Dingle: Our Town - Our Name - Our Heritage



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Ballot includes 160 not living in An Daingean
The Irish Times  (Dingle in the News)
The list of 1,306 qualified electors eligible to vote in the plebiscite on a possible name change for An Daingean (Dingle) has been published and will include some 160 people who do not live in the west Kerry Gaeltacht town.

The plebiscite on whether the townspeople wish to revert to an anglicised name and change the now official An Daingean to Dingle-Daingean Uí Chúis is expected to take place in mid-October, Charlie O'Sullivan, Kerry County Council's senior executive officer in charge of the matter, said yesterday.

The voters are being asked if they consent to an application being made to the Government for an order changing the name. However, the ultimate decision will be "political" and the plebiscite will have no immediate effect, Mr O'Sullivan said.

The decision to hold the plebiscite was taken by council members. In accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Acts and amendments, it would set out to ascertain the wishes of the people, he said.

The plebiscite comes in the wake of controversy surrounding the implementation of changes to placenames in Gaeltacht areas.

Tourism interests, in particular, have objected to the dropping of the Dingle name and An Daingean signs approaching the town have Dingle scrawled over them.

The 1,306 voters who will qualify for the plebiscite had been drawn from the current register of electors and the new town boundary of the local area plan had been taken into account. Those eligible to vote also included ratepayers, about 160 of whom did not live in the town, Mr. O'Sullivan said.

Over 50 per cent of the qualified electors will have to vote in favour of the change in accordance with the provisions on plebiscites. The list and amendments will be voted on at the September meeting of the county council.

The official name change from Dingle came into force on Easter Monday 2005 (March 28th) under the Placenames (Ceantair Ghaeltachta) Order of the Official Languages Act 2004 introduced by Minister for the Gaeltacht Eamon Ó Cuív.

Mr. Ó Cuív has pointed out that the name An Daingean is only compulsory on road signs, most Ordnance Survey maps and statutory instruments. Otherwise, people were free to call the town what they liked, he has said.

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