Whispered in the Landscape / Written on the Street A Study of Placename Policy and Conflict in Ireland from 1946 to 2010

with a proposal for future legislation.

Gary Dempsey This thesis is submitted in fulfilment of the Irish Studies (MA) programme

National University of Ireland

Centre for Irish Studies

August 2011

Director of Course Dr. Nessa Cronin

Supervised by Dr. Nessa Cronin

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements........................................................................................................... iv Orthography and Abbreviations ........................................................................................ v List of Figures ................................................................................................................... vii List of Appendices ........................................................................................................... viii Abstract ............................................................................................................................. ix

Introduction. Placing Placename Study ..................................................................... 1
Aims and Objectives........................................................................................................... 3 Writing in the Shadow of Others – A Review of Existing Work. ........................................ 9

Chapter 1. From the Mind to the Page .................................................................... 17
Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 18 Early Knowledge of Placenames ...................................................................................... 19 Maps of Conquest – Making Ireland Visible .................................................................... 21 Placenames and the Ordnance Survey ............................................................................ 23 Oral Maps: The Irish Tradition. ........................................................................................ 26 Conclusion ........................................................................................................................ 28

Chapter 2. Whispered in the Landscape – Spoken in the Street ........................... 37
Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 38 The Official Placenames of Ireland .................................................................................. 39 History of the Placenames Commission .......................................................................... 40 Placenames Acts in Ireland .............................................................................................. 43 The Placename Policy of Other Countries ....................................................................... 51 Conclusion ........................................................................................................................ 56

Chapter 3. Two Names – One Place ......................................................................... 60
Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 61 Dangers of Changing a Placename Without Local Consultation ...................................... 63 An Cnoc – Cnoc Mhuire: What is the Irish Placename for Knock Co. Mayo? .................. 65 The Dingle – An Daingean Wrangle ................................................................................. 67 The Ownership of Placenames – Minor Placenames Collections .................................... 72 Conclusion ........................................................................................................................ 78

Conclusion. A Propoal for Future Irish Placename Acts ....................................... 81 ii

Key Points of Thesis ......................................................................................................... 82 A Proposal for New Legislation ........................................................................................ 85 Proceeding in the future Utilizing Local Groups to Help in Placename Standardization. 87 Possible Future Work Which can be Extracted From This Thesis. ................................... 90

Appendices .................................................................................................................. 91
Appendix 1 ........................................................................................................................... 92 Appendix 2 ......................................................................................................................... 126

Bibliography ............................................................................................................. 157

iii

Acknowledgements
I wish to thank my family and friends and the staff and management of Fáilte Ireland West who have supported me over the summer while I have written this thesis. It would not have been possible to complete this work with the support and advice of my supervisor Nessa Cronin. Also Dr. Nollaig Ó Muraíle, who provided me with invaluable information on the Placenames Commission and Placenames Branch as well as his own personal experience with placename conflict. To the people who provided interviews and the permission to reproduce correspondence and communication I extend my gratitude, in particular to Caitlín Nic Dhonnacha, Patrick S. Ó Flatharta and Michael Grehan. A special thanks to Catherine Cheetham, Toponymist with the PCGN who provided me with valuable historical records free of charge. To anyone I may have left out thank you for your help and time.

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Orthography and Abbreviations
There have been a number of alternative renderings for the word placename; the most common alternatives being “place-name”; “place name” and “placename”. For the purpose of this thesis “placename”, as it appears in Section 5 of the Official Language Act 2003 will be used. Where a direct quotation is made the style used in the original text will appear all other instances will appear as “placename”. The term ‘community’ will be used to describe a small group of people with common interests and goals. This definition is used with the knowledge that there are varying forms of community and the views of one small sample group may not express the ideas of what some might consider the term community to mean. Ireland and Irish are used to describe the geographical state of the Republic of Ireland and the people there in. The word Irish may also refer to the Irish language (Gaeilge). The terms English/English Language and anglicized refer to the phonetic pronunciation of Irish placenames used within the living language, which preserve old dialectical forms of names. An effort has been made to stick to the term anglicized, however if omissions occur and the term English language is found within the text it is to be read as anglicized. A number of abbreviations will be used within this dissertation. The following is a list of abbreviations and clarifications. Abbreviation OS Clarification Ordnance Survey – this title will be used to describe both the historical and modern Ordnance Survey of Ireland UNGEGN United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names S.I. Statutory Instrument

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(Published in English) I.R. Ionstraim Reachtúil (Published in Irish) PC PB PCGN Placenames Commission Placenames Branch The Permanent Committee on

Geographical Name for British Use The spelling of Irish-language words appears in the text of thesis as they have appeared in the source text. Due to historical printing technologies some instances where a ‘sine fada’ commonly occurs have been omitted. As these errors occurred in the source texts they are repeated here. Other clarifying notes on terminology will appear in the main body of text or as footnotes. Permission has been received to reproduce the contents from interviews and correspondence in the body and referencing of this thesis. All opinions are those of the interviewee as expressed on the date of interview. Any textual or grammatical errors in transcribed texts are the error of the author and not of the interviewee. Personal Observation [Pers. Obvs.] is used for interviews or direct e-mail correspondence where the opinions of the interviewee were recorded and transcribed. Personal Communication [Pers. Comm.] is used to refer to electronic forms of communication where the opinions of the correspondent were provided in written from.

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List of Figures
fig 1.1. Ptolemy’s Map of Ireland: Bologna (1472) and Rome, (1490)................. 30 fig. 1.2. Extract from Mappa Mundi ...................................................................... 31 fig 1.3. The 'Cotton' 1520's map of Ireland ............................................................ 32 fig 1.4. Part of the North Atlantic and northwest of Europe (1519) ...................... 33 fig. 1.5. Map of Ireland by William Petty, 1685). ................................................. 34 fig 1.3. “The Route of The Táin “. ......................................................................... 35 fig 1.7. John Speed’s Map of The Kingdom of Ireland, 1610 ............................... 36 fig. 2.1 Records of Placename Database of Ireland for Navan. ............................. 58 fig 2.2 Irelands Administrative Structure............................................................... 59 fig 3.1 Road Signs in Kerry ................................................................................... 79

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List of Appendices
Appendix 1.1 Interview with Caitlín Nic Dhonnacha,. .............................................. 94 Appendix 1.2. Interview with Patrick S. Ó Flatharta, .................................................. 98 Appendix 1.3. Intreviw with Michael Grehan ........................................................... 102 Appendix 1.4 Intreviw with Nollaíg Ó Muraíle........................................................ 104 Appendix 1.5 Statement from Paddy Mathews, (Fáilte Ireland) .............................. 124 Appendix 2.1 Local Government Act, 1946 ............................................................. 128 Appendix 2.2 Local Government Act, 1955 ............................................................. 133 Appendix 2.3 Local Government Act, 1994 ............................................................. 135 Appendix 2.4 Local Government Act, 2001 ............................................................. 136 Appendix 2.5 General Scheme of the Local Government (Mayor and Regional Authority of Dublin) Bill 2010 .................................................................................. 144 Appendix 2.6 Place-Names (Irish Forms) Act, 1973 ................................................ 152 Appendix 2.7 Official Languages Act, 2003 .......................................................... 1523

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Abstract
This thesis outlines the forms and practices utilized by state bodies for the standardization of placenames in Ireland and looks at how Irish Government legislation on the management of placenames has evolved from 1945 to 2010. By tracing how placenames are collected and recorded on to maps and how these cartographic documents can then inform the local concepts of correct placenames. In addition to the Ordnance Survey form of placenames, the postal service form of placename will also be discussed in light of local concepts of correct placenames. The thesis proposes that the local form of a placename as promoted by a living community is of key importance when legislating for placename change and standardization of spellings. In light of this a detailing of the placename Acts for Ireland is provided with examples of local challenges to these Acts. The placenames Acts of Ireland are compared to the placename Acts of Norway, a country which legislates for the acknowledgement of local traditional placenames. The main aim of this thesis is to propose new ideas on the legislation of placenames and the funding of such projects as informed by issues of conflict between the government, official bodies and the local communities of Knock, Co. Mayo and Dingle, Co. Kerry and the local collection of placenames examined in case studies in chapter three.

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Introduction
Placing Placename Study

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Onomastics can be an interesting subject that delves into the social, cultural, economic, personal and collective history of area through the study of placenames. The object of this thesis is not to trace the linguistic transformation and origins of placnames but to look at the local importance of Irish placenames in living communities. The local view of placenames is a territorial view created, developed, owned and protected by a living community.1 Living communities are the people that live or have a personal, social, cultural, historical, economic etc. stake in an area defined by a placename. They are connected to a particular place through their ancestors and the landscape holds personal and emotional value for them. The lived local experience of placenames ‘reflects exigencies of local culture, society and landholding.’2 The living community is one that uses placenames on a daily basis as a postal address or being a definition of where they live as part of the wider lived community of a parish, county, province or country. The local idea of place defines where the village fits into the parish and where the parish fits into the county as a territorial unit. Placenames can be personal, private, public, social, communicative, historical and cultural; they can also be political and legal. In contrast to the personalised and localized placenames used by living communities the official placenames are standardized and used by the Irish Government and state bodies for administrative functions. The laws regarding these official placenames are fractured between the anglicized names standardized by the Ordnance Survey3 in the early 1800s, regulations for the changing of placenames and regulations concerning the official Irish version of placenames. The earliest Irish Governmental policy on the management of renaming placenames was enacted in 19464 and the first Irish-language version of placenames were standardized by the Irish Government with the assistance of The Placenames Commission5 in 1973. The government Acts relating to these two elements of
1

Patrick Duffy, Exploring the History and Heritage of Irish Landscapes, (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007) p.54. 2 Ibid. 3 Henceforth referred to in text as OS 4 Local Government Act 1946. 5 Henceforth referred to in text as PC

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placenames were left largely unchanged until the first half of the new millennium. During the intervening years these laws were not universally enforced by all Government bodies.6 Local interest in placenames has grown along with the boom in building in Ireland. In 1994 the Minister for the Environment, Michael Smith reiterated a comment he made at a seminar held by the OS and PC in 1992 where he ‘asked local authorities, in conjunction with the Placenames Commission, to assist developers in identifying suitable names for housing estates in an effort to avoid [...] the ‘Tuscancy Downs Syndrome’.7 The suggestions of Minister Smith would come into effect over the next six years when local authorities began to incorporate regulations on new housing estates into their Irish Language, Heritage and Local Development Plans. The regulations were welcomed by both local groups and developers. Seán Ó Suilleabháin noted that the policy of Leitrim County Council ‘was to get names that were entirely as Gaeilge and where possible related to the topography or history of the area [...] most developers were quite supportive of this approach and as a result most estates have names in Irish.’8 This thesis is not concerned with the local bi-laws which legislate for planning and the naming of new estates but rather with how the Irish Government has legislated for the changing and management of placenames from 1946 to 2010. Aims and Objectives There are a number of key issues which are tackled by this thesis, while some may at first seem far removed from the others there is a general topic of the official vs. unofficial view running throughout. To borrow from Seamus Heaney one could define the difference between these two polar opposites as; official being ‘learned, literate

6 7

“Problems of Towns Which Change Their Names”, Irish Independent, 13 March 1954, p.6. “Tuscany Downs bypass proposed”, The Irish Times, 13 January 1994, p.2. 8 Seán Ó Suilleabháin, Oifigeach Gaeilge, Leitrim County Council, noted ‘The policy of Leitrim County Council is similar to the policy of other counties where a committee is organized to advise on local names for new developments.’ [Pers. Comm.] via e-mail 5 May 2011.

