The N6 bridge over the Shannon in Athlone is to be officially renamed the Cumann na mBan Bridge, to commemorate the centenary of that organisation.
There was unanimous agreement on the new name at Monday’s meeting of Westmeath County Council. Roscommon councillors have also approved the change.
The name change was officially proposed by Cllr Frankie Keena and seconded by Cllr Paul Hogan, and had previously been agreed by Athlone councillors, in spite of chief executive Pat Gallagher’s recommendation that the bridge continue to be known as the ‘New Shannon Bridge’. Mr Gallagher pointed out that at least one other bridge over the Shannon had also been renamed the Cumann na mBan Bridge.
Cllr Aengus O’Rourke said there appeared to be some confusion over the bridge’s current official name - while the plaque on the bridge reads ‘Athlone Relief Road - Shannon Bridge’, it is locally known as the ‘New Shannon Bridge’ or the ‘bypass bridge’. In addition, at its opening in 1991, then Taoiseach Charles Haughey had recited the poem ‘Shannon Way’.
In light of all this, “it’s important to have a proper name,” said Cllr O’Rourke.