‘Glorifying Slavery And Racism’



From top: Dick Dowling plaque on the Town Hall in Tuam, County Galway; Christopher Columbus monument in Galway

This afternoon.

People Before Profit has called on local authorities in Galway to remove monuments which the party claims ‘glorify’ slavery and racism.

Via RTÉ:

It wants a monument to Christopher Columbus in Galway to be taken down and is also seeking the removal of a plaque in Tuam, honouring Major Richard (Dick) Dowling, who served with the Confederate army in the US.

The Columbus monument, close to the Spanish Arch, was erected to mark the quincentenary of his 1492 voyage to America.

…People Before Profit says an absence of any reference to Columbus’ “genocidal brutality” on the monument is disrespectful.


Call to remove Galway monuments ‘glorifying slavery’ (RTÉ)

Pic via Visit Galway

64 thoughts on “‘Glorifying Slavery And Racism’

  1. JamesJoist

    You’ll have to forgive my ignorance of the aesthetics of sculpture but the Christopher Columbus one looks ‘damaged to me .

  2. NobleLocks

    Good old PBP. Glorification of identity politics over all other methods of identity, disgusting. And the glorification of Taliban methodologies as they try to erase the past and remove all items they consider sacrilegious…. these appallingly stupid barbarians are at the gates folks.

    The irony of the Radical Left violently lurching further to the left as they continue on their inevitable journey to become the new National Socialist Right makes me shake my head in wonder.

  3. Jake38

    Always looking for the wedge issue to deflect attention from their zombie apocalypse economic policies.

  4. Zaccone

    PBP are just showing their usual terrible grasp of history / obsession with virtue signalling here.

    Richard W. Dowling didn’t own any slaves, and wasn’t involved in the slave industry at all. Before the war he ran a series of bars in Houston, and was involved in organising the Irish immigrant community there. Theres a plaque to him because he was regarded as having done a lot of good for the Texan-Irish community, and for displaying bravery in a notable battle. He was never associated with any war crimes or brutality.

    Commemorating him is completely different to the statue of an actual slave trader in Bristol.

      1. Johnny

        ..wasn’t involved in slave industry at all…if you don’t count renting a 12 year old slave..
        “Dick Dowling’s early support for the secession movement in Texas suggests that he, too, accepted its stated commitment to slavery, although there is little documentation of Dowling’s prewar political views. While there is no evidence that Dowling owned slaves, census records show that he participated in the “hiring” the labor of slaves who were legally owned by others. At least three slaves owned by hotel proprietor H. H. Milby, including a twelve-year-old boy, are listed as being in Dowling’s temporary employ in the slave schedule of the 1860 census (Item 819). The work performed by these unnamed men is unknown, but Dowling’s use of their labor is strong evidence that he, like other white Texans at the time, did not object to slavery and benefited from it.”

  5. Brother Barnabas

    speculation on twitter that leo is presently forming a human shield around his maggie thatcher portrait

  6. V'ness

    Scrubbing our history

    Whitewashing ugly reminders

    If we start this lads
    We can hardly complain about Martin McAleese’s Magdalene Laundry deep cleaned report
    And the Bons Sisters sewage arrangements
    And the
    And the
    Shur’ Help yerselves

    Its a slippery slope and I’m well ticked off PbP would be at this lark

  7. Rob_G

    why in the name of good jaysus is there even a monument to Columbus in Galway – did his expedition stop there?

    1. MaryLou's ArmaLite

      He was in Galway but I’m not sure if it was on his way to discovering the Americas

      As for PBP, can we start a petition to have Richard Boyd Barrett removed from Ireland?

      1. Brother Barnabas

        unlikely to be find much traction seeing as he appears to be fairly popular: secured more 1st pref votes in his constituency than any of the FF or FG goons

        but you could give it a go

        1. Cian

          Both FF and FG had more first preferences than PBP. Their 49% of FP were just split across five candidates. RBB got 15%.

      2. scottser

        the portuguese discovered the americas.
        besides, every vote for columbus is a vote for genocide.