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and conscious’ and unofficial being ‘lived, illiterate and perceived’.9 The difference between these two terms is the key to understanding difference between the local elements within placnames, which are used within the community, and the legal administrative elements in placenames standardized and printed on the documents of the government and state bodies. The one important element in Heaney’s definition is the use of the terms literate and illiterate. Richard Randall notes that ‘speech is language and is acquired naturally, while writing is a learned activity.’ 10 When this is taken into account then one can argue that unofficial placenames are spoken and acquired naturally within a community while official placenames are written and learned by a community. The difference between official and unofficial raises the question of whose version of a placename is the correct version. While the version standardized by the government is the legal from of a placename and used in official government documentation and publications, who is to say that this is the correct version of a placename? Governments are elected representatives of the people and are supposed to reflect the views of the people. Dáil debates can show how some members of the Houses of the Oireachtas view the issues surrounding placenames in Ireland.11 The PC advises the Government on authoritative placenames through the Placenames Branch 12 of the OS. However these historical names may have several evolutions in form and the PB must settle on one form only. Within the local living community it is the everyday communicative and postal forms of a placename which are correct and legislation should allow for both views. Chapter one looks at the history of placename collection in Ireland and shows how an evolution of the forms and processes of placenames collection can be seen. It is proposed that by looking at the historical mapping of Ireland the reader will gain a

9

Seamus Heaney, “The Sense of Place” Preoccupations: Selected Prose 1968-1978, (London: Faber and Faber 1984, 2nd ed.) p.131. 10 Richard R. Randall, Place Names How They Define the World – and more, (London: Scarecrow press Inc., 2001) p.3. 11 “Midwest Task Force Report – Irish Language Placenames” Dáil Debates, 18 November 2009, http://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2009-11-18.643.0 accessed 10 August 2011. and “Priority Questions – Placenames Commission” Dáil Debates, 3 April 2008, http://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2008-04-03.285.0 accessed 10 August 2011. 12 Henceforth referred to in text as PB

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greater understanding of the external political nature of official placenames in Ireland. While places are named from within a community, the placenames of Ireland were mapped and recorded from outside of the local community. A discussion on who has mapped and recorded placenames for Ireland and for what reasons they have done this will form the outline of chapter one. This will begin by looking at the earliest known set of placenames for Ireland recorded by Ptolemy c.150 AD. The philosophy behind this starting point is derived from the concept of Edward Relph who argued that place ‘is only named when it is considered in terms of some human task or lived experience.’13 While places are named before they are mapped, they do not always mentally exist outside of the local community until they have been officially recorded and mapped. The discussion will move through the different representations of Ireland on maps and discuss why one cartographer might record one set of names and another cartographer record another set. The discussion will then move on to talk about the first official standardization of placenames carried out by the officers of the Ordnance Survey produced from the 1600’s to the early 1800’s which provided the country not only with its first complete map but also a recorded list of over 60’000 townlands.14 Former colonies tend to seek to reinstate a national image which exemplifies the essence of what it means to be from that country. One way which countries attempt to reinstate their cultural identity over a colonial identify is through the renaming of places. In Ireland a number of counties, towns and villages changed their names from the anglicized forms to the Irish language forms between the 1920s and 1930s. In 194615 the Irish government decided to regulate for the official changing of placenames by local authorities. The chapter will concluded on the ‘sense of place’ within Irish placenames and the tradition of recording placenames through prose, verse and song. The local elements
13

Edward Relph quoted in Gerry Smith, Space and the Irish Cultural Imagination, (Hampshire: Palgrave, 2001) p.42. 14 The official website of the Placenames Branch, the research department of the Placenames Commission, lists 61,157 townlands as having been recorded. Government of Ireland, The Placenames Database, www.logainm.ie, (Dublin, 2009), accessed 30 July 2011. 15 Local Government Act 1946.

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of placenames carry with them a deep sense of belonging to a certain wider community. Irish stories, poetry and songs are deeply connected with the landscape and names of a location, creating a mental map of the countryside. Chapter two will look at the policy governing the changing of placenames and also the standardization of Irish-language names which were made legal in 1973.16 The scope of this chapter will cover placename regulation between 1946 and 2003, while new legislation has not been finalized draft bills are available and will be discussed in light of the general discussion of the chapter. The failure by the government to implement regulations across state bodies has lead to a number of alternative spelling and derivations for names, which have in turn informed the local version of a name. The most widely used of these, it could be argued, are the post office17 names which were standardized by the postal service in the 1800s. The post office names were standardized by local post offices that drew their names from landlords, rent-rolls, tithe applotment books, Grand Jury maps, etc.18 When an official name is then finally implemented these previously incorrect official names are seen as official names in the eyes of the community. It is at this point that local conflict between the official and unofficial occurs. Ireland is not the only country with a history of colonial governance. For the purpose of this thesis Norway has been selected as a country with similar linguistic and social issues concerning placenames. Norway’s administrative bodies were managed by Denmark and so many of the official placenames and documents of the country were laid down in a Danish/Norse hybrid. When Norway’s administrative functions were returned to the country they were left with two official languages, Norwegian and the Danish/Norse Hybrid. The policies of Norway were laid out with the traditions and
16 17

Place-Names (Irish Forms) Act 1973. An Post is the current name for the postal service in Ireland. The postal system in Ireland dates to the late sixteenth/early seventeenth centuries http://www.anpost.ie/AnPost/History+and+Heritage/History/History.htm - accessed on 05 August 2011. This term An Post will not be used in this thesis as this name does not refer to the postal service in the nineteenth century. Instead the terms post office and postal service will be used to refer to this body regardless of decades unless directly quoting from a source or referencing the modern postal service. 18 Nollaig Ó Muraíle, interview via e-mail. [Pers. Comm.] 22 June 2011 to 25 July 2011, see appendix 1.4.

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variations of local names recorded. While there was recognition that there needed to be a standard name for legal issues, there was also an understanding for local traditions and use of other placenames. The Norwegian policy is discussed in relation to proposed changes to the current Irish legislation on the changing of placenames. Chapter three is divided into two sections. The first section continues on from chapter two and outlines conflicts between local communities and the government. This discussion opens with reference to how the people of Sackville Street in Dublin brought an injunction against the Dublin Corporation who wanted to change the street name to O’Connell Street.19 The object of this is to show a precedent for local opposition to placename changes in Ireland. A discussion will then follow on the failure of the government to implement placename legislation across state bodies. This is shown with reference to issues which arose over the Irish-language version of Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath where the official authoritative Irish form of the placename suggested by the PC conflicted with the long established postal Irishlanguage form. This section will conclude with two modern case studies of placename conflict. Firstly it will look at the case of Knock in Co. Mayo. Where in 1999 the implementation of the authoritative Irish-language from of the name lead to the cultural, historical and religious placename of Cnoc Mhuire being changed to An Cnoc. Nollaig Ó Muraíle noted that The historical name was Cnoc Dronma Calraige (later Cnoc Droma Calraí), but since the 17th century it has been known as An Cnoc [... in] 1935, the founder of the Knock Shrine Society, Justice Liam Ua Cadhaim, invented the form Cnoc Mhuire, and this cam to be used fairly widely.20 Despite this the PC, as advised by the PB, chose An Cnoc as the authoritative Irishlanguage from of the placename.

19

Yvonne Whelan, Reinventing Modern Dublin – streetscape, iconography and the political identity, (Dublin: University College Dublin Press, 2003) pp.101-102. 20 Nollaig Ó Muraíle, interview via e-mail. [Pers. Comm.] 22 June 2011 to 25 July 2011, see appendix 1.4.

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The second case study follows the reaction of the people of the town of Dingle Co. Kerry to the implementation of the Official Languages Act 2003 which ordered that names in Gaeltacht regions should be displayed in Irish only on road signage. The local community used legislation outlined in the Local Government Act 1946 to reverse the change by holding a plebiscite and voted for a bi-lingual form of the placename to be used as the official placename. This in turn has forced the government to propose new legislation which amends both the Local Government Act 2001 and the Official Languages Act 2003. While the discussion of sense of place within early Irish manuscripts was discussed in chapter one, the aim here is to show how the use of placenames is conducive to daily living. ‘Placenames are essential to many aspects of our individual and collective lives’ be it for personal or business reasons.21 Placenames not only connect us to our local areas but they act as tethers to our personal history and the personal history of our families. The local ownership of placenames is examined in this chapter by looking at the collection of minor placenames around the Gorumna Islands in Connemara and the local attitudes towards such collections both from within and without the community. The idea of ownership of placenames is an interesting one. The power to name an area needs to come from somewhere. The fieldnames of a townland are named by the families that own the land. In this sense the placenames and the right to name a place are connected to the ownership of land. Yi-Fu Tuan argues that ‘the right to name and have that name stick [is] empowerment.’22 Tuan’s critical point here is the act of having the name stick. A name that sticks to an area is the most powerful; while the farmer can name his fields and have power over them it is those in authority who have the power to name roads, streets, towns, villages, cities, townlands, parishes, counties etc. While the government may have inherited the power to name from 18 th century bodies such of the OS they are only in power through the will of the people. Governments may have the power to name, but it is local communities who have

21 22

Randall, Place Names, p.27. Yi-Fu Tuan, “Languages and the Making of Place: A Narrative-Descriptive Approach” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 81. No. 4, p.686.

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ownership of names, as it is local communities who give democratic governments power. A sense of place and deep connection with place can be found in the placenames given to areas by the local living community. The micro collection of placenames is the collection of minor placenames. According to Ó Muraíle minor names are placenames which are usually known to very few people – often only the owner of the piece of land where the name occurs. Most have never been written down and many appear to have been quite ephemeral – rarely lasting more than a couple of generations.23 The sense of connection a person gets when visiting their home place is the same sense of connection they get they realise a stranger is from the same areas as them, or has a personal connections to it.24 The thesis will conclude on proposals on how new legislation can be conducted with reference to the local traditional elements of placenames, following suggestions from the Norwegian Act. A plan will also be outlined for how such projects could be incorporated into the work of local community groups and schools which would create jobs and create awareness of the importance of placenames. The work of the thesis will also be discussed in light of future research projects drawn from elements which could not be expanded upon due to the time scale of this short thesis. Writing in the Shadow of Others – A Review of Existing Work. Most writing on placenames concerns the history and meaning of placenames. While this is interesting in its own right, it does not develop great amounts of detail on how the information contained within placenames was used by local communities, nor does it explain how placenames can become strong symbols of social connection and interaction between communities.

