Éire Ghaelach – Éire Shaor
I’ve written before about the power of the Anglophone community in Ireland and no better case proves that point than the dispute over the naming of the small town of Daingean Uí Chúis in County Kerry. Situated in the Irish speaking area of Corca Dhuibhne in the south-west of Ireland in 2005 the town’s English name, Dingle, was dropped in favour of it’s Irish language name An Daingean (now, Daingean Uí Chúis). The logic seemed obvious. As an Irish town in an Irish-speaking region to most people it was simply common sense that it should have its Irish name recognised and restored. Soon all maps, road signs and addresses were in the Irish version of the town’s name and many thought that was an end of the story.
However, almost immediately a campaign of intimidation and vandalism began in the area, with an “understanding” wink and a nod from some politicians and journalists in the regressive wing of the Anglophone political and media establishments. Road signs in the Irish language were regularly damaged or painted over in the English language (remember, this is Irish people defacing their own language in favour of one imposed upon them in a foreign colonial occupation. Where else in the world would you get it?). Those locals who supported the move to Irish were threatened or ostracised by the intolerant English language zealots in their own community, with the external vocal and financial backing of the those in the country who favour an entirely non-Irish Ireland. This was to become their fight.
After a bitter and at times nasty campaign, and with no real surprise, English Ireland won. The decision to use the Irish name of an Irish town in an Irish-speaking area of Ireland was to be reversed following an announcement made in 2008 (thanks to the connivance of the Green Party when they were in government. Remember the Greens? They were that crowd of grubby little Angloban vandals who ploughed a motorway through the culturally and archaeologically important lands around Tara). The town would now be officially known by the mongrel bilingual title of “Dingle – Daingean Uí Chúis”.
Yet, even then the story was not over, as the Irish Times now reports:
“THE NEW double-barrel name for the west Kerry town of Dingle, finally passed into law this summer, is proving too long to incorporate into existing road signage and will cost tens of thousands of euro, according to a council report.
The double-barrel name was finally approved by way of amendment to the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2011 introduced by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan in July.
However, it has not yet been placed on signposts as it is too long and money will also have to be found, the council has said.
“Already it is clear that a substantial number of signs will have to be replaced due to the lack of space to incorporate the new wording,” the council’s officials have replied.
At least €10,000 will have to be spent locally by the council with further costs incurred by the National Roads Authority, council officials have said”
All of which costs could have been avoided if the town’s name had been left as Daingean Uí Chúis. So, how long do we think it will take before the Irish half of the town’s name is quietly dropped from sight and English Ireland gets the victory it wanted?
Who say’s you can’t have a final solution?