| 18.9°C Dublin

Willie leads Dubs as Tony falls off bridge shortlist

TONY Gregory, Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde are all out of contention to have Dublin's newest bridge named after them.

The shortlist has been reduced from 17 to 10 by a special bridge naming committee in the city centre.

Lady Gregory and James Plunkett also didn't make it into the top 10.

In addition, the committee ruled out the Patriots Bridge and the Returned Home Bridge in memory of Irish soldiers.

In the cases of the late independent TD Tony Gregory and Strumpet City author James Plunkett, the committee decided not to bypass the 20-year rule stipulating a person should be dead for at least two decades before being honoured with a public memorial.

"We felt that people around the table knew these two people so in that context it would be wrong to leave them in," committee chair Dermot Lacey told the Herald.

Gulliver's Travels author Jonathan Swift didn't make the grade because there is already a bridge named after him, the Labour councillor added.



The crossing in question is a pedestrian footbridge near the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin.

Among the contenders are Willie Bermingham, founder of the charity Alone, James Connolly, one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, and Legion of Mary founder Frank Duff.

It also includes poet W.B. Yeats, Dracula author Bram Stoker and scientists George Sigerson and Ernest Walton.

The full list is: Abbey Theatre Bridge, Willie Bermingham, James Connolly, Frank Duff, Rosie Hackett, Kay Mills, George Sigerson, Bram Stoker, Ernest Walton and W.B. Yeats.

The previous list of 17 names had been itself whittled down from 85 official nominations for the bridge over the Liffey at Marlborough Street.

Some 10,000 supporting submissions were made to the council, including emails, direct correspondence and petitions.

Mr Lacey told the Herald: "We know it's going to be hard to reduce the list even further now. We want to encourage the public to engage in this. Our intention would be at the next meeting (of the committee) to make a proposal to bring it down to five names."

When it is reduced it down to five contenders, the list will be put before the 52 councillors on Dublin City Council.

"We will be proposing Dublin City Council votes on it in some form. We want to try and get a consensus," Mr Lacey added.