CONTROVERSIAL plans to rename Limerick’s Shannon Bridge after US president John F Kennedy have been shelved.
The Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Kathleen Leddin, released a statement this afternoon confirming that a decision to re-name the bridge “has been postponed”.
The decision followed a meeting of party leaders earlier this Monday after which the mayor said that the decision to rename the bridge, made by the protocol committee two weeks ago, should be referred to a proposed new “Monuments Sub Committee for consideration”.
“Notwithstanding the great admiration that I have for the late President John F Kennedy and of his family’s deep affection for Ireland, I feel that it is best to postpone the naming of the bridge at this stage,” said Mayor Leddin.
“I acknowledge that a number of people have been in contact with me and were unhappy with the proposal to change the bridge’s name. I feel that a time of reflection is now needed before a final decision is made,” she added.
Eight city councillors had earlier signed their names for a motion calling for a special meeting to be convened to discuss the renaming “owing to the immense public disquiet”, after Cllr Pat Kennedy’s motion to honour the 35th US president – who has links to Bruff – succeeded on a narrow 7-6 vote.
Mayor Leddin previously pointed out that the original renaming decision had been made through the proper procedures, and pointed out that there was a public consultation process, with 107 submissions received, but said that these “didn’t fall very heavily on either side”.
Cllr Kennedy had argued that JFK had close ancestral ties with Limerick, was a Freeman of Limerick and also visited the city during his 1963 trip to Ireland. However, many have argued that the tributes already paid are enough.
For more reaction to this story, see tomorrow’s Limerick Chronicle newspaper