War of words over where to locate Crimean cannons

Disagreements have broken out over finding a new location for the Crimean War cannons which are currently on display in the front grounds of City Hall.

The cannons were displayed in Eyre Square for decades and were a focal point of the area along with the Pádraic Ó Conaire statue and Browne Doorway. When the square was extensively renovated the cannons were relocated to City Hall.

It is understood former marine minister and Fianna Fáil Galway West TD Frank Fahey has been in contact with City Hall to see if it is possible to have the cannons returned to Eyre Square.

However Labour city councillor Niall McNelis says a more appropriate location would be at the Fishmarket area in front of the Spanish Arch.

“They will probably look better there as they will look like they are protecting the city,” he said. “Also the Galway City Museum is nearby and that has an exhibition on Galway’s military history so it would tie in.”

He also alleged that it was “never intended” for the cannons to be returned to a re-developed Eyre Square.

However this is not the first time calls have gone out for the cannons to be relocated. In 2007, the then FF city councillor John Connolly called for them to be returned to Eyre Square.

Despite the differences between politicians on the issue, all agreed that locating the cannons at City Hall is far from ideal. “Where they are at the moment has them lost to the city,” Cllr McNelis said.

The cannons date from the 19th century and saw action in the Crimean War of 1853 - 1856. The war was fought between Imperial Russia on one side and an alliance of France, Britain, Sardinia, and the Ottoman Empire on the other. Most of the conflict took place on the Crimean Peninsula on the coast of the Black Sea.

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