Sunday 7 February 2016

Council won't rename Spire after Mandela

Published 16/01/2014 | 02:30

Dublin's Spire
Dublin's Spire

A special committee of Dublin City Council, who met to consider renaming the Spire on O'Connell Street after the late Nelson Mandela, has rejected the idea, writes Joanna Kiernan.

The suggestion arose when a member of the public wrote to Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn to recommend the tribute, which they believed was appropriate due to the Spire's proximity to the Dunnes Stores on Henry Street where workers infamously refused to handle fruit from apartheid South Africa during the 1980s.

"We will not be making the change," Labour councillor Dermot Lacey, who chaired the committee, told the Irish Independent.

"We discussed policy guidelines and two particular principles came up, the first of which was the long-standing rule that someone should be dead 20 years before major infrastructure should be named after them and the second reason was that there was a general view that we shouldn't be renaming things," he said.

According to Mr Lacey, the initial concept of the Spire was that it should not be named after any one person, but rather it should be a structure "that is for everybody. This was not a rejection of Nelson Mandela, but simply an endorsement of these principles".

Irish Independent

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