There are calls for a memorial to Major Dick Dowling to be removed from Tuam Town Hall

A town in County Galway has been caught up in the debate over US Civil War monuments.

There are calls today for a Town Hall memorial to Major Dick Dowling - a local who fought for the Confederates in the 19th century war - to be removed.

The debate over Confederate monuments in the US has been heating up in recent weeks following the violence in Charlottesville Virginia during protests against the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee.

Those in favour of keeping the monuments - including US President Donald Trump - argue that they hold huge cultural and historical significance for the country.

Those against on the other hand, insist they celebrate the achievements of a side that supported slavery.

In Ireland meanwhile, independent councillor Shaun Cunniffe said it is time for the Dick Dowling memorial - erected in 1998 - to come down from Tuam Town Hall.

"The focus at the time from Tuam town council was really on the enormous effect this guy had in Houston," he said. "There was streets named after him, parks named after him."

"Unfortunately they overlooked the fact that he was on the side of the American Civil War that wanted to [keep] slavery.

"I think it should be taken down from our civic building, and an appropriate place found in the town.

"We don't have a museum as such, but there are other buildings. We can discuss in our municipal meeting where would be appropriate."