formulating a proposal to end the Middle-Eastern conflict.
They also hope to jointly honour Nigel Farage and Donald Trump with the Freedom of the City. We wish them well.