New calls to rename Dublin Park after Boyzone’s Stephen Gately

A Dublin councilor is asking Dublin City Council to review its 20-year rule for naming public spaces after fresh calls for a Northside park to be renamed after tragic Boyzone star Stephen Gately.

Cllr Damien O’Farrell told Dublin Live he had put forward a motion to Council for May or June asking them to revise its naming rule for public spaces and create a waiting list for names.

Names that have been proposed include Gately, former Lord Mayor Sean ‘Dublin Bay’ Loftus – who died in 2010 – and singer and actress Maureen Potter.

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Cllr O’Farrell said: “I think ten years is enough for a review.

“I understand why the rule is there after what happened with Jimmy Saville in the UK where thousands of places were named in his honor and had to be changed.”

Cllr O’Farrell said he recently met a young environmental activist, who had never heard of Sean ‘Dublin Bay’ Loftus.

He said: “I feel like there’s a chance we’ll lose some of the history.

“Dublin Bay would have been destroyed without Sean, and I think it’s a shame that people forget about these people.

“I am looking to create a waiting list as there is no waiting list at the moment, Stephen Gately would also be a valid candidate, and Maureen Potter.”

Following Stephen’s death in 2009, members of the council’s Core Area Committee agreed to rename the linear park along the Royal Canal from Spencer Dock to North Strand in his honour.

However, the planned renaming of the park in Gately’s honor has now stalled after being referred to Dublin City Council’s Commemorative Naming Committee.

A spokesperson told Dublin Live that the council first adopted its commemorative naming policy in 2012, with a revised policy adopted by the council in June 2017.

The spokesman said: “In relation to the ‘twenty year rule’, since 2012 it has been Council policy that ‘proposals to commemorate living persons will not be considered. Applicants must have died at least 20 years previously or be past the centenary of their birth, whichever comes first” (15.6)”

Cllr O’Farrell said he was “very hopeful” the council would consider reviewing the commemorative naming process and creating the official waiting list in the coming months.

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