Saturday 17 November 2018

Smash a glass ceiling with Sonia airport

Pat Fitzpartick

What's the difference between John F Kennedy and Christy Ring? Eight All- Ireland medals, says you. But Ireland's greatest hurler never had an airport named after him. Until now. If a row started by Sinn Fein on Leeside takes hold, passengers into Cork Airport might shortly be greeted with Welcome to Christy Ring International.

Not that Sinn Fein want his name on the airport. He was too caught up with sport to die for old Ireland. The Shinners on Cork council would like to see it named after Terence MacSwiney, the lord mayor of the city who died on hunger strike in 1920. This choice could presumably be accompanied with a large banner at arrivals: "Welcome to Cork, Brits, the city that never forgets."

This has started a debate down south on the alternatives. Jack Lynch gets a mention, but he already has a tunnel bearing his name.

Christy Ring has a bridge. A cooler crowd want it named after Rory Gallagher, but the truth is that on Leeside one of the world's most famous guitarists ranks somewhere between Crystal Swing and Danny la Rue. Graham Norton would have limited appeal. There's been no mention of Roy Keane. Yet.

This leaves us with one question. Isn't it about time we named a major public building in Ireland after a woman? Nano Nagle has a small foot bridge in Cork city centre which sounds like some city councillor said: "Ah come on now lads, we better do something for the auld dolls."

The problem here is that Cork women have never been much good at hurling, politics or hunger strikes. Darina Allen is famous, but too posh. Adi Roche has a good heart, but a bad political record and Cork doesn't like a loser. Which brings us to a winner. Welcome to Sonia O'Sullivan Airport.

Pat Fitzpatrick

Sunday Independent

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