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'City's Spire should be a memorial to UN heroes'

THE SPIRE in Dublin city centre could be about to fulfil a new role.

The 121m O'Connell Street landmark – officially called the Monument of Light – has been proposed as a memorial to Ireland's UN heroes.

Labour councillor Padraig McLoughlin has put forward the idea after being approached by the Irish UN Veterans Association (IUNVA).

The association wants the Spire to be dedicated to the memory of any Irish soldier who has served with the UN, not just those who died on active duty.

"The Irish UN Veterans Association approached me with a proposal to rededicate the area in front of the GPO as a memorial to all UN members who served their country," said Mr McLoughlin.

As a result of the conversation, the councillor has tabled a council motion stating that the Spire – and the plaza that surrounds it – be listed as a national monument in memory of "all who have served this nation on peacekeeping missions overseas".

Mr McLoughlin said that, if his motion is agreed, the matter will be sent to council's public arts committee for consent.

While Mr McLoughlin hopes to get the support of his fellow councillors, he does not think this is a foregone conclusion.

"The one problem is that there could be opposition based on the location in front of the GPO," Mr McLoughlin said.

He added that some councillors may view the site as exclusively for commemorating the 1916 Rising.