The media is awash with reports that Archbishop Ryan Park in Dublin city centre is to be renamed. Situated in Merrion Square, opposite the Dail, the park features a good sized playground, Michael Collins bust, a fine collection of antique Dublin lampposts and most famously- a fantastic Oscar Wilde statue and art installation with some of his best pieces of wit featured.
The parks history is long and diverse to say the least. In the 19th century it served as a refuge for victims of the famine, but in the 1920s it fell into the hands of the church. Their aim was to build a cathedral on the site, but this never came about so the church (Or more specifically Archbishop Ryan) handed the park over to the city of Dublin in the 1970s.
Dublin councillers have voted to rename the park as “a gesture to all of those who suffered as a result of clerical abuse”.
Of course, Wilde isn’t the only option. George William Russell (The famous AE) and W.B Yeats both lived in Merrion Square. Still, perhaps the resident of Number 1 most deserves the accolade. What better way to show the modern worlds definition of “gross indecency” is far removed from that which made Wilde a ‘criminal’.
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