Dingle and Daingean Uí Chúis to be official names of An Daingean


The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr. John Gormley, has announced (29 April) that he proposes to introduce a number of legislative changes aimed at resolving the dispute concerning the name of An Daingean - while giving greater recognition to the Irish language where placename changes are proposed.

"The debate over the name of Dingle in Kerry has drawn attention to a number of issues which need to be addressed, where placename changes are proposed. The local government code relating to placenames does not reflect the reality that placenames in Ireland generally have both an Irish and English version" - said the Minister.

"I therefore propose to amend local government law to ensure that all future proposals for placename changes must specify the proposed name in Irish and English, unless it is indicated that an Irish name only is to be adopted.

"It remains Government policy that the names of places within the Gaeltacht should generally be recognised by the State in Irish. However, where a local community wishes to vote to change the name to an alternative Irish-only name - or to an Irish and English version - that version will supersede any Placenames Order under the Official Languages Act 2003.

"In that regard, I will also ensure in future that any plebiscites used to ascertain the views of the population living within the area subject to the change of placename must be held in secret."

Notwithstanding any issue with the plebiscite held in Dingle, the Minister considered that it was clear that the overwhelming majority of the population of the town wished to see recognition given to 'Dingle' in the name of the town. The plebiscite sought to introduce a bilingual name 'Dingle Daingean Uí Chúis' - a version which, in reality, neither Irish or English speakers would use.

The Minister therefore proposes that the opportunity would be taken in legislation to provide that Daingean Uí Chúis should be the official name of the town of An Daingean in the Irish language, with Dingle being the official name of the town in the English language.

The requirements of road traffic regulations regarding signage in the Gaeltacht will not be affected - i.e. places within the Gaeltacht will continue to be shown in Irish only.

In view of the above measures, the Government is not acceding to the application from Kerry County Council made in November 2006. The legislation required to make these changes will be introduced as part of the general reforms of local government which are discussed in the Green Paper Stronger Local Democracy, published by the Minister last week (Click Here).

"I appreciate the sensitivities in relation to the recognition of 'An Daingean' as the capital of the Corca Dhuibhne Gaeltacht and 'Dingle' as a name to which the townspeople are obviously attached. I hope that these proposals, which give greater recognition to the Irish language generally when placename changes are proposed, can bring a satisfactory conclusion to the issue" - stated Minister Gormley.