Call the demolition crew. Get the ropes and pulleys.
Time to pull down Daniel O’Connell’s statue on O’Connell Street and rename the street while we’re at it.
It’s an absolute disgrace that the main street of our capital city is named after a man whose infidelities are well documented, who killed a man in a duel by shooting him in the thigh and who, by many accounts, didn’t treat his tenants very well, leaving them living in what can only be described as squalid conditions.
And Jim Larkin? Sure didn’t a court find against him in a case concerning £1,746 – close to €100,000 in today’s money – missing from the funds of the Transport Union. And didn’t he live the life of Riley while he was in the States while workers at home struggled to eat.
He’s got to go.
What about Newgrange? Well, the story is that it was built for Dagda Mór, the Tuatha de Dannan king who liked to walk around in a tunic so short that his private parts were, well, not private.
Shocking altogether. Call in the bulldozers.
When all the statues are gone, we’d have to go changing a few other street names. Westmoreland Street for a start. Should we really have a street named after a English Lord Lieutenant of Ireland? That’s what Westmoreland, or John Fane without his robes, was from 1790 to 1794.
And what about all the streets named after Henry Moore Earl of Talbot? Another British aristocrat.
And we can move on to Marlborough Street and Grafton Street and just about every street you care to name. Apart from Dame Street which is named after a dam.
As for naming things after Christian saints, well, you’ll have Atheist Ireland marching up Abbey Street (which is named after the Cistercian abbey of St Mary’s) to protest about that.
Sure, shouldn’t we pull down all the statues in all the churches because, well, I’m sure someone will think of a reason.
And we’ll just call the streets things like Street 1 and Street 2 and Street A and Street B. And if we do erect statutes, we’ll have them approved by a committee of people who represent all strands of society including the easily offended.
Of course there is another alternative.We could just leave statues like the ones at the Shelbourne where they are and explain when and why they were put there. We could tell people that while Daniel O’Connell did some great things for Ireland he was actually human and made mistakes and that anyway, like Dagda Mór, lots of stuff is exaggerated or, entirely fictitious.
Of course, we could just leave things as they are and accept that not all of history is glorious and not all our heroes were faultless.
We could leave the statues outside the Shelbourne and just put a plaque there explaining what they are.
We could realise that what we are doing is remembering history not celebrating the wrongs that were done.
In other words, we could grow up, get a grip, cop on.
And tell the snowflakes to melt off.