A memorial wall in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin that commemorates all those who died during the revolutionary period of 1916-23 is to be “discontinued."
The Necrology Wall remembers the names of IRA volunteers, British soldiers and civilians who died during the bloody period that led to the foundation of the modern state in the Republic of Ireland.
The memorial has been the target of vandals who disagree with British soldiers’ names being included on the wall in the cemetery. The memorial was visited in 2017 by Britain’s Prince Charles.
The decision to discontinue the memorial was taken by the board of the Dublin Cemeteries Trust after an “extensive debate."
Former Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said the decision showed that “we have some road to travel towards real respect for the different traditions and multiple narratives of these islands."
"Today’s news is not only very sad but in essence a victory for bullying and intolerance. The Glasnevin wall recognized the many different experiences of the tumult of early 20th Century Ireland, a country of diversity with many different backgrounds, beliefs and aspirations.”
The wall was first attacked in April 2017 when paint was thrown over it. It was then attacked with sledgehammers in February 2020. It has since been attacked for a third time.
David Bunworth, the chair of the Dublin Cemeteries Trust, said: “We did this about peace and reconciliation in a non-hierarchical way, but it is unsustainable to have it rebuilt and redone again.
“We never wanted to be divisive. We have taken the decision with great regret. We had a lot of regret about this. We won’t be able to highlight every name and individual, but we will remember everybody in a standalone monument in the cemetery.”
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar took to Twitter. “I have no criticism of the Trust which was forced into this decision,” he posted. “But it is terrible and a huge setback for reconciliation. Those who repeatedly vandalised the wall were driven by feelings of hatred, narrow nationalism and anger.”
Also on Twitter Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) leader Jim Allister tweeted: “Another compelling advert for the ‘New Ireland’. No thanks!”