Fifty-year naming policy deemed as ‘overkill’ by concerned councillors

By Maurice Garvey

COUNCILLORS voted to amend a policy for naming memorials across the county – deeming criteria that nominees have to have died 50 years ago as “overkill.”

The draft policy on naming memorials and plaques was brought forward to the recent South Dublin County Council meeting by the Land Use Planning and Transport Strategic Policy Committee.

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Among those who raised concerns on the 50-year time limit was Independent councillor Dermot Looney, who commended an “excellent document” but felt the “over-the-top 50-year limit was overkill.”

Cllr Looney called for greater flexibility, citing Walkinstown residents who wanted to name a park bench after a deceased community worker.

Independent Paul Gogarty felt the 50-year limit would “exclude foreigners”, noting the positive impact foreign nationals have had on communities in recent years.

He said the 50-year clause “shouldn’t preclude recently deceased” residents, and also called for greater flexibility, particularly in the naming of park benches.

Solidarity councillor Brian Leech said Sean Walsh Park in Tallaght was named after someone who “is not 50 years dead”, and raised concerns that residents killed in tragic circumstances would be excluded from local memorials.

A SDCC spokesman told the chamber that they would not be excluding park benches, and they would “allow greater flexibility for smaller structures.”

The reasoning behind the 50-year limit was to ensure the “legacy” of a nominee that would “live on long into the future”.

The purpose of the policy is to honour individuals and groups for achievements that deserve recognition within the county –on public infrastructure including new roads, bridges, and community buildings and amenities.

Nominees must have been born or lived in the county or have made important social, cultural or economic contributions to the area.

An amendment to remove the 50-year criteria was approved after a vote by members, and the full policy was also approved.

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