      3. Johnny

        He stopped in Galway to do some murdering and kneecapping ‘Mary from the North’.

        A petition how old are you Mary,clearly low education but a petition-duh!

          1. Johnny

            Now Rob-yesterday you were appropriating the pain and suffering of children to further your point, its 2020 while your concern for the victims of the war in the 1970’s is I’m sure heartfelt please come join us in 2020-where people frequently say DUH !

            ….let me think who on here would be stupid and idiotic enough just after an general election in which Ricard was fairly elected by his constituents to represent them, to call for a ‘petition’ to have him removed from “Ireland” thats just a very special type of stupid and quite unique….

            To hell with elections lets just have a eh ‘petition’- how about some more murdering and kneecapping as well ‘Mary from the North”-duh !

          2. Johnny

            ..is this Rob or Mary,give your glasses a rub there grandpa

            “As for PBP, can we start a petition to have Richard Boyd Barrett removed from Ireland?”

          3. Johnny

            ..thanks grandad the ‘boy’ comment is so on brand,are your depends on a little tight today do you need a change…tough switching back forth between user names-duh !

            -try stick with one handle grandad or are you ashamed that you are consumed and filled with hatred and loneliness, are you still concerned (turned on) about the kneecappings and young lads in wheelchairs up North in the 1970’s..or is that penchant a little bit humiliating and embarrassing…

            “Mary” you’re a hate filled misogynist there is no place in modern Ireland for the likes of you,society has passed you by, your an outcast a throwback who has to hide his hatred for women behind multiple handles.

          4. bisted

            …you and I seldom agree…but…when you consider that MaryLou has only one job here…incoherence is intolerable…

  8. nicorigo

    Utter bullpoo… If we start unbolting statues, they wont be much left any time soon. Every great men have a shady lane.

  9. Enn

    Look I totally agree with this in principle but in light of PBP’s alleged behaviour at BLM protests in Dublin last week – hogging the mic and dragging their banners around, all of their speakers white of course – it feels like band-wagon-jumping. Scanning the island desperately for a Colson equivalent to declaim.


    1. V'ness

      I think it’s more strategic than just band-wagon-jumping

      Should there be another General Election in the next 12 months, the Sinn Fein surplus’ they all rode in on in February,
      And I include Labour, the Soc Dems and whatever Paul Murphy and Joan Collins are these days in the They,
      won’t be as flush or as freely available to help their quotas

      Currently the Acting FG Government, and the formation talkers – FG FF & Greens, have all the political scene to themselves,
      And at the weekend it will be the Greens leadership contest

      All the rest of the left outside Sinn Fein are looking for scraps to plant themselves on

  10. Ringsend Incinerator

    Pretty trivial stuff to be honest. Leave them there and do some real protesting.

  11. newsjustin

    Did Colombus himself (as opposed to those who came after him) have genocidal intent on his journeys? Did he commit genocide?

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      His enslaving of indigenous people caused many deaths. Does that count under your interpretation of genocide?

      1. seamus

        Columbus is a deeply misunderstood figure. The mass enslavement that occurred in the Americas came years after him. He had a very brief stint in the Americas so dont blame him in enslaving people. There is a great video debunking the myths about him on Youtube on the channel knowing better.

        1. Daisy Chainsaw

          According to Columbus’ own journal: “They would make fine servants … With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.” And he and his brothers did.

          Some guy’s opinion on youtube can’t negate that.

  12. Scundered

    Erasing history… Ugh. Left wing politics are turning into such an identity cesspit.

    It’s better you keep every statue that you can remember both the good and bad and have the maturity to reflect on it, flaws are part of being human and it’s dumb to judge the past by today’s cultural views. Otherwise you’ll have to demolish everything eventually.

    1. Nigel

      Whether a good or a bad idea, it’s not ‘erasing history,’ it’s municipal redecoration.

      1. Scundered

        It’s left wing intolerance dressed up as social justice to satisfy their virtue narcissism

          1. Scundered

            Slave trading was worldwide in the past though, you gonna just delete everything? It still goes on today, so it would seem more urgent to get involved in stopping that.

