It is time to remove the British royal insignia from Irish post boxes and ‘put our own stamp on them’, according to a Sinn Féin councillor.
Limerick Cllr John Costelloe has faced criticism for suggesting an angle grinder could be used to remove the old insignia, which can still be seen on many post boxes around the country.
He made the comments during a debate on the poor condition of some of the mailboxes in Limerick area.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, said we shouldn’t have reminders of British rules on our main thoroughfares in towns and cities.
“First of all, they are the property of An Post,” he said. “We are no longer under British rule and on our main thoroughfares, I don’t see why we should have to be reminded of Britain’s colonial past in our country and other countries.
“I mean they are our property. We have to move on. I don’t want to be reminded of Britain’s colonial past. A lot of people don’t.”
Many of the post boxes are protected structures and Cllr Costelloe said he has a great appreciation for them.
“These are actually works of art some of these post boxes,” he said. “I was involved in architecture for many years myself so I appreciate the value of them in terms of their aesthetic look etc but let’s put our own stamp on them.”
He noted Britain’s Queen Victoria who is commemorated in some of the insignias, ruled Ireland during the darkest point in its modern history.
“Don’t forget, she is the Queen who ruled us during the famine,” he said. “A Famine Queen is what she is at the end of the day so I wouldn’t be glorifying her.”
He rejected the idea removing the insignia would offend British people in Ireland.
“Not at all, you wouldn’t see the Irish harp on a post office on Borough High Street or Islington High Street,” he said.
“So, I don’t think they would be offended at all. It is time we stood up.”