The Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland is considering dropping the royal from its name – but should we be going further?
The society has asked its members to vote on whether the name should be changed to simply the Horticultural Society of Ireland.
The plan will be debated at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of its members following a motion at its annual meeting in May, which was passed but not voted on.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, presenters Shane and Ciara noted that many organisations in Ireland, from the Royal Irish Academy to the Royal College of Surgeons, still retain the word ‘royal’ in their names.
That is before you even mention the famous landmarks that still retain their colonial names – including the Royal Canal, which runs from Dublin to the River Shannon.
“I don't know how I feel about this and by the way I am not a royal lover of any kind,” said Ciara.
“I don't care about the royal family. I [feel] nothing - not anything really - towards them, but I do feel a bit odd about us, kind of, constantly wanting to revisit and rewrite history.
“This State is a new young state and there are anachronisms and throwbacks from the time when we were under colonial rule and all of that.
“Should we get rid of it? I'm not 100% sure.”
Ciara said she once tried to purchase a house that was named ‘Balmoral’ – and said that, if she had been successful, she definitely would have changed the name.
“Apparently, it’s bad luck to change the name of the house, but … I don't think I could possibly bring myself to live in Balmoral – no offence to anyone who lives in a house of that name,” she said.
“So I get the connotation that we want to get rid of the thing, but I'm not sure that throwing out every royal reference in our State is the right thing to do either.”
Shane said he “definitely wouldn’t want to see the name of the Royal Canal changed”.
“I think like it's synonymous with [Dublin and Ireland],” he said.
“Saying that, I kind of understand why the Horticultural Society might say, do we really need royal in our title?
“I get that, and I think they're going about that the right way; they're having a measured discussion about it.
“But yeah, I don't know, is it rewriting history? Is it revisionism? Or is it just common sense?”