Dingle: Our Town - Our Name - Our Heritage



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The law and Mr O Cuiv - response
The Irish Independent  (The Dingle Letters)
I refer to the letter from Kate O'Connor from Dingle, Co. Kerry headed 'The Law and Mr O CuIv' in your edition of February 24.

I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a number of issues raised by Kate O'Connor in her letter.

Kate O'Connor has stated that I have abolished the 700 year old name of her town.

Fact: Dingle is still the authoritative English language version name for the town of Dingle . It can, as I have explained time and again, be used for any private and official purpose by any citizen.

The Placenames Order 2005 was based on the Official Languages Act 2003 which was passed with all party support by Oireachtas Eireann.

The order itself was only introduced after an extensive public consultation. No submission was made, good, bad or indifferent in relation to any form of the name of An Daingean/Dingle.

Kate O'Connor says that I have stated that I will not recognise "our democratically legally held plebiscite to reinstate our rightful bilingual names, Dingle, Daingean Ui Chis".

Fact: The Attorney General has advised that there is no legal mechanism by which such a plebiscite can be held in advices given to my Department.

This sentence from Kate is very much a question of shooting the messenger.

In relation to the Irish language version of the name of the town of Dingle i.e. An Daingean no Daingean Ui Chuise, I have already indicated to Kerry County Council, when I met them last Autumn, that I would be willing to ask the Placenames Commission to reconsider this issue if they so requested. I followed this matter up with a letter sent by an official in my Department at my request at the end of October. To date, no reply has been received to my knowledge from Kerry County Council.

It is interesting to note that the original recommendation that the State would approve the form An Daingean as the Irish form of the name of the town was recommended in 1960 by the Placenames Commission when Padraig O Siochru (An Seabhac) a well known Irish author from the area was chairman of the Commission. (Since then, An Daingean has been used by Kerry County Council and others, including on road signs in the County. Had I changed the Irish form officially recognised for at least 45 years I accept people would demand an explanation, but I didn't.)

Finally Kate O'Connor says that it is apparent that Eamon O Cuiv believes in one set of laws and rights for the people outside the Gaeltacht and a completely different set of laws and rights for the people within the Gaeltacht. This again is incorrect. As I have said previously there was extensive consultation in relation to this issue and the fact of the matter is that only one out of 1,800 areas have subsequently disagreed with the basic tenet of what was proposed in the Placenames Order for the Gaeltacht. This by any stretch of the imagination is not a bad majority.

Your comments and enquiries are always welcome.
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