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Ruth Dudley Edwards: 'Yet another memorial to why Sinn Fein is not fit to govern'

An outbreak of sanity over statues runs into Sinn Fein's tunnel-vision problem, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards

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IRA: A statue of Sean Russell in Fairview Park, Dublin, was decapitated in 2005. Its replacement was also vandalised

IRA: A statue of Sean Russell in Fairview Park, Dublin, was decapitated in 2005. Its replacement was also vandalised

IRA: A statue of Sean Russell in Fairview Park, Dublin, was decapitated in 2005. Its replacement was also vandalised

IRA: A statue of Sean Russell in Fairview Park, Dublin, was decapitated in 2005. Its replacement was also vandalised

DESTROYED: Nelson’s Pillar, O’Connell Street, Dublin, March 1966

DESTROYED: Nelson’s Pillar, O’Connell Street, Dublin, March 1966

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IRA: A statue of Sean Russell in Fairview Park, Dublin, was decapitated in 2005. Its replacement was also vandalised

'I want to build a Belfast, which is a City for All," wrote SDLP Councillor Tim Attwood in a recent letter to a Belfast newspaper, protesting about an attack in Belfast City Council on the late Paddy Devlin - one of those proposed by all parties except Sinn Fein as a suitable subject for a commemorative statue.

Now, statues have recently become contentious. They are torn down in South Africa if they are seen to commemorate racists or imperialists, Confederate statues are under threat in the American South, there was an attempt to get rid of Cecil Rhodes from Oriel College, Oxford (oddly enough, spearheaded by Rhodes scholars), and there is a long-running debate over a statue of Margaret Thatcher.


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