23

Nollaig Ó Muraíle, interview via e-mail. [Pers. Comm.] 22 June 2011 to 25 July 2011, see appendix 1.4. 24 Randall, Place Names, p.28.

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When the reader discovers titles such as Patrick McKay’s Belfast Place-names and the Irish Language25 they could be forgiven for expecting to read about the social issues surrounding the use of the Irish language in the Northern Ireland capital. In contrast, the author discusses the literal meaning and history of placenames before briefly concluding on the legal situation regarding current Northern Ireland Policy on Irish language placenames, which were made official in 1995.26 Research on placenames in the Republic of Ireland currently concentrates on the Irish language names over the anglicization of names. The reason for this one-sided study concerns the history of placename collection in Ireland and official policy on the status of placenames. Dónall Mac Giolla Easpaig outlined the need for Irish standardization of placenames to UNGEGN’s 9th Conference in 2007. He argued that Geographical names may have two official forms in Ireland, one in the English language and one in Irish. The English-language forms of names were standardized by the Ordnance Survey of Ireland [...] in the mid-nineteenth century [... these] definitive legal placenames of Ireland are contained in the maps of Ordnance Survey Ireland which date back to the time of the original mapping and valuation of the country between 1824 and 1874 and the publication of a townlands index with the 1851 census.27 The PC has been advising government bodies in Ireland on the official Irish version of names since 1946 and through the PB, the Commission researches official versions for administrative purpose in Ireland.28 While the PC promote and research Irish language versions of placenames (providing an official version for Irish-language names), there are many scholarly, private collections which concern placenames below the official administrative divisions outlined by the PC. The works of J. H Andrews and Stiofán Ó Cadhla can provide the reader with details on the historical

25

Patrick McKay, “Belfast Place-names and the Irish Language” Fionntán de Brún (ed.), Belfast and the Irish Language, (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2006) pp.15-35. 26 Ibid, p.33. 27 Dónall Mac Giolla Easpaig, “Report of Ireland 2002-2007” Ninth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names, (New York, UNGEGN, 21-30 August 2007), p.2. 28 See articles on “The Placenames Commission” and “The Placenames Branch” http://logainm.ie/Info.aspx?uiLang=en, accessed 04 July 2011

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collection of placenames by the Ordnance Survey.29 However the most important historical work conducted on placenames in Ireland was conducted by P. W. Joyce, in his three volume title Origins and History of Irish Name and Places. The first two volumes contain Joyce’s philosophies on names and their importance for different areas of research. In volume one Joyce categorizes names into three groups. 30 Names of Historical and Legendary Origin. Names Commemorating Artificial Structures. Names Descriptive of Physical Feature. Joyce held placenames in such regard that he claimed that ‘the face of the country was a book’ which could be read to unveil more details than the ‘cuneiform inscriptions of Persia, or the hieroglyphics of Egypt.’31 Joyce was not only highlighting the linguistic value of placenames but also the historical and cultural value that could be found within names. Not only are historical events and the names of innumerable remarkable persons recorded but the whole social life of our ancestors – their customs, their superstitions, their battles, their amusements, their religious fervour and their crimes are depicted in vivid and everlasting colours.32 Joyce was not the only scholar concerned with the cultural elements hidden within placenames. Isaac Taylor, speaking of placenames, on a global scale noted that ‘names can speak of events written history had failed to record’ and that the ‘names of places are conservative of more archaic forms of human living.’33 However the works of Joyce are solely concerned with Ireland and provided the reader with a more colourful read than the works of Taylor.
29

See J. H Andres, A Paper Landscape The Ordnance Survey in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2002, 2nd ed.); Stiofán Ó Cadhla, Civilizing Ireland – Ordnance Survey 1824-1842: Ethnography, Cartography, Translation, (Dublin: Irish Academic Press 2007). 30 Patrick. W. Joyce, Origins and History of Irish Names of Places, Vol. 1, (Dublin: McGlashan and Gill, 1875, 4th ed.) 31 Joyce, Irish Names of Places, Vol. 1, p. 85. 32 Joyce, Irish Names of Places, Vol. 1, p. 85. 33 Isaac Taylor, Words and Places, or, Etymological illustrations of history, ethnology and geography, (London: Macmillan, 1864) p.4.

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There is a stylistic similarity between the work of Joyce and that of Tim Robinson, whose writing emits a passion that is lacking in many works on placename study. Robinson’s placename work comes across best in his series of maps and gazetteer’s on the Aran Islands, Connemara and The Burren; however his most passionate work can be found in the collections of short articles Setting Foot on the Shores of Connemara. He concludes one short piece on the collection of placenames with the following statement Enquiring out placenames, mapping, has become for me not a way of making a living or making a career, but of making a life, a mode of dwelling in a place. In composing each of the [placenames] I have given you into a brief epiphany a showing forth of the nature of a place. I am suggesting that what is hidden from us is not something rare and occult or even augustly sacred, but, too often, the Earth we stand on.34 The work of Patrick Duffy and Nollaig Ó Muraíle35 on minor placenames has been at the forefront of that particular field of research. The work of these two authors expresses the local nature within placenames. Duffy sees the micro collection of placenames as a culturally important act noting that within the highly localised template of townlands lie hidden layers of minor names that continue to have significance for local community heritage and are being rediscovered as part the general resurrection of the local.36 It is within this growing resurrection of local interest that this thesis bases its study of placename collection, working with community groups that have undertaken such community heritage work.

34

Tim Robinson, “Listening to the Landscape’ Setting Foot on the Shores of Connemara & Other Writings, (Dublin: Lilliput Press 2007, 2nd ed.) p.164. 35 Dr. Nollaig Ó Muraíle is a lecturer in Roinn na Gaeilge, National University of Ireland, Galway and has worked with both the Placenames Branch and Placenames Commission as well as working with Galway and Mayo County council and local groups in relation to placename collections. 36 Duffy, Patrick, “Unwritten Landscapes: Reflections on Minor Place-names and Sense of Place in the Irish Countryside’ in Clarke, Howard, Prunty, Jacinta and Hennessy, Mark (eds.) Surveying Irelands Past: Multidisciplinary Essays in Honour of Anngret Simms, (Dublin: Geography Publications 2004) p.696.

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Patrick Duffy talks about placenames in the realms of heritage, culture and landscape studies. His work shows a connection between people and their lived environment through the use of placenames showing a sense of personal and communal possession. ‘Unwritten Landscapes: Reflections on Minor Placenames and Sense of Place in the Irish Countryside’ traces the rural focus on landscape and place. Duffy highlights the personal connections people make with where they grew up, where they went to school, where they made childhood friends, where their family/parents are buried.’37 He expands on the concept of personal connection with place by saying ‘that growing into adulthood is like climbing a hierarchy of ever more distant locations and places which are the settings of our pasts.’38 If one is permitted to step outside of the psyche of the individual and into the collective psyche of the community then these personal connections with placenames can also become social connections. In Exploring the History and Heritage of Irish Landscapes Duffy expands on earlier themes of place and community speaking of the ‘intimate relationship with natural features in [the] landscape on which [Irish speakers] lavished names’39 and noting that despite the loss of language that Irish placenames still have ‘resounding social and cultural meaning’40 within small communities. In this book he touches upon the ‘continuing controversies about town names, re-naming places, signage, street names, new housing estate names [which] are all indications of persisting underlying tensions about identities in a post-colonial Irish landscape.’41 However instead of expanding on these issues Duffy summarises the work of Nollaig Ó Muraíle, P. W. Joyce, Robert Lloyd Praeger and John O Donovan. In relation to the controversies surrounding placenames he directs the reader to the hands of Catherine Nash. Nash’s work looks at Irish placenames from a post-colonial perspective;42 she proposes that by ‘linking heritage and geography, placenames, at once become both material and metaphorical, substantive and symbolic [and] are all about questions of
37 38

Ibid, p.690. Ibid. 39 Patrick Duffy, Exploring the History and Heritage of Irish Landscapes, (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007) p.65. 40 Ibid, p.66. 41 Ibid, p.64. 42 Catherine Nash, “Irish Placenames: Post-colonial Locations” in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, New Series, Vol. 24. No. 4, (1999) pp.457-480.

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power, culture, location and identity.43 Her article traces how Irish placenames have been used as anti-colonial tools in order to instate a perceived idea of Irish culture. She picks up from where Patrick McKay’s ‘Belfast Placenames and the Irish Language’ failed to venture by looking at the struggle of those who sought to preserve Gaelic names in Northern Ireland, nothing that they were faced ‘with both the traditional republican association of the language and the danger that their efforts [were] read as validating a specifically Gaelic, rather than mixed, heritage for the region.’44 By tracing the writings and ideas of Brien Friel and Seamus Heaney she looks at how they worked as ‘part of a broader cultural exploration of questions of identity in Ireland since the 1970s, prompted by the inadequacies of romantic and exclusive version of Irishness.’45 She concludes Recent approaches to placenames in Ireland are informed by a very immediate sense of the implications of their versions of culture and location. Most significantly, while emerging out of attempts to recover, record and promote the use of Gaelic placenames, they combine the project of historical and cultural retrieval with a resistance to fixing Irish culture or simplifying Irish history. 46 A large number of the publications concerning placenames for Ireland are in gazetteer format or catalogue form; while this format cannot explain a great deal about the collection of names, sometimes the introductions to such collections can provide interesting insights into the field of placename research. Deidre and Laurence Flanagan offer an interesting introduction to their dictionary of Irish Place Names.47 The introduction moves from a standard introduction of the administrative divisions of Ireland through a history of Irish placename collection and anglicization of placenames. The authors also give a useful overview of how placenames can be used for various fields of research as well as providing a philosophy on the culturally lived element of placenames.
43 44

Ibid, p.457. Ibid, p.458. 45 Ibid. 46 Ibid, p.475. 47 Deirdre and Laurence Flanagan, Irish Place Names,(Dublin: Gill & MacMillan 1994).

14

[Placenames] reflect the impact of the natural environment on man and of man, simply by observation, on the environment. The impact, and actives of man, however created another category of place-name: those describing the additions or alterations made by man to this natural environment. Thus we get names describing the use of the landscape by man: its division into fields for grazing stock or growing crops; the addition of various structures for human habitation, of structures for industrial purposes, of structures to facilitate passage through it, of structures to accommodate religious observance – be it pagan or Christian – and of structures to accommodate the dead [....] any of these moreover, may contain a claim to a feature natural or artificial, by a group of people or by an individual.48 In 1992 a seminar held by the PC led to the publication of a number of essays,
49

which were delivered on the day by some of the leading scholars in the field of placenames. This short collection of work outlines the history of the PC and OS, Ó Maolfabhail provides a history on work the PB and the OS, which details the standardizing of placenames by the OS and the Gaelicization of placenames by the Gaelic League which introduced ‘names such as Dún Laoghaire, Port Laoise and Offaly’ in the English language.50 Donnchadh Ó Corráin provides and interesting outline on The Future of Irish Placenames, where he discusses the way in which places are named by developers in urban areas with fanciful names and compares this to local placenames which are more historical than the standardized names of the OSI, noting that The people of the countryside have traditionally kept a firm grip on their placenames. Down the years they have retained more correct forms and pronunciations than those imposed by the Ordnance Survey in the course of the

48 49

Flanagan, Irish Place Names, p.1. Art Ó Maolfabhail (ed.), The Placenames of Ireland in the Third Millennium – the proceedings of a seminar 28th February 1992, (Dublin: Ordnance Survey and The Placenames Commission, 1992). 50 Art Ó Maolfabhail, “The Background and Present Role of the Placenames Branch of the Ordnance Survey” in Ó Maolfabhail (ed.), The Placenames of Ireland in the Third Millennium, p.18.

