A MAJOR landmark in Newcastle West could be renamed in honour of local politician Ned O’Dwyer, who passed away last year.
The Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council, Cllr Jerome Scanlan, is seeking to have either a local bridge or one of the town’s two main roundabouts named after Mr O’Dwyer, who spent 17 years as a Labour Party county councillor.
Mr O’Dwyer, who is also the last native of the county town to hold the post of cathaoirleach, died on October 31 last year at the age of 88 after a brief illness.
Cllr Scanlan has submitted a motion to the next area meeting of Newcastle West councillors to have one of the landmarks renamed as a memorial to Mr O’Dwyer. It is understood that the move, if it receives support from the four other councillors in the Newcastle West area, can be dealt with at a local level and would not require further approval from County Hall.
“We lost Ned last year, and I think something like this would serve as a fitting tribute to him. He was well loved and respected here in Newcastle West, and I think it would be supported,” Cllr Scanlan said.
Cllr Scanlan said that there are three potential landmarks to choose from: the Arra roundabout at Rathina, the Bridge of Tears which connects the N21 with the Dromcollogher road and Bruff line, and the Old Pike roundabout on the N21, which was completed last year.
Mr O’Dwyer spent 17 years as a Labour Party county councillor, and was the last Newcastle West man to hold the post of council cathaoirleach.
A native of Newcastle West town, Mr O’Dwyer was educated at the Courtenay Boys national school and the Newcastle West vocational school, before later earning a diploma in social studies at University College Cork.
Despite coming from a Fianna Fail family background, he joined the Labour Party and began his career as a public representative in 1962, when he was co-opted on to Limerick County Council to fill the seat left vacant following the resignation of Patrick Ahern. He would remain on the council until 1979. The highlight of his career locally was his tenure as cathaoirleach from 1970-1972.