Dublin city hotel scraps proposed name change over slavery link
Instead, it will be getting a different new name.
Dublin city centre hotel The Westin has scrapped plans to change its title to The Westmoreland after a link between the new title and slavery was highlighted.
Based in College Green on Westmoreland Street, the hotel was to receive its name change based on the latter. However, the street itself was named after John Fane, the 10th Earl of Westmorland.
A Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, it has been pointed out that Fane was also a slavery defender - denouncing efforts to end the practice in 1799 in London's House of Lords.
Part of the US Marriott Group and a member of the Irish-owned and managed MHL Hotel Collection, The Westin has since confirmed it will instead change its name to The College Green Hotel, with its general manager Joanne Dillon explaining:
“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. The College Green Hotel will offer guests and locals alike an oasis of calm in the heart of the city.
“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.”
One of the people to highlight Fane's defence of slavery in the context of The Westin's rebranding was Dublin Green Party councillor Janet Horner.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast on Thursday, the politician said she welcomed the news that the proposed name change was not going ahead, adding:
"I think this is a really positive decision. I think that it is high time that we're being a little bit more thoughtful and mindful when we are looking at the people and the ideas and the movements that are given such prominence and such elevation to be commemorated in the names of the city streets that we walk every day.
"We really need to be more considerate in how we choose those names and certainly choosing to add a name to the street whose legacy includes the defence of slavery would be inappropriate at this point in time."
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