15

nineteenth century and by well-intended but ignorant revivalists in the twentieth.51 While Leachlain Ó Catháin provides a discussion on the legal aspects of placenames within the state of Ireland, he does not provide any in-depth discussion on the subject, as much of the regulation on this issue as he notes ‘has not been refined to any extent by Statute or otherwise.’52 Local history publications on placenames can provide a more cultural element to the placename research providing the reader with local knowledge of local names and their historical background. The better of these books may be supported by archival material used for primary research.53 While official publications such as the bi-lingual Gasaitéar Na hÉireann54; provide a way to read the anglicised names and their Irish forms.

51

Donnchadh Ó Corráin, “A Future for Irish Placenames” in Ó Maolfabhail (ed.), The Placenames of Ireland in the Third Millennium, p.36. 52 Leachlainn Ó Catháin, “Some Thoughts on Placenames and the Law” in Ó Maolfabhail (ed.), The Placenames of Ireland in the Third Millennium, p.71. 53 See for example Patrick McKay and Kay Muhr, Lough Neagh Places, Their Names and Origins, (Belfast: Cló Ollscoil na Banríona 2007). 54 Brainse Logainmneacha, Gasaitéar na hÉireann, Ainmeanacha Ionad Daonra Agus Gnéithe Aiceanta, (Baile Átha Claith: Rialtas na hÉireann 1989).

16

Chapter 1.
From the Mind to the Page Mental and Cartographic Collections of Irish Placenames.

17

Introduction Without names maps are just a series of lines and symbols, representing boundaries and geographical features. Placenames may be the most important feature of a map as ‘without names a map is dumb.1 However the addition of names brings a map to life, it gives the user of the map a sense of power over the land. J. B. Harley noted that ancient and medieval maps of Europe and the Mediterranean were used as ‘one of the specialized intellectual weapons by which power could be gained, administered, given legitimacy, and codified.’2 This sense of power comes in the form of naming a place in the language of the cartographer, rather than the local dialect or language. Stiofán Ó Cadhla writes that The anglicization of place names is a significant aspect in its own right but it can be viewed as a physical trace of a wider translative energy that fuelled the [Ordnance Survey...] the attempt to write all the new names into a book represents the colonizer’s benign assumption that to name a thing is to assert one’s power over it and that the written tradition of the occupier will henceforth enjoy primacy over the oral memory of the natives.3 Gerry Smyth quotes from Canadian geographer Edward Relph’s Place and Placelessness, who argued that a place ‘is only named when it is considered in terms of some human task or lived experience.’4 The name of a place is something personal and private to a local community until it is mapped. The community have rights to the placename, until it is mapped, when in a sense it becomes public property. It is unofficial, existing only in the language of a local community, until it is made official by being written down. Evidence of this can be seen from 17th century maps of North America. When John Smith arrived off the coast of America he renamed the area previously called Norumbega as New England. While these two names existed, the area was also rechristened as Nusconcus, Canaday and Penaquid. The name New
1

Richard R. Randall, Place Names How They Define the World – and More, (London: Scarecrow Press, 2001) p.18. 2 J. B. Harley, “Maps, Knowledge, and Power” in D. Cosgrove and S. Daniels (eds.), The Iconography of Landscape, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998) p.281. 3 Stiofán Ó Cadhla, Civilising Ireland Ordnance Survey 1824-1842: Ethnography, Cartography, Translation, (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2007) p.223. 4 Edward Relph as cited in Gerry Smyth, Space and the Irish Cultural Imagination, (Hampshire, Palgrave, 2001) p.42.

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England did not become official until mapped and sanctioned by Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (later King Charles I).5 Placenames can be recorded in maps and/or manuscripts. Oral traditions record important placenames as communicated by the storyteller. These were the names remembered and in use at that time. The writing down of placenames cements one version of a name and makes it harder to subsequently change. These recorded names can then be used for personal reasons of possession and ownership. There is a difference between names that are used in an area and the ones that are recorded for official purposes.6 Early Knowledge of Placenames Some of the earliest recorded European placenames for Ireland are recorded along with co-ordinates for the country from details given in Ptolemy’s Geographia c.150 AD7 and incorporated into maps produced by geographers such as Gerard Mercator (1578). Representations of Ptolemy’s co-ordinates in map form (fig. 1.1) are important for a number of different reasons. In the case of placename research it has proved an item of contention for linguists and geographers arguing over the origins and translations of name and their geographic location.8 By stepping outside of this argument for a moment one can begin to see the wider cultural importance of the placenames Ptolemy recorded. Ptolemy’s work is possibly derived from the writings of Marinus of Tyre, who may have derived his work from the writings of Philemon9. Despite the contention over the identity of Ptolemy’s sources, the information is important for showing the classical knowledge of Ireland. Toner notes fifty-three names are mentioned in the manuscript.10 While sixteen of these names are of tribes,
5

J. B. Harley, Paul Laxton (eds.), The New Nature of Maps: Essays in the History of Cartography, (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2001) p.180. 6 Seán MacAodhagáin, “What’s in a Name?” Connaught Telegraph, 5 December 2001, p.42; see discussion in chapter 3 on issue of An Cnoc - Cnoc Mhuire: What is the Irish Placename for Knock Co. Mayo? 7 William J. Smyth, Map-Making, Landscapes and Memory: A Geography of Colonial and Early Modern Ireland c. 1530-1750, (Cork: Cork University Press and Field Day, 2006 2nd ed.) pp. 25-26 and Smyth, Space and the Irish Cultural Imagination, p.46. 8 Gregory Toner, “Identifying Ptolemy’s Irish Places and Tribes” in Parsons, David N. & SimsWilliams, Patrick (eds.), Ptolemy: Towards a linguistic atlas of the earliest Celtic place-names of Europe, (Aberystwyth: CMCS, 2000) p. 73. 9 Ibid. 10 Ibid, p.74

19

thirty-seven of the names relates to geographical locations in the form of promontories (4), river-mouths (15), Islands (8) and the most important of all; settlements (10). While there is contention over the exact location of these sites and to which regions they relate to in modern terms, it is testament to the socio-political importance of placenames that they would be recorded by traders and collected by Greek and Roman geographers. The placenames collected by Ptolemy not only show the location of sites, but informs the reader the names of important cities and families in Ireland. The knowledge from these names is evidence of trade between the Irish and peoples from the Mediterranean world. These Irish placenames were carried around the world by merchant traders who met with the early mapmakers and geographers. The placenames collected in the works of early European geographers’ show that people in the Roman Empire knew not only of Ireland11 but of its coastal features. The names of these places were recorded as part of the power mapping exercise of European rulers as a testament to the importance of placenames. Gerry Smyth writes that ‘if things, places, names are not on the map, in some important sense they do not exist.’12 If one is to project this on to Ptolemy’s work it is possible to say this is the first time that Ireland officially exists on a wider European scale, marking the edge of the known world at the time. Ireland was known from before the time of Ptolemy and recorded in writings by Greek and Roman scholars including Julius Caesar whom recorded it around 50BC 13 it was not however included on European maps until much later. The Hereford World Map (Mappa Mundi) (fig. 1.2) is a thirteenth century manuscript which would be the standardized representation of Europe until the rediscovery of Ptolemy’s work in the fifteenth century. This map of the world with Jerusalem at the centre and set with East at the top shows Ireland (Hibernia) in the bottom left-hand corner (north-west) as a long slender island off the coast of Wales. The island is bisected by a river running from north-west to north-east (in relation to the map) with four settlements marked as well as two rivers/estuaries.
11

Colin Adams, “Hibernia Romana? Ireland & the Roman Empire” in History Ireland, Vol. 4, No. 2. (Summer, 1996) p.22. 12 Smyth, Space and the Irish Cultural Imagination, p.46. 13 Adams, “Hibernia Romana?” p.22.

20

These early historical maps of Ireland are important in that they not only record the location of the county in relation to other European countries but provide the reader with a series of early names recorded in Latin. Maps of Conquest – Making Ireland Visible In his work on colonial maps of Ireland from 1530 William J. Smyth declares that ‘the earliest known English derived map of Ireland’ c. 1526 (fig. 1.3), is nothing more than an ‘egg shaped’ figure which shows dominant rivers, main cities and towns on the east.14 He continues to highlight some of the placenames recorded on the Cotton manuscript thus bringing these places to life in the mind of viewer/reader.15 The pale blank area which Smyth refers to on Cotton’s map is just as important as the area filled with symbols and lines. The blankness of this area shows its unknown nature which is evident by the lack of placenames. Smyth hints at the ‘level of geographical ignorance’ displayed by the blank areas on this early map of Ireland. 16. The inclusion of placenames in the eastern half of the country gives significance to these places by the giving them a socio-political place on the face of the map. These places are known by the colonising forces and can be sought out easily. It is clear that not every placename can be mapped on one document but the absence of placenames shows that they are either not known or unimportant to the makers of the map and their political interests. In contrast to English maps of Ireland, Portuguese cartographers had an economic reason to map the western coast of Ireland in more detail. While the Cotton map only showed Limerick and Galway along the western coast, a Portolani map from 1519 (fig. 1.4) lists twelve to thirteen western coastal names and shows a more accurate geographical representation of the outline of Ireland. This sort of selective mapping of the country shows placenames of importance to traders from the Iberian Peninsula rather than the eastern and southern locations of importance to the English. The difference in English and Iberian philosophies is made clear in the types of names represented by both maps. While the Portuguese mapped coastal names the English were more concerned with towns and the regions under Gaelic and old English control.
14 15

Smyth, Map-Making, Landscapes and Memory, p.21. Ibid, pp.22-23. 16 Ibid, p.23.

