Dingle: Our Town - Our Name - Our Heritage



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"naming our town after some place in Offaly"
The Irish Times  (The Dingle Letters)

Minister O Cuiv has recently passed a Ministerial Order, decreeing the name of “Dingle” null and void and he is now naming our town after some place in Offaly, called “An Daingain.”

Naturally, the people of Dingle are upset at this Ministerial high-handedness. But, we have been told, that if we don't like his new name for us we can leave An Gaeltacht and revert back to our traditional name of Dingle.

The Ministers' attitude is impossible to understand. Does Mr. O Cuiv not appreciate that Dingle is proud of all its‚ heritage, both its Gaeltacht tradition and its long historical tradition as Dingle Town. Dingle was granted an Elizabethan Charter from Queen Elizabeth 1. It was a trading port for hundreds of years trading with France and Spain, it has a famine history, its heritage, is vast and immense. Over the past thirty years, it has become a tourist destination, and Dingle is a brand name that has taken a lot of years and hard work to develop.

Obviously, this name change will lead to confusion for present day tourists visiting Dingle who are expected to understand that the strange signs in Tralee and Killarney for “An Daingain” are actually referring to Dingle. But, surely, this question goes a little beyond confusing the tourists. If I was to build anything in Dingle Town currently, I would have to get an Archaeological Survey done on my site, and have the Department of the Environment and the Office of Public Works pass my site in order to ensure that none of our historical heritage was being interfered with. Yet, here we have a Minister, who, with one stroke of a pen decides that Dingle as an entity, as a place of long historical and cultural heritage, no longer exists. He wishes us to be renamed and rebranded in Mr. O Cuiv's vision, and we the people of Dingle can do nothing about it.

I thought only conquering armies went around behaving like that.

Kate O Connor, Dingle

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