Thursday 29 June 2017

It's my name, Eircode, but not as I know it

Eircode, or An Post, has gone to the trouble of translating - incorrectly - Concubhar O Liathain's moniker into English. He's determined to know why

'Curiously the letter from Eircode was, apart from my anglicised surname, completely bilingual'
'Curiously the letter from Eircode was, apart from my anglicised surname, completely bilingual'

Concubhar O Liathain

I joined the Liveline club last week. After years of trying to be sufficiently inconvenienced, impoverished and offended by the over officiousness of officialdom or the crassness of commercial concerns to warrant picking up the phone to 'talk to Joe', I finally crossed my threshold of intolerance.

It's my name, you see. I got the long heralded letter from Eircode, addressed to "An tAittheoir/The Occupier" and, on the second line, Lehane, the English version of my name. I have never used this version of my name in correspondence or otherwise. It reminds me of a workplace I was employed in during my long-ago teenage years when fellows would refer to me as 'Lehane'. Needless to say it irks me now as it did back then.

I concede my name is a mouthful for most. For those who may have an interest, 'Liathain' is the Irish for 'Lyons' and, interestingly perhaps, in medical parlance, also for 'spleen'. I only learned that recently myself but now realise I have carved a career out of venting my surname in the Irish media.

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