Thursday 17 January 2019

Ex-mayor calls for a change of city motto

It's time to change Dublin city's motto which has been in use for more than 400 years.

This is according to Labour councillor Mary Freehill who believes a more modern slogan should be adopted.

The current motto "obedientia civium urbis felicitas" means "the citizens' obedience is the city's happiness".

"I believe it's time for change," the former Lord Mayor told the Herald.

"We should look to a motto that reflects the values of a healthy city and is more inclusive of all our citizens," she said.

"It would be interesting to have a discussion among school children, residents associations and other groups in the city about the kind of city they want," she said.

"Most other cities have updated their motto. A lot has changed in our attitudes and values over the past 400 years."

The issue will be discussed at a meeting of the council's protocol committee, which has 15 members, on Thursday, where Ms Freehill will urge that the opinion of the city's citizens should be sought.

She has suggested that a review group be established of councillors to manage the response.

"I proposed a change in the 1990s, but at that stage our city mothers and fathers were not for changing. Let's hope I will be more successful this time," Cllr Freehill said.

She hasn't drawn up a proposal on what the new motto should be.


"I don't think it would be appropriate really. There is no point on one hand asking peoples' opinions while suggesting something ourselves."

"But my wish would be that we would approach it as something that would be both inclusive of every body in the city and it would denote, or indicate a caring approach to people living as citizens of the city.

"I am simply proposing that we put it out there for people to see what they think."

The motto for the city is written on Dublin's coat-of-arms, the origin of which is not known.

It has also been translated as "the obedience of the citizens produces a happy city".


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