Limerick historian takes aim at councillor over war memorial for People's Park

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Dr Tadgh Moloney has criticised councillor John Gilligan for his opposition to a war memorial in the People’s Park

Dr Tadgh Moloney has criticised councillor John Gilligan for his opposition to a war memorial in the People’s Park

LIMERICK historian Dr Tadgh Moloney has criticised Councillor John Gilligan for his opposition to a war memorial in the People’s Park.

The Independent​ member for City North has formally objected to a planning application from Edmund, the Earl of Limerick, to erect a memorial to the Limerick soldiers who died in World War One.

“The People’s Park should remain an oasis of peace with just the song of the birds and the laughter of children to disturb the peace – a far cry from the hell of cannon and rifle fire where so many were sent to be slaughtered. That is a more fitting tribute than what’s been proposed,” Cllr Gilligan said.

But Dr Moloney said: “The concrete benches will be a place for people to sit and reflect, and it will continue to be an oasis of peace as he describes it.”

Cllr Gilligan believes the First World War has been “politicised” – but Dr Moloney said: “​If anyone is making it political, he is”.

“I know John of yore, and I think he is using his position as a councillor to gain publicity,” he said.

The current war​ memorial in Pery Square was erected in 1929, blown up in the 1950s and re-erected in the 1960s, the historian told the Leader.

“Ironically enough, one of the people who objected to approve the erection of the memorial in 1929, was a Councillor C Gilligan. I wonder if he was related,” he asked.

“It’s a place where people can go and reflect and see their relation’s name on it. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

The memorial in the People’s Park will, if it gets permission, be delivered by the Limerick Civic Trust with the approval of the Earl of Limerick.

It will consist of a stone central cross measuring some four metres high, with eight stone tablets 2.2 meters high containing the names of the victims.

The associated site works consists of three stone benches 1 x 3.7 meters long and wide and 0.45 meters high and associated gravel paths linking to the existing park network of paths. All existing trees and vegetation to be retained

Local planners will make a decision on the war memorial by Wednesday, October 17 next.

Meanwhile, submissions can be made regarding the plan until next Monday, September 24.