21

While Thomas Taylor revolutionized the map of Ireland with his map ‘3 provinces of Ireland described’ produced in 165917 it was his colleague William Petty who would beat him to the publishing press with a ‘modern map’ of Ireland which mapped the whole country and came ‘complete with at least 10,000 placenames’ in 1685.18 While it should be noted that there were ‘complete’ maps of the geographical outline of Ireland conducted previously Petty’s map contains the most placenames.19 It is interesting to see that the term modern accompanies not only the complete mapping of Ireland but also the introduction of anglicized placenames on the map. Petty’s 1685 Hiberniae Delineatio, (fig. 1.5) was a product of the conquest of Ireland and was, as previous maps, imposing an alien language upon the landscape of Ireland. The names which appear on most if not all of the Irish maps up to this point and on future maps are exonyms; a term used to describe placenames rendered in a language that differs to that of the indigenous language.20 These named ‘from without’ places show not only the cultural changes taking place in the country at the time but also the sociopolitical nature of the country. Placenames had begun to be recorded and standardized into the language of the ruling class. This corrupting translation of something as simple as a placename was to have a wider influence on the nation than just the names recorded on maps. As maps had been incorporated into legal systems since the 1540s21 these ‘new’ anglicized spellings of Irish placenames were to become legal names and enter into the collection of official names. The colonial forces in Ireland went a long way to developing a new language of topography for the country which would have an effect on the collection of placenames in the future under the management of the Ordnance Survey. Liam Price has noted how ‘the Down Survey forms of the place-names sometimes became the accepted forms, even in cases where a quite different form had previously been used.’22 It is these accepted forms of
17

Nessa Cronin, The Eye of History: Spatiality and Colonial Cartography in Ireland, (PhD Thesis, NUI Galway, 2007) p.141. 18 Smyth, Map-Making, Landscapes and Memory, p.21. 19 John Norden had compiled three maps of Ireland during his life the first dated 1608 see J. H. Andrews, “John Norden’s Maps of Ireland” in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, Linguistics, Literature, Vol. 100C, No. 5 (2000) pp. 159-206. 20 Peter Jordan, “What is an Endonym? Still a Question After Decades of Standardization” Working paper no. 32, UNGEGN, 25th session (Nairobi: UNGEGN, May 5 – 12, 2009) p.3. 21 Smyth, Map-Making, Landscapes and Memory, p.29. 22 Liam Price, “The Place-Names of the Books of Survey and Distribution and Other Records of the Cromwellian Settlement” The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Vol. 81, No. 2 (1951) p.92.

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placenames which have resonance within the local language and cultural memory; by contesting these names with an official version the local cultural perceptions and ‘sense of place’ is also contested. Prior to William Petty’s mapping of Ireland, maps were drawn for military functions; they were used to plot locations suitable for fortifications. This early period of mapping in Ireland was conducted under John Travers in 1543 when ports and harbours were mapped. This work was continued later by William Cecil.23 While early maps were designed for military needs it was the Down Survey which was to move mapping from the military documents they were to the cultural and sociopolitical documents they have become. The Down Survey was conducted ‘for the purpose of the extensive transfer of lands to which the commonwealth government was committed.’24 William Petty lead this mapping venture and mapped the baronies and townlands of Catholic Ireland excluding Protestant lands and Trinity College Dublin as well as counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon which had been surveyed earlier as part of the Strafford Survey. The areas mapped by Petty and his team go some ways to explaining why his later map of Ireland would contain so many names. The Down Survey recorded a significant number of townlands25 which form ‘an early collection of names’ and ‘provide a most valuable source of information’ for Irish placename research.26 Placenames and the Ordnance Survey The Ordnance Survey27 of Ireland (1824-1846) began not from a desire to map the nation of Ireland but instead the ‘impulse sprang mainly from practical needs.’ 28 One of the main reasons for mapping Ireland in the 19th century was due to political

23 24

Smyth, Map-Making, Landscapes and Memory, pp.30-32. Séan Ó Domhnaill, “The Maps of the Down Survey, Irish Historical Studies, Vol. 3. No. 12 (Sept., 1943) p.381. 25 Gillian Doherty, The Irish Ordnance Survey, History, Culture and Memory, (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2004) p.15 noted that the Down Survey collected 60,000 townland names; according to logainm.ie there are 61,165 recorded townlands in Ireland. Others have rounded this figure up to 62,000. 26 Price, “The Place-Names of the Books of Survey and Distribution” pp.92-93. 27 Henceforth referred to in text as OS. 28 J. H. Andrews, A Paper Landscape: The Ordnance Survey in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2001 2nd ed.) p.11.

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pressure from landowners in relation to ‘problems with taxation’.29 Tax at the time was being calculated based on earlier mapping projects and was viewed as an out of date system by those affected by it. The OS mapping was carried out in cooperation with a valuation of land in each county at the townland level 6-inchs to the mile. It was recommended by a Select Committee in 1824 that this valuation of land was to be carried out at the townland level at the scale of 6-inches to the mile. 30 In preparation for this the Board of Ordnance under order of Thomas Colby directed the Irish civil engineer Richard Griffith to map out the boundaries of civil parishes and townlands across the country as well as conduct the valuation of land 31 which would then be mapped by the OS under the leadership of Colby and later Thomas Larcom.32 While the mapping and valuation of land was of key importance to the OS the collection of placenames carried out under its control is more important within the context of this thesis. The OS was supplied with a number of details on placenames by the boundary department lead by Richard Griffith, who in order to gain a correct valuation of land for the entire country needed to record names which would then have a legal standing.33 The placenames collected by the boundary staff were to form the basis of townland names. The work carried out created the need for new names ‘by breaking up divisions that were too large to be easily valued’ and replaced local terms such as ‘ploughland’, ‘tate’, and ‘ballibo’ with the ‘generic word ‘townland’.34 Generally the sources used for the collection of placenames were of standing in the local community ‘mainly officials, landowners, agents, schoolmasters and Church of Ireland’ clergymen as well as official records were consulted when inquiring locally of a name.35 Older placenames, in English, were maintained in many cases not out of care for the Irish tradition but ‘to facilitate the continued use of old documents in modern legal proceedings.’36

29 30

Doherty, The Irish Ordnance Survey, p.13. Ó Cadhla, Civilizing Ireland, p.18. 31 Doherty, The Irish Ordnance Survey, p.15. 32 Ó Cadhla, Civilizing Ireland, p.18. 33 Andrews, A Paper Landscape, p.119 34 Ibid. 35 Doherty, The Irish Ordnance Survey, p.15 & Andrews, A Paper Landscape, p.120. 36 Andrews, A Paper Landscape, p.119.

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As the mapping work continued the need for an accurate system for placename standardization came to question. While Colby had decided not to issue any direct orders on the matter37 some field officers had begun to enquire whether names should be the ‘original and descriptive Irish name’ or the ‘ one generally spelt’ that was to be written on plans.38 It was Larcom who had the final say as to what names appeared on published maps and while he tended to omit personalised names he was interested in the etymology of placenames.39 To this end he set up a separate branch of the OS to deal with topography and antiquities. This new topographical department cross matched the placenames which had been collected by past surveys and other historical documents which were to be entered into ‘the name-books alongside the modern authorities.’40 Edward O’Reilly an Irish language expert was hired to advise the new department on Irish language elements of placenames, but he died shortly afterwards and was replaced by John O’Donovan who had formally taught Larcom Irish. O’Donovan was required to search all possible spellings of a name and to produce a standard orthography. This is not to say that he was only concerned with the standardizing of placenames. O’Donovan also enquired if he should restore ‘ancient’ names in favour of commonly used names.41 The names which had being collected by the boundary department and later those checked by O’Donovan had been incorporated somewhat into the vernacular by the people. While the work which was carried out in the early days of the valuation of land and OS were true to the legal placenames, as recorded in legal documents; O’Donovan sought to find the anglicization which best reflected the Irish name of an area. While he had set out a number of standard anglicization’s which could be incorporated across the country he also saw the significance of maintaining an alternative Gaelic spelling if the meaning of a name was in danger of corruption.42 The work carried out by O’Donovan and his fellow collectors provide us with the
37 38

Ibid, p.121 Ibid, p.122 39 Ibid. 40 Ibid, p.123 41 Ó Cadhla, Civilizing Ireland, p.219. 42 Andrews, A Paper Landscape, pp.124-125.

25

most extensive placename collection for Ireland ever undertaken. The standardization of placenames was to form a legal basis for placenames that could be used by government departments for everything from taxation to census taking.43 Oral Maps: The Irish Tradition. Placenames have a special place within the Irish topographical tradition. Irish storytellers have always placed significance upon the local importance of placename from oral storytellers to the literary elite of modern Ireland, place had been central to the literary tradition. There are no known early maps in the Irish language and so there are no early cartographic collections of placenames in the Irish language. The Irish language has no traditional word for map, the modern word ‘mapa’ being an Irish term for the English word.44 Maps were mental images connected by landmarks in the landscape and topographical descriptions maintained in placenames. The ancient tradition of Dinnseanchas, and the connection of the physical environs with place-lore can be found from the very early stages of the Irish literary tradition. Oral tales such as the Táin bó Cúailgne, ‘connects various incidents on the journey of the Connacht armies from Cruachan to Cúailgne45 (fig. 1.6) with the names of places as they were known in the Gaelic past.’46 Dinnseanchas is an Irish term which relates to ‘lore of places’ as found in early manuscripts, which in turn is collected material from the oral Gaelic tradition. In the Irish tradition, from the earliest literature down to the oral literature of the Gaeltacht today, Dinnseanchas, topography, the lore of placenames, or as it were the ‘skill to read the manuscript of the landscape’ is of fundamental importance.47 This fundamental knowledge which can be extracted from ‘the manuscript of the landscape’ is preserved deep within the local placenames of the country and curated

43 44

Ibid, p.125. Ó Cadhla, Civilising Ireland, p.13. 45 Thomas Kinsella (tranls.), The Táin, (London: Oxford University Press, 1970) pp.63-65. 46 Seamus Heaney, “The Sense of Place”, in Preoccupations: Selected Prose 1968-1978, (London: Faber and Faber, 1984, 2nd ed.) p.131. 47 Gearóid Denvir, “From Inish Fraoigh to Innisfree...and Back Again? Sense of Place in Poetry in Irish since 1950” in The Yearbook of English Studies, Vol. 35, Irish Writing since 1950, (2005) p.108.

26

over by the people of individual communities. The placenames do not always come out the stories collected by storytellers, but vice versa, in Ireland place-names were an obvious stimulus to the creation of ballad text [...they] could form the starting-point of a distinctive version of a story or poem. A story thus created [...] would seek to give meaning to, or derive some meaning from, a toponym or set of toponyms.48 It is this search for a story from placenames which gives rise to the local importance and sense of place which comes from a specific geographical location. There is a deep sense of the ‘home place’ in Irish tradition; people who move away from rural areas to urban centres are rarely connected to the place they live and work but rather are from one area and living in another.49 This rooted idea of ‘home’ stems from the long tradition of ‘sense of place’ which is found in Dinnseanchas. In turn it is this tradition which gives us the earliest uses for placenames, and the connection of people with the physical environment in which they reside; which lives on in the literature of Irish poets and writers. The works of James Joyce are deeply rooted in a historical and modern Dinnseanchas of the streets of Dublin city.50 English language poets such as Seamus Heaney and Patrick Kavanagh are inspired by the close working nature between man and land and produce a ‘marvellous or a magical view of the world’.51 The connection between the land and people and the idea of sense of place in placenames can be seen more clearly though the poetry of Irish language poets such as Seán Ó Ríordáin and Nuala Ní Dhomhanill who in her poem I mBaile an tSléibhe ‘identifies with the places and the

48

Donald E. Meek, “Place-names and Literature: Evidence from the Gaelic Ballads” in Taylor, Simon (ed.) The Uses of Placenames, (Edinburgh: Scottish Cultural Press, 1998) pp.149-150. 49 Seán Ó Tuama, “Stability and Ambivalence: aspects of the sense of place and Religion in Irish Literature” in Lee, Joseph (ed.), Ireland: Towards A Sense of Place – The UCC-RTE Lectures (Cork: Cork University Press 1985) p.22. 50 “in Ulysses, Joyce’s retelling of the Homeric epic, the protagonists continually walk from place to place in and around Dublin. In such perambulations, particular places are linked independently of any determined path. in Edward S. Curry, Getting Back into Place – Towards a Renewed Understanding of the Place-World (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993) p.276. 51 Heaney, “The Sense of Place” p. 133.

