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Councillors clash over ‘too PC’ name — but Droichead an Dóchais voted through


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Councillors clash over ‘too PC’ name — but Droichead an Dóchais voted through Councillors clash over ‘too PC’ name — but Droichead an Dóchais voted through

By Denise McNamara

The new Droichead an Dóchais was slammed as the wrong name in a time of no hope and too ‘PC’ to hold any meaning for ordinary Galwegians.

The naming of the €10 million pedestrian and cycling bridge was expected to be rubber-stamped at a special City Council meeting this week after the 65 suggested names received from the public were examined in detail by a Civic Commemoration Committee over six meetings.

But there was far from unanimity among the councillors when it came to a final vote at the full council meeting.

The most popular choice among the public for the bridge by the Salmon Weir was for it to be named after the 1916 Galway rebel, Julia Morrissey, who was in command of 50 women under the leadership of Liam Mellows during the Galway arm of the Easter Rising.

A total of 31 submissions were for Julia Morrissey, with just three for Droichead an Dóchais, which translates to Bridge of Hope, revealed City Council Senior Executive Officer Ailish Rohan.

There was unanimous support in the Civic Commemoration Committee and at the Corporate Strategic Policy Committee for Droichead an Dóchais in Irish only, which recognises that the River Corrib has seen “its share of people, young and old, who are suffering or have lost hope”.

“For all those who have concerns about mental health – your own, or your loved ones – the new bridge name reminds us that there is always hope. For our young people especially, we want them to have hope for the future.”

The name reflects positive action during the climate change crisis making connections for those on foot, wheeling or cycling, said Ms Rohan.

“As we cross over three waterways on the new bridge, we connect with our fellow Galwegians and those visiting our city too.

“Droichead an Dóchais also reflects our hope for peace and an end to the trauma and devastation that ordinary people are living with around the world.”

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said the proposed name did nothing to capture the essence of Galway and should be about a bright future rather than a dark past.

Cllr Colette Connolly (Ind) said the name was “a little bit too PC [politically correct]”.

“There is no hope because of Government policies for housing, jobs, taxation,” she declared.

Julie Morrissey deserved to be honoured – she ended up in a mental institution following the Rising and was buried in an unmarked grave for 43 years despite leading so many women in Cumann na nBan into battle.

Pictured: The new Droichead an Dóchais  pedestrian and cycling bridge running parallel to the Salmon Weir Bridge.

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