Car-maker Kia urged to rename its 'Provo' model
FINE Gael party chairman Charlie Flanagan TD has called on the Korean car maker Kia to scrap the 'Provo' name on its latest test model – because it is the nickname of the Provisional IRA.
He has contacted the Korean ambassador to Ireland about the matter, as well as raising his concerns with Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore.
The Kia Provo concept car (pictured) was unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show, with Kia claiming that the "sleek, low, yet muscular coupe-style" design was "meant to be cheeky and cheerful in its compactness and to hint at the fun awaiting on the open road".
But Mr Flanagan said the 'Provo' name should be changed because it was highly offensive and insensitive to those who were victims of the Provisional IRA.
"It's a reminder of the darkest days on this island when Kia inadvertently names a car after a terrorist organisation," he said.
The choice of name has also led to protests from the Democratic Unionist Party in the House of Commons.
Its East Derry MP Gregory Campbell and South Antrim MP William McCrea called on Kia to bring forward a new name which is not associated with "terror and mayhem".
Kia confirmed that the name had been chosen at its European headquarters in Frankfurt but said there was absolutely no intention to cause offence.
"It comes from 'provoke' – as in provoking a reaction," a spokesman said.
Because the Kia Provo is a concept car, there is no guarantee that it will ever be manufactured for general sale.