27

flora of her ancestral district and moves [...] from personal and family involvement to awareness of the folklore [...] associated with [the] placenames.52 This connection with physical places through the inclusion of placenames is nearly always linked with the narrator finding their true self. For poets such as Ní Dhomhanill and Ó Ríordáín the knowledge of the placenames of their childhood lets them connect with their people and past traditions. While this is done in a literary sense many people feel a deep connection with their ancestors through the knowledge of the placenames and the places where they lived.53 Many people have deep feelings about the names of their places of birth or their ancestor’s places of birth.54 Conclusion The historical collection of official placenames in Ireland has been intrinsically linked to the mapping of the land for military or government use. While early placenames were recorded by international geographers such as Ptolemy who were interested in mapping the known world, later maps were used for military, social, cultural, private, public, economic and other purposes. The collected names represented not only what was known of the country but also what was important to the cartographer and the map patron. The Portolani maps from southern Europe note the costal features of Ireland and its placenames, which were important for trading and later military purposes. The English maps from the same period are concerned only with British coastal waters and Norman and Gaelic strongholds within Ireland. The blankness of the west coast is only broken by the major trading ports already recorded by other European maps. After the Tudor re-conquest in the 1550s, the Plantation of Munster c.1570s and Ulster in 1609 the need for detailed maps and placenames became more important. It is the division of lands that drove the official naming of places in Ireland. In order for documents of conquest to be legal they needed some way of naming the landscape
52

Seán Ó Tuama, Repossessions: Selected Essays on the Irish Literary Heritage, (Cork: Cork University Press, 1995). p.252. 53 In a guide to genealogy research Fáilte Ireland suggest that ‘The ultimate experience is to walk the ground once familiar [to one’s ancestors], to look out on the world from their homestead and try to see it though their eyes.” – Fáilte Ireland © “Walking the Ground” in Tracing Your Ancestors in Ireland, (Dublin, Fáilte Ireland, ND) p.18. 54 Randall, Place Names, p.3.

28

which was then divided. These divisions would then form a legal network of Irish placenames which could be used in documentation for administration purposes. Using placenames for administration purposes influenced the collection of placenames across the country and in turn lead to the modern philosophy regarding Irish placenames. The OS recorded the division of townlands which could be monitored for taxation and other local administration needs. Patrick Duffy has noted that the ‘names on places are an essential part of placeness’55 it is for this reason that the townland ‘has been the cornerstone of landscape studies by geographers and historians for many years.56 This study of townland placenames can provide a macro-cultural image of a community while the study of minor local placenames; the names of farms, fields, gardens, ponds and smaller coastal names can lead to the development of a microcultural image that delves into the heart of a community. Much like the empty space left unnamed on a map the named and unnamed areas of a townland can show elements of living and working the land which are culturally important to the lives of small communities. These minor names are the names which are closely related to place-lore of the early Irish oral tradition and provide a sense of place for the individual within the community.

55

Patrick Duffy, “Unwritten Landscapes: Reflections on Minor Place-names and Sense of Place in the Irish Countryside” in Clarke, Howard, Prunty, Jacinta and Hennessy, Mark (eds.) Surveying Irelands Past: Multidisciplinary Essays in Honour of Anngret Simms, (Dublin, Geography Publications, 2004) p.694. 56 Ibid.

29

fig 1.1. Ptolemy’s Map of Ireland: Bologna (1472) and Rome, (1490), reproduced from Jonson Westropp, Thomas, “Early Italian Maps of Ireland from 1300 to 1600” p.367.

30

fig. 1.2. Extract from Mappa Mundi showing Ireland in lower left corner reproduced in Evelyn Edson, Mapping Time and Space (1999) plate IV between pp. 116-117. Inset highlight of Ireland

31

fig 1.3. The 'Cotton' 1520's map of Ireland – reproduced from William J. Smyth, Map-Making, Landscape and Memory (2006) plate 1a between pp. 40-41. 32

fig 1.4. Part of the North Atlantic and northwest of Europe as mapped by the Portuguese in 1519 reproduced from William J. Smyth, Map-Making, Landscape and Memory (2006) plate 1b between pp. 40-41.(inset highlight of Ireland)

33

fig. 1.5. Map of Ireland by William Petty, 1685 – reproduced from John Andrews, Ireland in Maps an Introduction, (1961).

34

fig 1.3. Don Farrell “The Route of The Táin “ in Thomas Kinsella (tranls.), The Táin, (London: Oxford University Press 1970) p. xvii.

35

fig 1.7. John Speed’s Map of The Kingdom of Ireland, 1610 - reproduced from John Andrews, Ireland in Maps an Introduction, (1961)

36

Chapter 2
Whispered in the Landscape & Spoken in the Street The Formation of Placename Policy in Ireland.

37

Introduction While placenames are seen as receptacles of the language they also contain a local importance at a community level.1 While there may be a number of local versions of a name in use within the living community which are used within everyday communication between the inhabitants of the area defined by a placename there is an external need for a standardized name. These standardized names not only function as a locational tool which can be displayed on maps and other geographical documents, but also forms an authorized name that is used in legal documents which are used for land transfer and court proceedings.2 This chapter will outline the details of the government Acts which effect placenames in Ireland. By looking at the different Acts relating to the changing of placenames from 1946 to 2001 and the Acts from 1973 and 2003 which standardized the Irish forms of placenames this chapter aims to highlight the conflict created between these Acts. There are a number of official bodies which have developed the use of placnames such as the Ordnance Survey3, who recorded and standardized names in the early 19th century and the post office service which developed its own standardization for postal town names from the same period. As the recording of placenames has been dealt with in chapter one, the placenames used by the postal service and how this has influenced the local perception of correct placenames is discussed here along with the work of the Placenames Commission4. Following this, the regulations for changing of placenames and the implementation of the Official Languages Act, 2003 will be examined. While there is an acceptance that there needs to be a standardized placename for legal purposes, there is also a need to acknowledge the local importance of placenames within a community. In order to show how the Irish policy could be altered the comparable policy of Norway has been consulted, which shows how a country can legislate for standardized placenames while still catering for a
1

‘Land and place are made up of language as much as, if not more than, they are made of earth and buildings’ Patrick Duffy, “Unwritten Landscapes: Reflections on Minor Place-names and Sense of Place in the Irish Countryside, in Clarke, Howard, Prunty, Jacinta and Hennessy, Mark (eds.) Surveying Irelands Past: Multidisciplinary Essays in Honour of Anngret Simms, (Dublin, Geography Publications, 2004) p 692. 2 Deirdre Walsh, “An Daingean causes chaos in court” Kerryman, 28 July 2005, p.70. 3 Henceforth referred to in text as OS. 4 Henceforth referred to in text as PC.

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multitude of local placenames which have a long standing tradition within an a local area. The Official Placenames of Ireland Along with the OS placenames which were recorded and mapped in the 1800’s there a number of other sources for ‘official’ placenames in the 19th century. The most widely used of these, it could be argued, was the post office names which were standardized by the postal service separately to the OS names recorded during the 6-inch mapping of Ireland. There is no comprehensive history on the subject of the origin of post office names. While discussing the issues of this thesis with Nollaig Ó Muraíle some information has been gathered. The post office names were established before the collection of placenames by the OS and represent a form of names used locally within a community. The Postal authorities adopted anglicized forms of their own and refused to conform to the revised forms used by the Ordnance Survey on their maps, which were also used in official documents such as the Census and Griffith’s Valuation. The anglicization used by the post offices were quite arbitrary and were, in the main, taken from such sources as landlords’ rent-rolls, tithe applotment books, Grand Jury maps, etc. They did not go through the process of being examined and assessed by John O’Donovan and his colleagues in the OS Topographical Department. The post office was also in the habit of recognising local forms of townland-names which people had begun to use; the result was that people in the same townland might use two or three separate forms for one place.5 An Post’s view on the subject, as explained by Stephen Ferguson, is that the postal service listed the names of places in the 18th century of postal towns noting the local services available. The spelling of these names would be recorded according to spelling forms of the period. In the 19th century, regular guides were published as official list of post office names. Post Independence guides were published in
5

Nollaig Ó Muraíle, interview via e-mail. [Pers. Comm.] 22 June 2011 to 25 July 2011, see appendix 1.4.

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both English and Irish. The post offices did not set out to collect placenames but over time they began to compile lists of the location of postal towns. While the central offices may have liked there to be a standardized spelling for names, the local Post Master and office staff would use local names and spelling which reflected the local pronunciation.6 The names which were used by the post office as the official postal address for a place were the ones most widely used within a local community and so have fed into the local perception of what is the correct name for an area. The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use (PCGN) note, on their website, on the importance of placenames that Geographical names impact upon many areas of life, including business/trade, national statics/census, property rights/cadastre, urban & regional planning [...] maps [...] navigation, tourism and communication (including postal and media services), unlike most other information on a map, it is these names which are the most meaningful information for the user.7 It is the conflict between the varying official placenames in Ireland which causes inconsistency between what is official and what is acknowledged by local communities to be the correct name and what is standardized by the Government as the official name. History of the Placenames Commission In 1946 The Placenames Commission was set up by warrant by the Minister for Finance8 in order to provide authoritative forms of placenames for official and public use.9 Nollaig Ó Muraíle has noted that ‘it is hard to say exactly how much work was done in the starting years, but it is thought that the Commission started listing

6

Stephen Ferguson, Assistant Secretary, An Post, [Pers. Obvs.] transcribed from phone conversation 27 July 2011. 7 PCGN, “The Importance of Placnames” Permanent Committee on Geographical Names, (London: The Royal Geographical Society, 2008) http://www.pcgn.org.uk/Geonames_importance.htm, accessed on 27 July 2011. 8 Official Languages Act, 2003, Part 5, Sec. 31. 9 Government of Ireland, “The Placenames Commission” in Placenames Database of Ireland, http://logainm.ie/Info.aspx?menuItem=commission (online: 2009) accessed on 20 June 2011.

