'The people of Cork want it': Renaming of Anglesea Street delayed 

"There is currently no legal basis for the holding of a plebiscite in relation to the changing of a placename.”
'The people of Cork want it': Renaming of Anglesea Street delayed 

Sinn Féin councillor Kenneth Collins said he has had recent enquiries from members of the public asking when the street will be renamed.

A CORK City councillor has voiced his frustration over a delay at national level in the process of renaming Anglesea St.

In April 2021, councillors agreed to change the name of the busy thoroughfare to MacSwiney’s St (Sráid na Suibhneach) in tribute to the former Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney and the MacSwiney family as a whole.

However, since then the process to change the street name has hit a roadblock. Last November, Sinn Féin councillor Kenneth Collins sought an update and was informed that the council’s operations directorate requested advice on the specific legal provisions under which to proceed with the name change. Cork City Council was informed by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage 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,” director of operations, David Joyce, said in a written reply to Mr Collins’ question. 

“The department confirmed that they are urgently engaging in trying to resolve the issue identified. 

"Unfortunately, they were not able to provide a more precise timeline at this stage at the time. 

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.”

Speaking to The Echo, Mr Collins said he has had recent enquiries from members of the public asking when the street will be renamed.

“The people of Cork want it,” he said. “There’s no movement, it’s legislation holding it up and it’s unfair. It should be resolved at this stage.”

The move to name the street MacSwiney’s St is a particular tribute to the women in the MacSwiney family, Mr Collins said.

“Women were the unsung heroes of that era,” he said.

Speaking of Terence’s sisters, he said: “What they did for their brother and the Republican movement and the city and the State was unbelievable.” 

Mr Collins said that while he appreciates that the matter is “out of Cork City Council’s hands”, he called on the local authority to write to the Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government, Peter Burke, in a bid to expedite the issue.

Yesterday marked 102 years since MacSwiney’s arrest by British forces on charges of sedition.

He died on 25 October 1920, in Brixton Prison, after 74 days on hunger strike.

Cork City Council told The Echo that the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has “made assurances that they will bear in mind Cork City Council’s interest in this matter” and will keep the local authority “updated on progress”.

The Department of Housing did not provide a timeline but told The Echo “once there is agreement on the progression of the outstanding legislative issues and subsequent draft legislative amendments are prepared, it is hoped to provide for them in an appropriate piece of legislation having regard to the overall Government legislative programme.”

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