THE Lord Mayor and a local historian have condemned the "wanton vandalism" of streets signs bearing the name of Queen Victoria which were painted over by activists yesterday.
Signs on Victoria Road and other parts of the city were targeted by members of the Cork Street Names Campaign, which wants to remove any tributes to the "Famine Queen", 170 years on from 1947, the worst year of the Irish famine.
Organiser Diarmaid Ó Cadhla said it was an act of civil disobedience that will be repeated.
"This civil disobedience is being done openly, and participants take full responsibility for their actions, which is claimed is to serve the people and help to raise our sense of national self-respect and dignity," he said.
They will host a public meeting next week at Ionad an Phobail at 7.30pm next Wednesday.
Mr McCarthy said that the group was trying to erase the history of Cork in an undemocratic way.
"For me, these acts of vandalism are clearly now about white washing and erasing Cork history without an informed democratic debate. The public meeting called by the group has not even taken place and they are blackening and vandalising street plaques," he said.
He said that the group has not engaged with the public and the City Council on the street names, and has taken matters into their own hands instead.
"There have been no requests to debate any potential renaming within the proper channels especially in the City Council chamber. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but not to engage in civil disobedience in damaging municipal property; it is a criminal offence and ultimately wasting taxpayer's money as the signs will have to be cleaned up.
"These are very very disappointing acts of vandalism on Cork's heritage from a small group who claim to be champions of local democracy and the voice of the people," he said.
The Lord Mayor Cllr Des Cahill also condemned the “attack on the street signs”, saying: “It’s outrageous. It’s criminal damage and they should be prosecuted.” The Cork Street Names Campaign say they have been denied a meeting with the Lord Mayor to discuss the renaming of the streets and have been ignored by City Hall.