          2. Nigel

            Get involved in stopping modern slavery? Sounds like virtue-signalling intolerance dressed up as social justice to me! Conflating statuary with history is much more important!

    2. scottser

      maybe do what the former soviet bloc countries did and move all those old statues and monuments to a park somewhere and contextualise them within a retrospective?
      our lived in space should be for us, the citizens. i don’t particularly like statues of any hue, whether they be republican, ascendency or even the modern cultural icons of philo or molly malone. the installations that commemorate people i prefer are ian dury’s bench in richmond park or dermot morgan’s story chair in merrion square. those kind of spaces aren’t political, partisan or useless in the way that statues and monuments are.

      1. Johnny

        My own favorite is Wittgenstein’s step at the botanical gardens it’s perfectly useful and engaging,I looked into his work based on sitting on that as a kid wondering how long before we hit The Tolka House….

      2. Scundered

        That could be an acceptable compromise, historic works of art should never be destroyed.

      3. Janet, dreams of spidercrab

        the only statue I dig is the giant one of ME on a hill top in the middle of my Sim City

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      He did enslave. https://www.history.com/topics/exploration/christopher-columbus

      According to Columbus’ journal about the Indigenous population: “They would make fine servants … With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”

      …in September 1493, Columbus returned to the Americas. He found the Hispaniola settlement destroyed and left his brothers Bartolomeo and Diego Columbus behind to rebuild, along with part of his ships’ crew and hundreds of enslaved indigenous people.

      …the native Taino population, forced to search for gold and to work on plantations, was decimated

      That sounds like slavery to me. What’s your definition of “enslaved”?

      1. seamus

        You are looking in at a bad translation. Some translations say “for with fifty men they could all be subjugated and do all that is required of them”. Translations from 500 years ago can be wrong and you working off the worst possible translation. That sentence was a letter to the Spanish Crown explaining what is needed to hold a Spanish fort. Nothing in the letter talks about conquering the local people or governing them. We also know that Columbus condemned sexual exploitation of indigenous people. Bear in mind two all of these writings comes from years after his death. We know that the Spanish did terrible things to the native peoples but they made them serfs, ie. peasants, not slaves. No one owned them.

          1. seamus

            Yes but burden of proof falls on your to proof that he enslaved. We already know for certain that he connected the continents. I mentioned to you that the same sentence was translated as
            “for with fifty men they could all be subjugated and do all that is required of them”.
            Here is a another translation of the text about them being good servants
            “They must be good followers and of good wit”
            Given that the documented horrible events that occurred to Indians came later, maybe we should give him the benifit of the doubt?

          2. Daisy Chainsaw

            Why? There are a lot of historical sources detailing Columbus’ slavery and exploitation. One guy’s blog says he was misunderstood so you’re going with that take? Whatever.

            Next you’ll be telling me Thatcher had a secret admiration for the miners!

  13. SOQ

    Can we not just all come together and pull down The Spike on O’Connell Street?

    It may not have a history but my God it is offensive to the eye.

    1. SOQ

      Ok yes it actually has a history- the corruption of DCC planning,

      No wonder Newry and Mourne went the way it did.

  14. Janet, dreams of spidercrab

    Jeanne Rynhart, who sculpted Dublin’s iconic Molly Malone statue, has died at the age of 74
    as an aside

  15. steve white

    “It may cause offence to a small number of people who don’t live in the town. Our view is that it should be left where it is to celebrate a guy who got on well in business in the United States. He managed to survive like most people did 180 years ago by joining an army,” he said. “He is not being celebrated in Tuam because he was a major in the Confederate army.”
    Then why does the plaque use his military title?

  16. Harry Robertson

    Maybe pull down Barack Obama plaza while ye’re at it, he killed many with his drone strikes. PBP are a a waste of time, more interested in optics and populism than actually putting forward rational policies.

  17. Matt Pilates

    I’m lost…. America was discovered by St Brendan – as we all know. And the Confederates had their bottoms kicked by the Union. Can we get get BOTH items replaced please?

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