Wednesday 19 June 2019

Plebiscite to rename Enniscrone deferred

The long awaited plebiscite to change Inishcrone to Enniscrone must be deferred until the Dáil updates a 72-year-old law.

Members were told that the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has advised the Council that the Oireachtas plans to finalise updated legislation replacing an outdated 1946 Act and 1956 Regulations with updated provisions.

Both sets of legislation concern altering the name of a place.

The new provisions "should mean therefore, that a more straightforward, up-to-date and reliable process for changing placenames will then be available to local authorities" according to a Government advisor.

The council's own solicitor Mr Bryan Armstrong also advised they await the implementation of the planned legislation.

As the main purpose of the 2018 Bill is to alter the boundary of Cork County Council well in advance of the 2019 local elections, it is hoped the Bill will be prioritised by the Oireachtas once they resume on 18th September.

Independent Councillor Joe Queenan asked for the matter to be deferred to October "in light of the correspondence we received on Friday which I am disappointed with."

Council Chief Executive Ciarán Hayes said the issue was the lack of legislation at national level but he added that the Enniscrone plebiscite "will go ahead."

One of the advantages of the updated legislation, according to the letter from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, is that the holding of ballots to change a place name will be required to be in secret.

The marking of a ballot paper under the 1946 Act had to be witnessed, "which could be a cause of some concern to electors."

Sligo Champion