From the Bertie Orchid to Bobby Sands Burger - 11 strange things named after politicians

Here's a few of the best

From the Bertie Orchid to Bobby Sands Burger - 11 strange things named after politicians

Obama Plaza, Moneygall (RollingNews/Eamonn Farrell)

Some politicians will live on through their words and deeds, but those are far from the only way to cement your legacy.

Since the beginning of recorded history, politicians and leaders have had their names attached to cities (Alexandria), countries (Rhodesia), calendars (the Julian and Gregorian calendars) and more.

Of course, not all are quite so impressive.

Here's a few of the more curious cases.

‘King Enda’ the goat

Back in 2011, the then freshly-elected Enda Kenny had the honour of having a goat named after him at the annual Puck Fair in Killorglin, Co Kerry. As the Irish Independent  memorably documented, the newly-crowned ‘King Enda’ “was hoisted aloft his 45ft tower overlooking the town, to a rousing rendition of 'An Poc ar Buile”. Surely unforgettable scenes for all in attendance.

‘Bertie Ahern' Orchid

During his visit to Singapore in 2004, parks service chief executive Tan We Kiat announced that the visiting Taoiseach Bertie Ahern would have a new orchid hybrid named after him. Bertie later had the chance to observe the Mokara 'Bertie Ahern' at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin.

Ray MacSharry Park

Fianna Fáil’s Ray MacSharry enjoyed a long and varied political career - having held various ministerships and even spending a short stint as Tánaiste before being appointed as a European Commissioner. He was also no stranger to controversy, having been embroiled in a telephone-tapping scandal in 1983. McSharry, now 77, retired from politics in 1993, but his contributions to public life have been immortalised at Ray MacSharry Park - a football field and sportsground in Cranmore, Co Sligo.

Jack Lynch Tunnel

Jack Lynch (1917-99), Ireland’s fifth Taoiseach, has been described as the “most popular Irish politician since Daniel O'Connell”. It’s only fitting that such a well-regarded leader’s career is publicly commemorated. Hence he became one of the few prominent people in Irish history to have a traffic tunnel named after him - specifically the underwater Jack Lynch Tunnel in Cork.

Barack Obama Plaza

Is there any better way to celebrate the Irish roots of one of the most powerful men in the world than with a roadside Supermac’s and donut shop in Moneygall in Offaly? Probably, but there’s something gloriously odd and very, very Irish about it nonetheless.

While there’s a few bizarre Irish examples for sure, there’s plenty of equally odd examples abroad too...

Bobby Sands Burger, Babbisandz St, Tehran

A H-Block hunger striker and elected MP for a month until his death on May 5th 1981, Bobby Sands is best memorialised in nationalist murals in Belfast and Derry. However, his iconic portrait can also been seen adorning the menu of a burger joint named after him in the Iranian capital. Moved by Sands' republicanism, the Islamic Republic decided to change the name of Winston Churchill Boulevard to Babbisandz St, from which the restaurant takes its name. The British Embassy, which shares the same street, was less enthusiastic about the name change, bricking up the old entrance and knocking down a wall to claim a new address on the adjoining Ferdozi Street.


Saparmurat Niyazov, the Turkmenistan leader between 1985 and 2006, was internationally criticised as having a particularly pronounced totalitarian streak. Indeed, he went so far as renaming the months, including calling January 'Türkmenbaşy' (Leader of Turkmenistan) - the dictator's self-given name and title. The months were reverted to their original names two years after Niyazov's death.

Kim Il-Sung Park, Syria

Countries naming landmarks after their former leaders is nothing unusual - and that’s doubly true of dictatorships such as North Korea. A slightly more unique case happened last year, however, when the Syrian government named a park in Damascus after North Korea’s founding father Kim Il-sung. AFP quotes Syria’s deputy foreign minister Faisal Mikdad, who said "whoever criticises [Kim] is absurd and stupid".

Roosevelt Elk

If you ever happen across a particularly large elk will hiking in a US National Park (which, let be honest, most readers probably haven’t), then you may have stumbled across a Roosevelt elk - the largest surviving subspecies of the animal in the country. Naturally, the animal is named in honour of 26th US president Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt.

USS Jimmy Carter

There’s having something named after you - and then there’s having a submarine named after you. The good ship Jimmy Carter was first launched in 2004, and was named after the only US president to have received submarine training.

Coolidge Effect

The 30th US President Calvin Coolidge probably doesn’t get mentioned in casual conversation much these days, having died more than 80 years ago. But in psychology and biology circles, one may still hear references to the so-called ‘Coolidge effect’. Named after a ‘lewd’ (well, lewd by 1900s standards) gag about Coolidge and his wife, the ‘effect’ refers to an occurrence in mammals where males - and occasionally females - exhibit a renewed sexual appetite when introduced to new possible sexual partners, even after losing sexual interest in existing and still available sexual partners.

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