40

townlands, and dividing them by parish, baronies and counties.’10 The Commission was ‘comprised of private scholars of topography representing various areas of the country’11 who were supported by paid staff of the OS. The Commission was disbanded in June of 1948, however work was continued by the research team, and in 1951 the Commission was reformed. ‘After supplying placenames for major national bodies, there was a sharp decline in their work and the Commission discussed their future and their importance with the Education Minister.’12 In 1955, ‘the terms of reference of [the] Commission were amended, making their duties that of advising the Government while leaving the actual research’13 to staff of the OS. The Commission, despite the modification to their functions, continued to provide the authoritative Irish-language forms for post offices. From 1958-1968 the Commission considered the evidence for authoritative placenames and decided on the official Irish language forms of placenames, provisionally publishing the names for consultation.14 While statements on the consultation of placenames in the 1960s has been referenced a number of times by experts during the research of this thesis, there is no public

10

Nollaig Ó Muraíle, Turascáil ar Stair, ar Obair agus ar Acmhainní Bhrainse Logainmneacha Na Suirbhéireachta Ordanáis, (Unpublished, 1989) translated and summarised by Caroline Ní Mhíadaigh from the Irish for this thesis. [original text] Is deacair a rá cén obair go díreach a rinneadh sna blinata tosaigh sin, ach is dócha gur ag an am sin a tosaíodh ag déanamh liostaí de bhailte fearainn na tire (c.62,000 díobh ar fad) agus iad roinnte de réir paróití dlí (c.2,420 díobh sin), barúntachtaí (334) agus contaetha. 11 . Art Ó Maolfabhail, “The Background and Present Role of the Placenames Branch of the Ordnance Survey” in Art Ó Maolfabhail (ed.), The Placenames of Ireland in the Third Millennium – the proceedings of a seminar 28th February 1992, (Dublin: Ordnance Survey and The Placenames Commission 1992), p.19. 12 Ó Muraíle, Turascáil ar Stair, ar Obair agus ar Acmhainní Bhrainse Logainmneacha Na Suirbhéireachta Ordanáis, (Unpublished, 1989) translated and summarised by Caroline Ní Mhíadaigh from the Irish for this thesis. [original text] Cuireadh deireadh leis an gcéad chaibidil i stair an Choimisiún nuair a cuair ar fionraí é ar 3 Meitheamh 1948 – cé gur cosúil gur lean an fhoireann taighde ar aghaidh ag obair! (De réir an teanchais, ba é géarchéim airgeadis na linne faoi ndeara an cinneadh sin ag an gcéad chomrialtas.) Cuireaadh an Coimisiún i mbun oibre arís ag deireadh nab liana 1951 [...] In éineacht leis an taighde ar ainmeacha na mbailte poist agus le bailiú fianaise sna contaetha thuasluaite, sholathair an fhoireann foirmeach Gaeilge do logaimneacha do dhreamanna éagsúla mar Bhord Fáilte, An Roinn Poist agus Teilegrafa, Rannóg an Aistriúcháin, Foireann an Fhoclóra, Bord na Móna, An Roinn Oideachais (.i ainmneacha scoileanna nua), agus eile. [...] Phléogh toscaireacht ón gCoimisiún todhchaí na foirne leis an Aire Oideachais, An Ginerál Ristread Ó Maolchanta, i mí lúil 1955 agus – de réir litreach a seoladh chuig An Seabhac mar Chathaoirleach an Choimisiún Logainmneacha, 30 lúil 1955 – is é an cinneadh a dtángthas air gurb é an rud b’oiriúnai a dhéanamh ná cúram na hobire a chur ar Rannóg ar Leith san Óifig Suirbhé Órdanáis foai stiúrthóir oilte a mbeadh foirean sheasta foai agus an Rannóg a bheith ag gníomhú foai chomhairle an Choimisiún. 13 Ó Maolfabhail, “The Background and Present Role of the Placenames Branch of the Ordnance Survey” p.19. 14 Ibid, p.21.

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records of such consultation at a local level within the national media.15 In 1969 a definitive list of post office names was published for Ireland based on the research carried out by the OS and PC. The Commission is also charged with the promotion of placename study through the research of the Placenames Branch.16 The PB is the research department of the Commission and undertakes all ‘research in order to establish the correct Irish language from of the placenames of Ireland’. 17 The Commission then publishes the works of the PB, some of this working has been made available online through the Placenames Database of Ireland www.logainm.ie. The modern PB has its origins within the topographical department of the OS, founded by Thomas Larcom. It is from the research carried out by the PB that the Commission deliberates on authoritative placenames. A number of conflicts regarding placename have arisen due to the conflicting official views of correct placenames between the OS and the postal service. Given that the PB is a division of the OS, their work on post office names for the PC, seems to be a conflict of interest. The official postal names were researched by the PB and published in 1969 for the Commission and standardized by statute in 197518. While the post office continued to use their version of placenames up to and after this point. While the PC is the authority on the authoritative forms of placnames in Ireland, their work is academic in nature and on a number of minor occasions19 has been challenged by the public who see the Irish language name imposed as being erroneous. It should be noted that many Irish language names were decided upon in the 1960s by the PC prior to The Place-Names (Irish Forms) Act, 1973 for use as post office names. The need for such an act was proposed by the Commission while conducting work on Post Office names in the 1960s.
15

Ó Maolfabhail “The Background and Present Role of the Placenames Branch of the Ordnance Survey” and Ó Muraíle Turascáil ar Stair, ar Obair agus ar Acmhainní Bhrainse Logainmneacha Na Suirbhéireachta Ordanáis, (Unpublished, 1989) have both noted that consultation on names was conducted, however no record of such consultation could be found relating to Post Office names in the 1950s or 1960s. 16 Henceforth referred to in text as PB. 17 Government of Ireland, “The Placenames Branch” in Placenames Database of Ireland, http://logainm.ie/Info.aspx?menuItem=branch , accessed 13 August 2011. 18 I.R. Uimh. 113/1975 – An tOrdú Logainmnaeacha (Foirmeacha Gaeilge) (Uimh. 1) (Postbhailte) 1975. 19 “Name’s the same – with a difference” The Irish Times, 26 0April, 1969, p.14; Seán MacAodhagáin, “What’s in a Name?” Connaught Telegraph, 05 December 2001, p.42.

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Placenames Acts in Ireland The following is a list of identified Acts with affect Irish placename policy Year 1847 Names of Act Details of Act

Town Improvements Clauses Act Sec. 64 – Houses to be numbered and 1847 streets named

1907

Public Health Acts Amendments Sec. 21 – Power to alter names of 1907 streets Part V Sec.76-79 – Changing of names Sec. 53 – Amendments of Sections 7679 Act of 1946

1946 1955

Local Government Act 1946 Local Government Act 1955

1973

Place-Names Act (Irish Form)

Authorised place-names in the Irish language

1994

Local Government Act 1994

Sec. 64 – Amendments of Sections 7679 Act of 1946

2001

Local Government Act 2001

Part 18, Sec. 118-197 – Changing of Placenames – Revokes Act of 1946

2003

Official Languages Act 2003

Part 5 Sec. 31-35 – Official from of Irish names and Gaeltacht names. Revokes Act of 1973

Draft 2010

Local

Government Authority

(Mayor of

and Sec.

188-193

Changes

to

Regional Bill.2010

Dublin) Placenames

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Placename policy within Ireland is fractured20 between different Government departments and regulated by the Local Government Act 1946 (as amended, 1955, 1994) and the Official Languages Act 2003. Views on the ‘correct’ local name of places have also in the past been fractured between different government bodies which leads to confusion and frustration arises when new Acts are passed in order to correct these ‘mistakes’. While some of the official name-changes appear to be orthographic corrections to names21 standardized by the OS during the 6-inch mapping project; others promote an anglicised version of names over the Irishlanguage version.22 Early legislation on the policy of displaying street names is found in British legislation which formally applied to Ireland, and which is still in force today in the UK. The Towns Improvement Clauses Act 1847 outlines the details for naming streets.23 Where town Commissioners were required to ‘put up or [paint] on a conspicuous part of some house, building, or place at or near each end, corner, or entrance of every such street the name by which such street is to be known.’ 24 The Public Health Acts Amendments Act 1907 gave further power to the Commissioners to alter names of streets. Section 21 of the Act stated that The local authority may, with the consent of two-thirds in number and value of the ratepayers in any street, alter the name of such street – or any part of such street. The local authority may cause the name of any street or of any part of any street to be painted or otherwise marked on a conspicuous part of any building or other erection.25 These regulations allowed for the changing of placenames prior to and after the formation of the Irish Free State. During the time these Acts were in force a number

20

Leachlainn Ó Catháin, “Some Thoughts on Placenames and the Law” in Ó Maolfabhail (ed.) The Placenames of Ireland in the Third Millennium, p.71 noted that ‘the law of placenames...has not been refined to any extent by Statute or otherwise. 21 S.I. No. 300.1971 Local Government (Change of Name of Townland) Order, 1971. 22 S.I. No. 200/1971 Local Government (Change of Name of Urban District) Order, 1971; S.I. No. 156/1993 Local Government (Change of Name of Urban District) Order, 1993. 23 The Towns Improvement Clauses Act, 1847, Sec. 64. 24 Ibid. 25 The Public Health Act Amendment Act 1907, Sec. 21.

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of names were changed by local authorities to suit a more nationalist view point. 26 After the formation of the Irish Free State the British Government were contacted by the American Ambassador to ‘request information as to whether His Majesty’s Government [had] officially recognised the use of the name “Cobh” for Queenstown.’27 This sparked The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names (PCGN) to contact the Irish Free State Government and request information on changes to placenames which had taken place since the formation of the Free State. 28 Mr. Healy the Governor General responded to the PCGN noting that the power to change placnames was exercised by a number of Urban District Councils ‘some years ago (with consent of the) County Councils. The names “Cobh” for Queenstown, “Dun Laoghaire” for Kingstown, “Ceannanus Mor” for Kells and “Baile na hUaimhe” for Navan were official adopted.29 On December 18th 1923 the Irish Government were informed that the PCGN had adopted the names Cobh, Dun Laoaghaire, Ceannanus Mor, and Baile na hUaimhe.30 Catherine Nash commenting on changes to placenames noted that Even before independence, the introduction of local government to Ireland in 1898 had allowed some urban local authorities to introduce placename policies in sympathy with Irish cultural nationalism. The Dublin Corporation, faced with ’24 names of kings, queens and their families, 56 Lord lieutenants, 96 nobles and other owners of property, various official and celebrated persons, erected bilingual street nameplates in the 1900’s and the names Offaly, Port Laois and Dún Laogharie were in use before they were officially sanctioned by the Free State.31

26

The names “Cobh” for Queenstown, “Dun Laoghaire” for Kingstown, “Ceannanus Mor” for Kells and “Baile na hUaimhe” for Navan were officially adopted by Urban Councils under British Laws noted in footnote 23 and 25. 27 Letter from American Ambassador to British Government No. 1074, October 23, 1923. records of the PCGN. 28 Dispatch No. 647. records of PCGN 29 F. 393. Despatch no. 337, records of PCGN. 30 Letter dated December 18th, 1923 from Assistant to the PCGN (unsigned) records of PCGN. 31 Catherine Nash, “Irish Placenames: Post-colonial Locations” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, New Series, Vol. 24. No. 4, (1999) p. 462.

