Councillors in the Ballina Municipal District have voted against naming the laneway at the back of Healy’s Terrace in Ardnaree.
The renaming of the laneway had been the subject of public consultation in the last number of weeks and the item was brought before elected representatives at last Wednesday’s area meeting.
Over 212 proposals were received. 81 people proposed naming the laneway ‘Michael Gaughan Lane’ with a further 67 proposing ‘Michael Gaughan Way’ while 63 people proposed ‘no name and to leave it as it is’ with one proposal for ‘O’Dowds Lane’. Michael Gaughan was a Provisional IRA hunger striker from Healy Terrace who died in prison in 1974. There is currently a plaque and a mural dedicated to Gaughan along this laneway.
Cllr Michael Loftus said it was the community who lived at Healy’s Terrace whose opinion mattered the most and he had received representations from them to leave it as it is.
“The residents have to be listened to as they have to live with this name. It could be called the Michael Loftus Lane and it would make no odds to me, we need to go with what the community there wants.”
Cllr Jarlath Munnelly formally proposed leaving the laneway with no name.
“Michael Gaughan did what he believed he was right and is a part of our local history. A lot of people are very passionate about naming this laneway after him but there are also people who would view him as a terrorist.”
Cllr Mark Duffy proposed the matter should be deferred to further scrutinize the public submissions. He said it would be important to know where each proposal is coming from in order to ensure the wishes of local residents are adhered to. However, this proposal had no seconder.
Cllr Seamus Weir said he did not wish to see a division in the Ardnaree area over the legacy of Michael Gaughan and said his plaque should be located in the vicinity of the Jackie Clarke Collection.