Dingle: Our Town - Our Name - Our Heritage



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Dingle Name Row goes in a new direction.
The Irish Examiner  (Dingle in the News)
The row over the naming of Dingle An Daingean took a fresh turn yesterday when Minister for Arts Sport and Tourism directed that new Failte Ireland road signs should point the way to Dingle.
In a move aimed at easing confusion among tourists, the new brown tourist signs will read Dingle Peninsula – Corca Dhuibhne.
In all, 10 new fingerpost signs will be erected in strategic locations around Kerry; at Kerry Airport, Farranfore, Milltown, Castlemaine, Tralee and Killarney, as well as “Welcome” signs between Tralee and Camp, and outside Castlemaine in the next weeks.
The move is just the latest step in a long running row over the name of the picturesque town, with the town’s 700 year old name of Dingle recently removed from County Council road signage and replaced with An Daingean.
The official Irish version of the Gaeltacht town was brought in with the Placenames Order of the Official Languages Act, introduced by Gaeltacht Minister Eamon O Cuiv.
Furious residents have campaigned against the official blotting out of Dingle since the order was introduced two years ago. An overwhelming majority of townspeople also voted in a plebiscite for a bilingual name change to Dingle Daingean Uí Chúis.
The results of the plebiscite in which 93% said that they preferred the names Dingle Daingean Uí Chúis have been sent to the Minister for the Environment and Local Government, Dick Roche. But a spokesperson for the Coiste Dingle Daingean Uí Chúis Dingle name campaign said the Government was still refusing to recognise the wishes of the people of the area.
“We think John O’Donoghue should recognise that the people of Dingle have spoken democratically and they should stop messing us around,” Kate O’Connor said.
She added that the 67 old signs featuring the word Dingle and which were taped over should be put back into operation instead of erecting 11 new signs elsewhere just weeks before an election.
Failte Ireland director Paidí O Sé welcomed the latest development after conceding that there was concern from tourism providers about the complete removal of the word Dingle from road signs.
Yesterday, Mr O’Donoghue conceded that An Daingean only signs could confuse visitors and said he had directed Failte Ireland to erect a series of signs to guide visitors to the Dingle Peninsula.
“I am very pleased to announce this important initiative to help the tourism industry and other business interests in the peninsula.
I believe this plan to put a significant number of brown tourism signposts in place at key entrance points to the Dingle Peninsula and within the peninsula itself will help to allay understandable local concerns about visitors being confused and possibly misdirected”
Just last month a survey backed by the Coiste Dingle, Daingean Uí Chúis Dingle name campaign found that eight of every ten tourists who visited Dingle over the St. Patrick’s Day bank holiday weekend had trouble finding the town.
However, a strong campaign is also underway by the wider Gaeltacht area against switching from the official name An Daingean.
Anne Lucey and Noel Baker

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