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Call to kick bishop from park, replace him with Wilde

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to dedicate Dublin's Merrion Square park to Oscar Wilde -- after councillors voted to ditch the current name of Archbishop Ryan Park.

Hundreds of people have signed up to the internet campaign, which is being supported by the gay community.

Councillors voted to change the name of the park in the wake of the Murphy Report into child sexual abuse in the Dublin diocese.

The late Archbishop Dermot Ryan was criticised in the report for his handling of abuse complaints against priests during his time in office. The park already features a statue of Wilde.

The Facebook campaign to rename the park Oscar Wilde Park has been backed by more than 1,000 people, just a few days after it was set up.

Hot Press Bootboy columnist Dermod Moore, one of those behind the campaign, said the genius of Oscar Wilde, and the fact that he once lived in the square, made him the obvious choice.

He stressed that while the writer was an important gay figure, his legacy went far beyond sexual politics.

"It would be a wonderful thing to be able to honour Wilde's genius in this way in the city of his birth," Mr Moore said. "We have a park named after an archbishop who didn't do much for the city anyway.


"This would not be just tokenism, It would be hugely symbolic of how much Ireland has changed.

"It shows a certain turnaround in society when people reject the kind of Victorian sexual morality that did for Wilde. In a way, it's the people saying sorry to him. But in the end it has to come back to Wilde's own writing , which is some of the most beautiful that exists."

Mr Moore said he would find out the procedures for approaching the council with the suggestion before advising supporters of the next step. Dublin city councillors voted in favour of a motion to drop the archbishop's name as a "gesture to all of those who suffered as a result of clerical abuse".