THERE HAVE been renewed calls in Ireland for a statue of Oliver Cromwell to be removed from outside the Houses of Parliament in London.
It comes after anti-racism protesters in Bristol tore down a bronze statue of prominent 17th century slave trader Edward Colston.
The statue was pulled down using ropes before being thrown into Bristol harbour.
A source of some controversy in Bristol, Colston was a member of the Royal African Company, which transported around 80,000 men, women and children from Africa to the Americas.
Following his death in 1721, Colston’s wealth was donated to charity, with his legacy living on across a series of buildings, memorials and street names across the city.
In the wake of the incident, many across Ireland took to Twitter to call for the statue of Cromwell to suffer a similar fate.
One Irish user wrote: "Dear England, Cromwell next. Please and thanks. Ireland x"
A second asked: "While you're at it, would ye mind toppling the Westminster statue of Oliver Cromwell in respect of the tens of thousands of Irish he butchered back in the day?"
A third, meanwhile, said: "Cromwell committed mass genocide in Ireland. He burned people alive in churches. I have no problem with his statue being ripped from its roots."
Another recalled how Cromwell was "responsible for trafficking the first waves of enslaved people to and from the Caribbean; installing the plantation system in Jamaica; and the massacres in Drogheda (1649)."
One asked: "If we are going tearing down statues of racists why hasn’t the statue of Oliver Cromwell been removed and placed in some museum at best?"
"This is a man that was a dictator, racist & Psychopath and played a significant part in butchering the inhabitants of Drogheda, Ireland?"
— chris o'dowd (@BigBoyler) June 7, 2020
Irish actor Chris O’Dowd even got involved in the discussion, posting a picture of the statue of Cromwell in the hours following the removal of the Colston memorial in Bristol.
It wasn’t long before the word "Cromwell" began trending on Twitter with close to 10,000 tweets posted on the topic, while an online petition was set up calling for the statue’s removal.
An English military and political leader, Cromwell served Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland during the 1600s.
He remains a highly contentious historical figure, having infamously enacted a series of brutal military dictates that led to the deaths of countless innocent Irish civilians.
Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern once famously insisted that the portrait of be taken down from a room in Westminster before he began talks with British prime minister Tony Blair, describing him Cromwell "that murdering bastard".
Cromwell first arrived in Ireland on August 13, 1649 at the start of the so-called Cromwellian 'Conquest' of Ireland – which resulted in the deaths and forced deportations of hundreds of thousands of Irish people.
That number included the deaths at least 2000 alone in Wexford.