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No Spire name change to honour Nelson Mandela

1 of 1 Nelson Mandela was made a Freeman of Dublin City in 1988
Nelson Mandela was made a Freeman of Dublin City in 1988

A request to name Dublin's Millennium Spire in honour of the late former South African President Nelson Mandela has been rejected by a City Council committee.

The Commemorative Naming Committee considered the request made by a member of the public on the basis that the Spire is close to Dunnes Stores on Henry Street where the anti-apartheid boycott took place in the 1980s.

But the suggestion was turned down by the committee at Wednesday's meeting because it was a specific part of the original Spire project that it would not be named in someone's honour.

"It is not there to honour an individual; it's there to honour the city and project a symbol of the future of the city," said Chairman of the Committee Councillor Dermot Lacey.

It was pointed out that Nelson Mandela had not been dead for 20 years, which is a requirement for naming a monument in someone's honour. The committee also has a policy of not renaming existing structures.

But Councillor Lacey said the committee felt it would be appropriate to honour Nelson Mandela in some way and has referred the matter to the Central Area Committee to see if some area around Henry Street could be dedicated in his honour.

Nelson Mandela was made a Freeman of Dublin City in 1988. Following his release from prison in February 1990, he flew to Ireland to accept the honour in person.

Watch footage of Mandela's visit to Dublin in July 1990.

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