In what may be the final act of this growing controversy, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives wrote to the Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) calling for a top-level ban on the proposed statue of Che Guevara in Galway, Ireland. As chronicled on this site, this caps weeks of argumentation on both the right and left with the goal of defending or preventing the statue.
The new Che monument had already received approval from the mayor of Galway, but she later withdrew her support amid a firestorm of criticism. The intent of the monument was to commemorative Che’s Irish roots, which extend back more than a hundred years to the Galway area. A family house that belonged to the Lynches, Che’s progenitors, still stands in the Galway area as of this very day.
(For a recap on this and other factors in the controversy, see our previous posts.
As of the time of this writing, the Taoiseach’s office has issued a statement simply saying that “the letter has yet to arrive,” preventing any official comment. However, now that the U.S. government is involved, I predict we’ll see a swift end to this discussion. Although many Irish are fiercely independent -- and there’s no mystery way -- few can expect to insult the American juggernaut and come out unharmed.
I have been an occasional visitor to Ireland and intend to go to Galway regardless -- to show my support for a town that has been thrust into the middle of a battle it didn’t choose, on pretenses most of its people could do without.