Hoaxers inspire contest for memorial
TWO years after a pair of pranksters installed a plaque to the non-existent Fr Pat Noise, Dublin City Council is to consider erecting a genuine memorial in its place.
The hoaxers behind the fake plaque on Dublin's O'Connell Bridge have inspired plans for a public competition to choose a successor to the pretend padre.
The fake plaque, which was installed in the space vacated by the ill-fated Millennium Clock, went unnoticed for two years despite thousands of pedestrians crossing the bridge every day.
Labour councillor Kevin Humphreys said he now wants the citizens of Dublin to decide who they would like to see commemorated in the same spot on the landmark bridge.
He will put forward a motion at the next city council meeting on June 5 for a public competition to be held.
Cllr Humphreys believes that, following on from the good-humoured way Dubliners have taken to the hoax plaque, there will be wide support for a competition among his colleagues on the council.
"I think there have been two hoaxes at this stage - the Millenium Clock, which was a hoax on the tax payer because it never even worked, and the plaque. But this is a good-natured hoax and I think it will be interesting to see who the citizens of Dublin would choose to put in its place," he said.
Cllr Humphreys refused to be drawn on who he would like to see commemorated on the bridge saying it was up to Dubliners themselves to decide.
"It's not visually intrusive but it's amazing to think that the plaque went unnoticed for so long. I think Dubliners enjoyed this hoax in the right way and will enjoy putting people forward for it," he added.
The council was unaware of the plaque until contacted by press reporters last week but said it now plans to remove it from the bridge.
Footage of the two chisel-wielding pranksters installing the plaque was broadcast on RTE news bulletins, but their identity still remains a mystery.
However, the profile of Fr Noise is believed to be based on one of the people behind the hoax.