A leading US politician has warned Galway officials that there will be ramifications if they go-ahead with a plan to erect a statue of Argentinian revolutionary figure, Che Guevara, in the city.
According to the Irish Examiner, Republican Peter King of Long Island, Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the House of Representatives, has urged Galway City Council officials to halt plans for the statue.
King made his comments after receiving a letter from local politician Cllr Padraig Conneely (FG) to alert him to the controversy.
King wrote back stating: “The ties between Ireland and the United States are strong and lasting. But the building of a statue to Guevara could well impact on American investment in Ireland, as well as and continued support of the International Fund for Ireland. As your friend and a friend of Galway, I strongly urge you to take whatever action you can to prevent this project from going forward.”
Labour Party Councillor Billy Cameron, who initially received widespread support from other councillors, first proposed the plan to erect the statue. Confusion then arose about the willingness to put a permanent structure in place, reports the Examiner.
During his St Patrick’s Day visit to the US, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny was given a letter from Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives, calling for a stop to the erection of the statue.
"This is a matter of considerable concern within the Irish-American community and should be addressed," said King in his letter.