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Proposal for Zagreb Street to be Named After Croatia’s First Irish Immigrant

An initiative to get a street or square in Croatia’s capital named after the country’s first Irish immigrant, has been presented at a meeting of the Croatian-Irish Inter-parliamentary Friendship Group at parliament on Thursday…

A proposal to have a street or square named after Count Laval Nugent in Zagreb will be submitted to the Zagreb City Council. At a meeting chaired by the Head of the Croatian-Irish Inter-parliamentary Friendship Group Domogoj Hajduković, and attended by Ireland’s Ambassador to Croatia Timothy Harrington, owner of the ‘Laval Nugent’ gallery in Zagreb Robert Kavazović Horvat, and Lee Murphy from Croatia’s Irish community, spoke about the significant contribution Nugent made to Croatia.

Nugent, who was born in Ireland in 1777, joined the Austrian Army in 1793, becoming Colonel in 1807, and Chief of Staff of the Army corps of Archduke Johann of Austria in 1809. In 1813 he led the campaign against Viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais, separating French units in Dalmatia and simultaneously joining the English fleet, thus liberating Croatia, Istria and the Po valley.

Nugent, who became a member of the Croatian parliament and was the first person to open a museum in Croatia, recommended that Josip Jelačić be given the title of Ban in 1848. In 1815, during the Neapolitan War, he commanded the right-wing of the Austrian Army in Italy, liberated Rome, and defeated Joachim Murat at the Battle of Ceprano and the Battle of San Germano.

In 1816 Nugent was given the title of prince by Pope Pius VII. In 1817 he entered the service of King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. After the outbreak of the Carbonari rebellion in 1820, he returned to serve in the Austrian Army. In 1848 he led an Army Corps under Joseph Radetzky von Radetz against the Piedmontese, in the course of the First Italian War of Independence, and also against the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. He received the title of Field Marshal in 1849.

Nugent, who was renowned for never losing a battle, died on 22 August 1862 in the Bosiljevo Castle, near Karlovac. Nugent identified himself as a ‘Croat’ and left his extensive collection of possessions, including 2 castles he restored and expensive artwork, to the Croatian state.

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