Wednesday 22 May 2019

Tony Gregory's name axed from Liffey bridge list

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

A NEW public transport bridge across the River Liffey will not be named after the late TD Tony Gregory.

A committee of Dublin City Council has decided that he is not dead long enough to have a bridge named after him, despite being so closely associated with the city centre.

The move sparked outrage from one of his closest supporters and friends, who said the late deputy had been treated shamefully by the council. Mr Gregory, who served in the Dail for 27 years and who died four years ago, aged 61, following a long battle with cancer, joins six others in being removed from the shortlist, which has been reduced from 85 to 10.

"I'm absolutely raging that he didn't even get to 10. We knew it would be a struggle to get to the final five before going to the full council," Maureen O'Sullivan TD, who took his Dublin Central seat after he died, said.

"Political parties are treating him the same way they did in life," she added.

"His work in the inner city, where he was involved in issues with ordinary people, meant they could have made an exception, which is allowed."

Other names no longer being considered are co-founder of the Abbey Theatre Lady Gregory; authors James Plunkett and Oscar Wilde; satirist Jonathan Swift; and the 'Patriots Bridge' and the 'Returned Home Bridge'.

The Commemorative Naming Committee of Dublin City Council whittled down an original list of 85 to 17, and removed another seven yesterday.

The 10 will be reduced to five next month, and a final decision will be made in the autumn.

The decision to remove Mr Gregory was defended by committee chairman, Cllr Dermot Lacey (Lab).

"We felt there wasn't sufficient justification to break the agreed rule that they (Tony Gregory and James Plunkett) weren't dead for at least 20 years," he said.

Some 15,000 submissions have been made by the public on a possible name, and Cllr Lacey said representations on the remaining names were welcome. A final decision will be made in September. The new Marlborough Street bridge is to be used by the new Luas line, buses, taxis and cyclists.

Irish Independent

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