Westin Hotel’s renaming plan changed after link to slavery highlighted

Hotel was to be named after street that in turn was named after Earl of Westmorland, who argued against ending slavery in House of Lords in 1799

The owners of the Westin in Dublin have reconsidered the renaming of the hotel as the Westmoreland, a month after it was pointed out that the proposed new name was associated with a defender of the slave trade.

The hotel is now to be named the College Green Hotel, following “feedback from patrons and others” about the rebranding of the business, according to general manager Joanne Dillon.

The Westin is beside College Green and fronts on to Westmoreland Street. The latter is named after John Fane, the 10th Earl of Westmorland who, as well as being a Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, was a defender of slavery and denounced attempts to end it in the House of Lords in London in 1799.

Last month the decision to rebrand the Westin as the Westmoreland was announced just a day after nearby Trinity College announced it was “denaming” the Berkeley Library because of the association of the 18th-century Irish bishop and philosopher, George Berkeley, with the ownership of slaves.


The Westin is part of the US Marriott Group and a member of the Irish-owned and managed MHL Hotel Collection. It has seen extensive renovation over recent years at the cost of €10 million.

“College Green is one of the most historic yet contemporary and dynamic locations in Dublin where journeys converge at the heart of a bustling city,” said Ms Dillon.

“Having initially considered a renaming to The Westmoreland Hotel, we took on board the feedback from patrons and others, which alongside reflection on our environment and patron experience, informed our decision to opt for a new name.

“We are very excited to adopt The College Green Hotel as our new brand and are grateful to those who shared their views. It feels right for us and for our patrons, both now and for the future. We will continue as The Westin Dublin for the coming months and look forward to becoming The College Green Hotel at the end of the year.”

Three years ago the Dublin Green Party councillor, Janet Horner, suggested that a debate should be had about the origin of Dublin’s street names, giving Westmoreland Street as one street name that might be considered for change because of the Earl of Westmorland’s defence of slavery.

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent