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Call for Crimean War cannons to be given ‘pride of place’ in Galway


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Call for Crimean War cannons to be given ‘pride of place’ in Galway Call for Crimean War cannons to be given ‘pride of place’ in Galway

Galway’s two Crimean War cannons should return to a prominent position in the city where they can be admired by visitors and locals, a local representative has said.

Councillor John Connolly said the local authority must find a suitable location to display the historic artefacts to the public.

The two Russian cannons were presented to the Connaught Rangers, an Irish regiment of the British Army in 1857, at the end of the Crimean War.

They used to take pride of place in Eyre Square. But during the controversial 2005 revamp of that public realm, they were relocated to the front of City Hall on College Road.

The City Council is due to move its headquarters to Mervue and Cllr Connolly said a discussion was needed about where the cannons should be located in future.

“When we move to Crown Square, where will the cannons go? You wouldn’t like to see them just languishing there at College Road. I actually feel that the cannons could be returned to the north of Eyre Square.

“The (other) obvious place to go is Galway Museum. But they certainly should be in a prominent place, and the history about how they came to be in the city should be displayed to the people who are viewing them,” said Cllr Connolly.

When the cannons were moved from Eyre Square, along with the statue of Irish language poet Pádraic Ó Conaire, there was heated debate among city councillors.

And while a replica statute of ‘Sean Phádraic’ was eventually returned to the Square and the original remains on display in Galway Museum, the cannons were kept at City Hall.

Cllr Connolly wrote to Brendan McGrath – then Chief Executive of the Council – in 2021 about the possibility of bringing the cannons back to Eyre Square. He said this week that a debate was needed.

“They’re from Crimea and were used in Crimea, which is very prominent in the news today. In the context of the Council leaving College Road, as well as the history of the cannons, they should be on public display where people can view them and learn about the history of them,” added Cllr Connolly.

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