Councillor Diarmaid Ó Cadhla, and two colleagues, Tom O’Connor and Tony Walsh, will appear before the courts in Cork for the second time next week due to a direct action taken by them in relation to street signage last February. The three are members of Cork Street Names Campaign who damaged signs with Queen Victoria’s name on them at the beginning of the year. The state has charged the men with criminal damage.
Ó Cadhla requested that the subsequent trial be conducted through Irish, but the judge dismissed his request.
In a statement the group released last week on their first court appearance, they noted that they had carried out an act of civil disobedience.
Moreover, they said that it was an insult to the victims of the Great Famine, as well as being an insult to the self-respect of the Irish people, that Victoria’s name, the name of the ‘Famine Queen’, should still adorn street signs in the country.
Speaking about the case, a MISNEACH spokesperson stated:
‘We in MISNEACH express solidarity to those before the courts next week in Cork. We agree completely with the stand they have taken in relation to this street signage which still displays the stain of colonialism on our country.’ He continued:
‘One of the major objectives of our organisation is to put into motion a process of decolonisation in Ireland. Language, symbols and history are powerful, as we know. The colonists did their level best to eradicate and Anglicise our ancient place names and on some occasions in their stead insert the names of their kings and queens.
‘Therefore, it stands to reason that the people of the country should do their level best to reverse this damage, especially in light of clear evidence that the colonial mentality still persists with some vigour in the state departments which deal with our national language. We need only look at the contemptible anti-Irish decisions in the areas of education, road signage and the Gaeltacht which make us understand that this much is true, and that we must face it down as our comrades in Cork have done.’
The Irish Branch of the Celtic League supports Misneach in this.
Image: Councillor Diarmaid Ó Cadhla who is to appear in Court with two colleagues, Tom O’Connor and Tony Walsh. The three are members of Cork Street Names Campaign