Dingle: Our Town - Our Name - Our Heritage



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The Kerryman  (Dingle in the News)
A CAMPAIGN of misinformation,surrounding the upcoming Dingle plebiscite,has damaged community relations in West Kerry, a public meeting held in Dingle,on Monday night, was told.
Guest speaker Senator Joe O'Toole warned those attending not to be distracted by misleading media coverage.
"People are saying Dingle will be removed from the Gaeltacht if the town votes to keep the name Dingle rather than An Daingean.. Anyone who believes that Éamon Ó Cuív will go down in history as the man who reduced the size of the Gaeltacht is crazy. It won't happen and I'll bet my house on that - so ignore that argument. Half the people who oppose us have no influence whatever on this matter and we don't need to explain ourselves to people with closed minds,"he stated.
"Éamon Ó Cuív has said that the result of this plebiscite will be irrelevant but this morning,on Radio na Gaeltachta,he said he'd listen to people if they decide they want to keep the name 'Dingle'. That's not a u-turn,that's politics. This whole debate has driven a wedge between the people of Dingle and Muintir na Gaeltachta. The Gaeltacht people have been misled again just as they have often been in the past and their democratic rights have been ignored,"the Senator declared.
"Kerry county council and the county manager,Martin Riordan,have shown great guts in voting to hold this plebiscite. Martin Riordan stood up to be counted and took on the Establishment on this issue. So the next step in all of this is in your hands. You must send out a clear message and secure a majority vote. The thing that loses most elections is the ballot paper left on the shelf,"he said.
Around 200 people attended the meeting in the Skellig Hotel,according to the organisers. Fergus O'Flaherty of Coiste Dingle/Daingean Uí Chúis welcomed those attending and introduced the speakers. Secretary Kate O'Connor reviewed the committee's activities over the past year.
Everyone was given a sample ballot paper and Seán Ó Súilleabháin explained the voting process. The 1,222 eligible voters will begin receiving their postal ballots from Kerry County Council next week and these must be returned by October 19. Each ballot paper must be signed by a witness but this can include a family member,the meeting was told.
Joe O'Toole said that the average election generates a 60 per cent turnout from the electorate.
If the plebiscite is to succeed more than 50 per cent of the total electorate must vote in favour of changing the town's name from An Daingean to Dingle Daingean Uí Chúis. This means that at least 612 votes must be cast in favour of the change.
The organisers plan to appoint volunteers to 'bring out the vote' in each street and area of the town over the next two weeks.
"This is a vote for democracy and common sense and we'll win the day,"Fergus O'Flaherty said.
Ted Creedon

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