| 21.8°C Dublin

Close

Premium


How two students nearly stole statue of young Victoria

John Horgan


Close

VICTORIA: The statue was reportedly not a representation of the elderly monarch, but, more unusually, of the young queen.

VICTORIA: The statue was reportedly not a representation of the elderly monarch, but, more unusually, of the young queen.

VICTORIA: The statue was reportedly not a representation of the elderly monarch, but, more unusually, of the young queen.

Commemoration, as the growing controversy about the statues of British and Irish slave-owners and traders of the 19th century reminds us, can be a double-edged sword.

Our own civil war will shortly pose similar problems. Some six decades ago, however, two young students at University College Cork, attempted to blaze a trail into this unexplored wilderness.

I was one of them. The other was Bryan Frost, a science student and a contemporary. We had learned that not only had our university once actually boasted a statue of the young Queen Victoria (Cork, Galway and Dublin were, of course, all originally 'Queen's Colleges'), but that it had been taken down some time after the triumph of Irish nationalism, and had been buried in the garden of the president's house, not far away from the college quadrangle.