Calls for new rules on bridge and road names
FINE Gael MEP Brian Hayes has called for all four local authorities in Dublin to introduce new rules governing the naming process for bridges, roads and other structures.
Mr Hayes said councils should adopt a formal public consultation process in light of the controversy surrounding the proposal to name the N7 Newlands Cross flyover in memory of murdered Sunday Independent journalist Veronica Guerin.
A proposal to name the bridge after Ms Guerin has been abandoned after her family withdrew support over fears that their loved one was being "used as a political football".
The family had initially supported the proposal, which was tabled by Labour TD Robert Dowds.
But their support was withdrawn after Sinn Fein councillor Jonathan Graham said he was opposed to such a move because it would create a "hierarchy of victims".
The Guerin family contacted South Dublin Council following the remarks and requested that the idea be dropped entirely.
Former junior minister Mr Hayes yesterday called for a new process to be adopted to avoid any future controversies.
"The family of Veronica Guerin recently asked South Dublin councillors not to consider naming the N7 Newlands Cross flyover after the heroic journalist due to fears that the issue may turn into a political football following comments from a Sinn Fein councillor," Mr Hayes said.
"It is regrettable that the opportunity to honour Veronica did not happen. In our city and county we have a dearth of public infrastructure named after civic and sporting personalities, especially women."
Mr Dowds, for Dublin Mid West, also supported Mr Hayes' proposal for a new process to be adopted.
"I agree completely that we need to have a process in place for the naming of all public infrastructure," he said.
"If I had thought for one second there would be any opposition to naming the Newlands Cross flyover in honour of Veronica Guerin, I never would have raised it, and I was sure to ask permission from the family before doing so.
"I absolutely would not like to see something like that happening again, so putting a formal process in place for all of Dublin is a good idea."
Ms Guerin was gunned down on June 26, 1996 while driving on the Naas Road.
The death of the campaigning reporter caused widespread shock and condemnation.
Ms Guerin is one of two journalists from the Independent Group murdered for exposing criminal activities.
Sunday World reporter Martin O'Hagan was shot by criminals after leaving a pub in Lurgan, Co Armagh, in 2001.