AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL is calling on Larne in Northern Ireland to consider renaming the McGarel Town Hall due to its links to a slave trader.
The hall, which occupies a prominent place in the centre of the Northern Irish market town, is named after Charles McGarel, a plantation owner and slave dealer.
McGarel infamously lobbied strongly against the abolition of slavery in the West Indies and was part of a five-man panel who appealing the government's decision.
When slavery was eventually abolished, McGarel and his two brothers were paid £81,280 in compensation with Charles receiving the largest portion of the compensation.
That total equates to around £10 million in today’s money.
McGarel went on to fund the construction of several buildings and other works in his home town of Larne in Northern Ireland.
These included the town hall, built at a cost of about £5500. It was first opened in 1870 for use by all denominations as a news-room, library and town hall.
He also funded ten almshouses - a type of affordable housing run by charities for older people with a low income - and donated land for a new cemetery in 1862.
Speaking to Sunday Life [via the Belfast Telegraph], Patrick Corrigan from Amnesty International said: "He would have been one of the biggest recipients of compensation and I'm not sure there are many locally who would have been as involved in the slave trade.
"There's an opportunity here, to think is that the message they want to send out today, are those the values we share and celebrate?"
The appeal comes after protestors in Bristol toppled a statue of slave trader Edward Colston who, like McGarel, funded the construction of several notable buildings throughout the city.