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Ganley, you are the one hurting our reputation

Businessman and founder of right-wing political party Libertas, Declan Ganley, has come out against Galway City Council's plan to erect a monument in honour of Che Guevara, whose direct ancestry can be traced to the city, in a typically reasoned manner.

"This monument will damage Galway," says Ganley.

"It will drive away tourism. It will pour salt in the wounds of those this man tortured, kidnapped, maimed and killed... It would be a monument to the insensitivity and ignorance of those who dreamt it up, and it would shame the people of Galway and Ireland."

All of which, of course, is extraordinary b****x.

Not only is this an absurd exaggeration of the effect such a monument may or may not have, it's a bit rich for an apparently proud citizen of this country to pour such contempt on Che Guevara, a freedom fighter in the true sense of the word.

Because let's be honest, Ireland is fond of its own freedom fighters, some of whom could be described in the same terms Ganley uses about Guevara if you were so inclined.

Che is also the subject of a truly iconic Irish work of art, as it was artist Jim Fitzpatrick who designed the world famous poster of Che which adorns so many walls and T-shirts across the globe, a fact which doesn't seem to have damaged our reputation internationally.

If anything is going to shame the country, it's not this plan to commemorate a famous figure. It's reactionary, right-wing windbags like Declan Ganley.