Bilingual signs put town back on the map
IT had all but vanished from the map but the name of one of the country's best-loved tourist towns is back on road signs again.
Work is well under way erecting the new bilingual signs for 'Dingle/Daingean Ui Chuis', bringing an end to a controversy that has dragged on for nine years. The National Roads Authority (NRA) says it expects the work to be completed by the beginning of May.
The town's name was controversially changed to 'An Daingean' in 2004 by the then Minister for Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Eamon O Cuiv, under the Official Languages Act.
The move caused uproar locally with business and tourism interests claiming the Irish signs were confusing to tourists who knew the town as 'Dingle'.
A campaign got under way and, in October 2006, a plebiscite on a proposal to change the official name of the town back to Dingle/Daingean Ui Chuis was passed by a 90pc majority from a turnout of 91pc.
In July 2011, legislation was passed by the Oireachtas signing the name into law.
Chairman of the Dingle/ Daingean Ui Chuis committee, Fergus O'Flaherty, said people were "relieved justice was served".
"We pursued the democratic and diplomatic route to achieve our objectives and in the end we won with patience and determination, but the Government should not underestimate the power of local communities," Mr O'Flaherty told the Irish Independent.
He also pointed out that authorities should take heed of the old adage, "an te nach bhfuil briste, ni ga e a dheisiu" or "if it's not broken, don't fix it".