Archbishop Ryan Park sign on Merrion Square children’s playground to be replaced

Renamed Merrion Square Park in 2010, the sign at playground remained unchanged

 The National Memorial to members of the Defence Forces who died in the service of the State at Merrion Square Park, Dublin.

The National Memorial to members of the Defence Forces who died in the service of the State at Merrion Square Park, Dublin.

 


Dublin City Council is to replace a sign at the children’s playground in Merrion Square Park which refers to Archbishop Ryan Park, its former name. Dr Ryan was Catholic archbishop of Dublin between 1972 and 1984.

Merrion Square was in the possession of the Dublin archdiocese since the 1930s when it was planned to build a cathedral on the site. However, this plan was shelved and in 1974 Archbishop Ryan transferred ownership to Dublin City Council. As a gesture the council renamed it Archbishop Ryan Park.

However the Murphy report, which investigated the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations in the Dublin archdiocese between 1975 and 2004, was critical of Archbishop Ryan. Published in November 2009, it found that he “failed to properly investigate complaints” against several abuser priests and had “a deliberate policy to ensure that knowledge of the problems was as restricted as possible. This resulted in a disastrous lack of co-ordination in responding to problems.”

In January 2010 the council sought the public’s views on renaming the park. Of 567 people who responded, 554 were in favour of renaming it and in September 2010 the council voted to call it Merrion Square Park. However, the sign at the children’s playground remained unchanged.