The Dublin government is to yield to a demand by residents of a town in the Kerry Gaeltacht to retain the English language version in its official name.
The town, commonly known as Dingle, is to change its name from the Gaelic ‘An Daingean’ to the bilingual ‘Dingle/Daingean Ui Chuis’.
Two years ago, with the introduction of the first ever official Irish placenames, under the Placenames Order of the Official Languages Act, it was decided that towns and villages in the Irish-speaking Gaeltacht should be known their original Gaelic names.
Before this order in 2004, no Irish placename had ever had official status.
A public vote in the town saw people vote overwhelmingly to return to a bilingual and anglicised version, partly in concern that confudion over the name would lead to a loss in tourist trade . The result was seen as something of a setback by Irish-language activists.
Minister for the Gaeltacht, Eamon O Cuiv told councillors he had not anticipated that a Gaeltacht town would want an English name. He had expected that most Gaeltacht people wanted an official Irish name.
He expected the controversy to be about the form of the name, about the spelling of the Irish version. He was “sorry if he didn’t see the other”.