Protesters deface signs with black paint in bid to remove the name of 'Famine queen Victoria'
A garda complaint is expected to be made following the vandalism
A protest group calling themselves the Cork Street Names Campaign has used black paint to cover the word Victoria on a number of street signs in the city.
The group say that the action was designed to remove the name of "the Famine Queen who committed genocide" against the Irish people.
Diarmaid Ó Cadhla, the spokesperson for the group, has defended the move as "civil disobedience”, saying the move was designed to “remove Victoria’s name in order to respect the memory of the millions who were starved and were dispossessed under her reign".
In a statement the group said they particularly condemn "the association of Tomás Mac Curtain's name with Victoria, as in the efforts to establish a 'Victoria Quarter' in Cork".
Speaking to Independent.ie Mr Ó Cadhla said the defacing of the signs amounted to civil disobedience because "an offense has been removed from public view".
The action was done openly and participants "take full responsibility" he said. He criticised claims that the protest was "wanton vandalism" as "utter nonsense".
However, Cork’s Lord Mayor Des Cahill condemned the protest.
"It was a criminal act of damage and my understanding that City Hall will be notifying gardai," he said.
2It’s ludicrous... they don’t represent anyone.... It’s appalling what they did. No one is in favour of it."
Mr Cahill told Independent.ie that the list of names which the group wish to see changed has nothing to do with the Mayor’s office and should be brought to the attention of the road traffic department.
However the group have repeated calls for the Mayor to look at the document they have prepared.