Farmer's Bridge Irish name causes a stir

The Farmers Bridge sign post.
The Farmers Bridge sign post.

Simon Brouder

A bilingual sign on the outskirts of Tralee is raising the ire of Irish speakers this week.

Language legislation means all road signs on Irish roads must be presented in both English and Irish but a sign for Farmer's Bridge outside Tralee has raised some eyebrows among Irish speakers.

The sign in question was erected following the construction of the Tralee ring road and it labels the area as 'Droichead Farmer.'

This has led to some puzzlement among local gaeilgeoirs who suggest that the true translation of the name should probably be 'Droichead an Feirmeoir' or something similar.

The controversy over the sign led Tralee Councillor Norma Foley to bring a motion before Tralee Municipal District council calling for clarity and asking that in future the council ensures all bi-lingual signs have place names fully and correctly translated.

For their part management at Kerry County Council said that all place name translations for road signage are decided by using the state-run website which provided the translation used in this case.

The name Droichead Farmer was also reviewed by Kerry County Council's Irish Office who had no issue with the translation.

It is thought that the confusion over the name might be down to the identity of the famous bridge's farming owner.

The census shows there were a number of families named Farmer in the area and if the titular bridge historically belonged to a Mr Farmer then the translation may indeed be correct.

If any local historians can shed a light on the mystery they can contact The Kerryman.


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