Following the publication of the Murphy Report into clerical child sexual abuse Dublin City Council wants to change the name of Archbishop Ryan Park. Okay, changing the name away from Archbishop Ryan is appropriate, but changing the name to honor "one of the city's famous writers," as suggested by one councillor, is wrong. The park remains a gift to the city from the Catholic people of Dublin and, therefore, an Irish Catholic should be honored.
The park should be named after someone who lived a positive Catholic life. Matt Talbot would be more than fitting, even Daniel O'Connell would be fine. Naming the park Fr. Mathew Park would be even better. Fr. Theobald Mathew's crusade against drunkenness in the 19th century is a bit of inspiration that our modern Ireland could use.
However, my first choice to replace Archbishop Ryan in the park's official name is Fr. Willie Doyle. It's only 4 months since I called for a Fr. Willie Doyle Square in Dublin and now that exact opportunity has presented itself. Fr. Doyle - a great Catholic and hero of the Western Front - is the perfect choice for this park. This is a man whom all of Ireland can celebrate. Catholic, Protestant, Unionist and Republican, as commenter chicagoaoh pointed out back in September.
My Mayo grandfather (who was of age in WWI but joined the IRA instead) had a 1920 copy of Alfred O'Rahilly's book "Father William Doyle, S.J." throughout his life. My grandfather said it was one of his favorite books... Doyle's was a unique story of courage and faith.Fr. Willie Doyle was an heroic figure admired by thousands, perhaps millions, of Irish men and women, but who is now only remembered on a cold wall in Tynecot cemetery in Flanders, Belgium. The time is now to right that wrong.
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