Friday 23 February 2018

More pain for Pioneers as statue under threat


THE Pioneers are broke and now the founder of the Temperance movement, Fr Theobald Mathew, is to be dumped from Dublin's O'Connell Street.

The memorial to the Capuchin Friar -- who was the driving force behind 'the Pledge' -- is being removed to make way for the Luas tramline under the plans put forward by the Railway Procurement Agency.

Another statue, of Trade Union leader James Larkin, will be also removed during the work but will be re-instated when the job is finished.

The agency said that they are in discussions with Dublin City Council about the proposed works, which will also mean many of the trees growing along the central walkway on O'Connell Street will have to be removed during construction work.

Monuments to Daniel O'Connell, William Smith O'Brien, Sir John Grey and Charles Stewart Parnell will be unaffected by the Luas BXD plan.

However, if the Metro North project goes ahead they would have to be dismantled for the duration of that work.

As planned, there would be a single tramline on the street, running from south to north. The north-south line would run on Marlborough Street via a new bridge over the Liffey to Hawkins Street.

The idea is to link the Green and Red Luas lines and extend the line out to Broombridge on the Maynooth train line via Broadstone.

A full An Bord Pleanala hearing on the plan will begin on Wednesday but it is likely there will be objections to the removal of the statue to Fr Theobold Mathew.

The limestone monument, properly called "The Apostle of Temperance Centenary Statue" was sculpted by Mary Redmond and dates back to 1890 when the foundation stone was laid, though it was not formally unveiled until three years later.

It was funded by public subscription.

Father Mathew was born near Golden, County Tipperary, in 1790.

He studied in Maynooth and Dublin before entering the Capuchin Order and later joined their mission in Cork, where he began the "Cork Total Abstinence Society".

At its core was 'the Pledge' -- a solemn promise to abstain from alcohol, and in less than nine months an estimated 150,000 names were enrolled as taking 'the Pledge' and the movement spread across the country.

Sunday Independent

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