Who gets to name our new city bridges?

What will Kilkenny City’s new bridges be called, who will name them, and will the general public have any say in the matter?

What will Kilkenny City’s new bridges be called, who will name them, and will the general public have any say in the matter?

These are questions that are going to become important in the near future, as Kilkenny will soon see construction begin on two new city centre bridges, and potentially a third one next year also. A new pedestrian bridge is expected to be completed this year, while work on the Central Access Scheme bridge will start in 2014.

Last week, Dublin City Council announced its own shortlist of names for the latest bridge across the Liffey, whittled down from a huge number of public submissions. The council thanked the public for their ‘enthusiastic response’ to the advertisement seeking nominations.

The subject of names came up at last week’s meeting of the borough council.

“I think we should call it the ‘Bridge to the Continent’,” suggested Cllr Paul Cuddihy (FG), referring to the old vernacular term for the adjacent parish.

“I would say, however, that we shouldn’t name it after anyone in politics or who was in politics. There are plenty of other significant figures.”

Whatever about the pedestrian bridge, changing the ‘Central Access Scheme’ label may be a prudent PR move more than anything. The term has negative connotations for any local people who fought against the project over the years, ending with the landmark An Bord Pleanala approval decision.

It began as the Inner Relief Road in 1978, but the scheme in its current, sanctioned guise is a significantly different one to that initially proposed. Last Monday, Cllr David Fitzgerald (FG) said it needed a name change.

“The Central Access Scheme is a child who was badly named,” he said.

“It makes it sound like a giant trunk road. A much simpler name would be ‘Greensbridge replacement’.

County manager Joe Crockett agreed that it was time to start thinking of a new name.