AN unforeseen roadblock has emerged in the process of renaming Anglesea Street in Cork city.
Proposals to rename the busy thoroughfare date back to 2019.
Sinn Féin councillor Kenneth Collins along with Henry Cremin, who is now retired from frontline politics, proposed that the local authority would examine the possibility of renaming the street to honour former Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney.
Following discussions at subsequent committee meetings, it was decided that the renaming of Anglesea Street should honour the MacSwiney family as a whole and this motion was agreed at a full council meeting back in April.
Earlier this month, Mr Collins sought an update on the process to rename the street.
He was informed that further to the council’s decision in April of this year to commence the process of renaming Anglesea Street, the council’s Operations Directorate sought advice on the specific legal provisions under which to proceed.
Following some ambiguity regarding the legislation, the Operations Directorate contacted the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage seeking clarification.
Cork City Council were informed that newly commenced provisions under an amended Part 18 of the Local Government Act 2001 require updated regulations to be made for the holding of plebiscites to change placenames.
“However, during the process of finalising new regulations, an issue was identified.
“The Department confirmed that they are urgently engaging in trying to resolve the issue identified.
“Once draft legislative amendments have been agreed, they would hope to include them in an appropriate Bill at the earliest available opportunity.
“Unfortunately, they were not able to provide a more precise timeline at this stage,” director of operations, David Joyce, said in a written reply to Mr Collins’ question.
“In the meantime, they informed us that, until new regulations have been made, there is currently no legal basis for the holding of a plebiscite in relation to the changing of a placename.
“They went on to assure us that the Department will bear in mind Cork City Council’s interest in this matter, and will keep us updated on progress,” he added.
Speaking to The Echo, Mr Collins said the renaming of Anglesea Street to MacSwiney’s Street (Sráid na Suibhneach) is a worthwhile initiative.
“It’s about commemorating the females in the family as well as the males.
“They were by Terence MacSwiney’s side when he was in prison on hunger strike.”
He said renaming Anglesea Street to MacSwiney Street would be particularly significant given the fact that the street was the site of MacSwiney’s arrest by the British Forces on August 12, 1920.
Mr Collins and his party colleague Mick Nugent said they will endeavour to get the issue raised at national level to try and expedite the renaming.
Mr Nugent said this has been an unforeseen roadblock in the process.
“It came out of nowhere almost because there would have been renamings up to two years ago,” he said.