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An historic map without Irish?


The historic map of Macroom will be launched at an event in the Town Hall on Monday.

The historic map of Macroom will be launched at an event in the Town Hall on Monday.

The historic map of Macroom will be launched at an event in the Town Hall on Monday.


ONE wonders at the sense possessed by those in authority in Cork County Council. This week an historic map, or heritage map, of Macroom was launched in Macroom Town Council. It’s a very colourful affair and well produced on most scores.

What strikes me as remarkable about the map, which is meant to celebrate the historic nature of the town, is its omission of the Irish language in its entirety.

Imagine it, an historic map of Macroom, a former garrison town located on the periphery of Gaeltacht Mhúscraí, and not a word of Irish in it.

The reason given for this when the matter was raised at the recent meeting of Macroom/Millstreet Municipal District Council was that there was uncertainty within the Council if the scheme it had agreed with the Gaeltacht Minister required it to produce all such material bilingually within the one cover.

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The scheme, which is still in force, places this duty on the Council: All new Information Leaflets, Brochures & Application Forms produced by the local authorities shall be fully bilingual within the one cover from the commencement of the scheme.

By any standard a map, even an historic map, is an information leaflet. It should be made available bilingually.

For the avoidance of doubt, I have made an official complaint to An Coimisinéir Teanga to get the official verdict on the matter.

There are other considerations, however, which Cork County Council should bear in mind. Macroom is a candidate to become a Gaeltacht Service Town, which would entitle it to a yearly grant of around €80,000 to employ an Irish Language Development Officer. This is to create a better relationship with Gaeltacht Mhúscraí and to ensure services in the town are available in Irish and in English.

It would be a marvellous fillip to the town, already on the verge of a boomtime thanks to the imminent opening of the N22 bypass, if it were to become a Gaeltacht service town. Recognition and promotion of the Irish language would also add immensely to the town’s attraction for tourists. Déan an rud ceart. Do the right thing!