A ‘time for reflection’ on the JFK bridge

Mayor Kathleen Leddin reflects on the renaming of the Shannon Bridge
Mayor Kathleen Leddin reflects on the renaming of the Shannon Bridge

THE decision to rename the Shannon Bridge after President John F Kennedy has been postponed in the wake of strong local opposition.

The city council’s decision to rename the bridge is to be referred to the recently established Monuments sub-committee for consideration. This group will be tasked with looking at the naming of future roads and bridges in Limerick.

Mayor Kathleen Leddin last week told the Limerick Post that she would not be reversing the council decision because it was done through the proper procedures.

However, this week she believes a “time of reflection” is needed.

“Notwithstanding the great admiration that I have for the late President John F Kennedy and of his family’s deep affection for Ireland, I feel that it is best to postpone the naming of the bridge at this stage,” said Mayor Leddin.

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“I acknowledge that a number of people have been in contact with me and were unhappy with the proposal to change the bridge’s name. I feel that a time of reflection is now needed before a final decision is made,” she explained.

The proposal to rename the Shannon Bridge and separately, the area at Merchant’s Quay had been the subject of a Notice of Motion by City Councillor and former Mayor Pat Kennedy last month.

The motion stated it would be appropriate for Limerick City Council to “honour and commemorate appropriately JFK and Brian Ború for their extraordinary contributions to the advancement of Limerick, Irish and International affairs”.

Fine Gael councillor Diarmuid Scully, who proposed that the people of Limerick should be heard on the matter, has welcomed the Mayor’s decision to postpone the proposed name change.

“It’s unusual enough in politics for people to recognise that a mistake has been made and correct it. The Mayor has done so and deserves full credit for that,” said Cllr Scully.