War of Words Over Galway Che Monument Heats Up

War of Words Over Galway Che Monument Heats Up

Sides Are Taken and Battle Lines Drawn in Major Scuffle

The proposed Che Guevara monument in Galway, Ireland has led to a local political storm driven by commentators determined to halt the monument’s construction. We promised that we would keep an eye on this story, and it is developing fast -- we now know precisely what the proposed monument will look like (see our link in the next paragraph) and we can see clearly, for the first time, just how hard Che opponents are prepared to fight.

Writing in the Galway Advertiser, at the epicenter of the conflict, writer Ken Andrews talks about the “war of words” over the monument. The main characters in this debate are the local mayor, Hildegarde Naughton, the artist himself, Jim Fitzpatrick, and a local rabble rouser, Declan Ganley, who truly incited the conflict when he “accused the Galway City Council of being about to erect a monument to a mass murderer.”

It seems like Ganley’s campaign is working, since Mayor Naughton has pulled her support for the monument recently. It was approved in a unanimous vote by the gathered City Council of Galway, where it was to commemorate the revolutionary’s heritage and connection to the city. Even with this victory, though, it still requires a final stamp of approval that is by no means certain. The end of the conflict is nowhere in sight.

It has been interesting to see the battle in Galway play out. Support that seemed totally unanimous not long ago has evaporated in a matter of weeks. Will the monument be defeated? We hope to be able to tell you soon.