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The first Irish Government regulation to legislate for this changing of placenames was the Local Government Act, 1946. The reserved function32 outlined in Sections 76-79 gave local authorities the power to change the name of an urban district, town, townland or non-municipal town, streets and localities.33 In order to change a name, the council, as well as four-sevenths of the ratepayers was required to consent to a proposed change. Applications for name changes were made to the Minister for Finance and if passed came into effect on the 1 st of January following a six month period.34 Changed names replaced the legal standing of previous names and incorporated all ‘rights and obligations of any authority or person and did not render defective any legal proceedings.’35 In 1955 the 1946 Act was amended under the Local Government Act, 1955,36 where councils were given permission to compile a list of ratepayers for their administrative areas. This list would record the ratepayers entitled to vote on any name changes. Other issues addressed by the amendment dealt with wording and definition issues. Later the Local Government Act, 1994 further amended the Act with regard to wording. 37 The term ‘ratepayer’ was replaced by ‘qualified electors’ defined as registered as a local government elector in the register of local government electors for the time being in force; or ‘not being so registered is the rated occupier of a hereditament other than a hereditament the valuation of which attracts an allowance equal to full abatement of rates pursuant to section 3 of the Local Government (Financial Provisions) Act, 1978.38

32

defined by the County Management Act, 1940 Sec. 16(1) Neither the council of a county nor any elective body shall directly exercise or perform any power, (other than a power which is vested by law (including this Act) in such council or body and is by this Act expressly made exercisable by resolution of such council or body), function, or duty of such council or body in relation to the officers or servants of such council or body, or the control, supervision, service, remuneration, privileges, or superannuation of such officers or servants or any of them. 33 Local Government Act, 1946 Sec. 76-79. 34 For example if a placename change was granted in August 2010, six months from that date would fall in February 2011 the placenames change would not come into effect until 1 st of January 2012. 35 Local Government Act, 1946, Sec. 76 (9) 36 Local Government Act, 1955, Sec. 53. 37 Local Government Act, 1994, Sec. 67. 38 Ibid, Sec. 67(2) parts (a) and (b).

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Under these regulations referred to as Local Government Act, 1946, Sec. 76-79 as amended by Local Government Act 1955, Sec. 67 as amended by Local Government Act, 1994 section 67 eight statutory instruments were passed regarding name changes. These eight statutory instruments occurred in the 1950s (3), 1970s (4) and 1993 (1). A number of placenames changes which were implemented before the Local Government Act, 1946 were proposed as part of mental decolonizing of Ireland which appeared in the years before and after 1922.39 While the PCGN were interested in the changes of names ‘with a view to the preparation of authoritative lists of placenames for official British use’40 not all of these Irish names were accepted by local communities. In a letter to the editor of the Meath Chronicle it was noted that the Irish name An Uaimh was never accepted as the true name of the area. 41 It was noted that the error in the naming came not from the Irish language but from O’Donovan and Joyce’s derivation of the name. The Irish language, it must be pointed out, is nothing if not precise, and we can be certain of one thing – that when the township was first named it got the most appropriate name from our Gaelic forbears. As there is not a scintilla of evidence that any cave ever existed there this name could not have been An Uaimh.42 It should be noted that there is substantial documentation on the names Navan and An Uaimh available on the Placename Branch website,43 where the first scanned name card has a bold printed Navan in the top left corner.44 (fig.2.1). The Urban Council sought to instate an Irish name over the form of the placename that was in common use and would prove to have more of a local resonance within the region. The issue of Navan-An Uaimh was one of the first placename conflicts raised in the Dáil in 1968

39 40

Nash, “Irish Placenames: Post-colonial Locations” p. 462. Ó Maolfabhail, “The Background and Present Role of the Placenames Branch of the Ordnance Survey” p.18. 41 “An Uaimh Never Accepted” Meath Chronicle, 24 January 1970, p.10. 42 Ibid. 43 Government of Ireland, “Scanned Records” online http://www.logainm.ie/37598.aspx, 2009. accessed 20 July 2011 44 There is no date for these records, however they are part of the records of the Placenames Branch and relate to work carried out for the Placenames Commission, possibly carried out in the 1950s – 1960s in relation to post office names.

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when Labour TD Jim Tully asked Erskine Childers, Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he was aware that nobody calls it An Uaimh but that is the name on official correspondence and it is in the telephone directory as An Uaimh? He pointed out that people who ring from across the water have considerable difficulty in finding out where the place is.45 Since the name change was passed before the 1946 regulation,46 and only really came to light in relation to the use of the official name in the telephone and postal directories, the local authority had to legally hold a plebiscite to change the name back to the commonly used Navan. Local interest in the issue only arose when the official name was included in official printed documents which the local community used on a daily basis such as the telegraphs directory. Under the Local Government Act, 200147 the power to change placenames was changed and the 1946 Act was to be revoked.48 Part 18 of the 2001 Act dealt now with the new regulations for the ‘Changing of Names of Areas and Display of Names of Streets’.49 Under this section the local authority may by a vote of ‘at least one-half’ make a proposal to change a name. A public notice of such should be published as well providing for consultation with prescribed persons50. The local authority must then vote again on any proposed changes to the name in order to proceed ‘a vote of one-half of the total number of members must be reached’.51 A plebiscite can then be held where a majority of the qualified electors consent to the name change. The Cathaoirleach of the local authority can then make a declaration to the Minister who

45 46

Michael Parsons, “What’s in a name?” The Irish Times, 15 August 2008, p.17. No exact date has been given for the name change although it is noted in a list of names which were changed by Urban Councils in 1923 in a letter to the PCGN see footnote 30 above. 47 Local Government Act, 2001, Part 18. 48 Local Government Act, 2001, Part 1 Sec. 1(2). Under this motion the Local Government Acts from 1925-2001 were amalgamated as Local Government Acts, 1925-2001. 49 Local Government Act, 2001, Part 18. 50 prescribed persons are a group of preselected persons who must be informed of any proposed changes made under a Government Act, They are generally people who are seen to have in an interest in the proposed change. In the case of a placename change the prescribed persons are outlined in S.I No. 126/1949 – Local Government (Changing of Place Names) Regulations, 1949, Sec. 3. and later S.I. No. 31/1956 Local Government (Changing of Place Names) Regulations, 1956, Sec. 4. 51 Local Government Act, 2001, Part 18, Sec. 189(1)-189(3).

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has the right to pass or reject any proposal.52 The 2001 Act is the most recent Local Government regulation regarding placenames; however to date Part 18 of this act has not been enforced and the 1946 regulations are still in force.53 An attempt at Moving Forward – Slipping in the New Legislation Former Minister for the Environment, John Gormley proposed to include legislation amending the Local Government Act, 2001, Part 18 within legislation for the Local Government (Mayor and Regional Authority of Dublin) Bill 2010.54 The object of this Act was to correct the issues which lead to the questions over the legal status of the plebiscite by the people of Dingle town. The people of Dingle were angered when the Official Languages Act, 2003 legislated for the changing of the anglicized name Dingle to the Irish form An Daingean.55 Kerry county council decided to exercise their right to hold a plebiscite on the change of the name An Daingean to a bi-lingual form of Dingle-Daingean Uí Chúis under the Local Government Act, 1946. However the legal issues arose between this Act and the Official Languages Act and new legislation was needed to rectify issues arising from the plebiscite which was legal under the 1946 legislation. While most of the regulations in the new bill are to remain the same as the 2001 Act; Part 18 Section 189(3) was to propose that any proposed name ‘shall specify the proposed Irish and English language version of the placename.56 A second option was also included which allowed for the local authority to ‘specify that the Irish language version only of a placename shall be the [official] placename version.’57 The changes proposed by Minister Gormley were a step in the right direction, however due to the downfall of the Finna Fail/Green coalition Government the Bill
52 53

Local Government Act, 2001, Part 18, Sec. 189(5). Veronica Healy Department of Environment, Community and Local Government – “This part of the Act was never commenced. However, as it is relevant to the resolution of the Dingle/An Daingean placename controversy legislation is being prepared at the moment on the issue and is to be included in other legislation sponsored by this Department at the earliest possible date and should be in place by the Autumn, if not before.” [Pers. Comm.] via e-mail 30 May2011. 54 Extract of the General Scheme of the Local Government (Mayor and Regional Authority of Dublin) Bill 2010 has been provided by Veronica Healy of the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, see appendix. 2.5 55 See discussion in chapter 3 on The Dingle – An Daingean Wrangle. 56 Local Government (Mayor and Regional Authority of Dublin) Bill 2010 Part 18, Sec. 189(3). 57 Ibid Sec. 189(4).

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was never implemented in this form and to date has not been enacted. Under the general provisions of this proposed amendment ‘a local authority [is required to] give due regard to local and indigenous traditions in the development of any proposal for the changing of a name.’58 This proposal which Veronica Healy, has noted will be implemented before the Autumn of 2011,59 will supersede any ‘declarations under Part 5 of the Official Languages Act 2003.’60 Tying the Language to Placenames The Irish language is one of the most important cultural elements of the nation of Ireland. It has been noted as one of the oldest languages in Europe and is (constituently) an official language of the state as set out by Article 8 of the Constitution of Ireland 1937.61 While the Irish-language version of the Irish Constitution has legal precedence over the English-language version the same cannot be said for placenames in Ireland. Although no official act existed on the matter it was long held that the standard placenames recognized for legal purposes are for the majority anglicized placenames as set out by the OS.62 Dónall Mac Giolla Easpaig, speaking to UNGEGN noted that the names standardized by the OS were adopted for official use and that Irish placnames were introduced, often in [an] ad hoc manner, and were used in official business, in signing and in schools. Despite their widespread use, however, Irish forms of placenames, with few exceptions, did not have any legal status.63

58 59

Ibid Sec. 192(4). Veronica Healy Department of Environment, Community and Local Government [Pers. Comm.] via e-mail 30 May2011. 60 Local Government (Mayor and Regional Authority of Dublin) Bill 2010 Part 18, Sec. 192(6). 61 Bunreacht Na hÉireann – Constitution of Ireland, 1937. 62 Local Government Bill 1945 – Committee Resumed, Seanad Éireann Debate, Vol. 32. No. 4. 4 July, 1946 p.7. Sen. Pádraig Ó Shochfhradha noted during the debates on the Local Government Bill 1945 (Act, 1946) ‘I know that the English, anglicised, or bowdlerised forms of these place names are the official names. I know they are the legal ones. I know that that situation has existed for ages past. I also know that nobody—whether ratepayer or other inhabitant of these places— was ever asked whether he liked the name in that form or not’. 63 Dónall Mac Giolla Easpaig, “Reports of the Divisions – Report of Ireland” Working Paper 68, UNGEGN, 22nd Session (New York, 20-29 April, 2004).

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The Place-Names (Irish Forms) Act 1973 was passed to regulate the Irish version of names for provinces, counties, cities, towns, villages, baronies, parishes, townlands, territorial features, districts, regions and places shown on OS maps.64 The power to legislate under this Act was reserved for the Minister for Finance. The Minister had the power to issue or revoke ‘place-name orders’ on advice from the PC.65 This Act was the only governmental regulation on the management of Irish-language placenames from 1973. Placename Orders under the 1973 Act only gave an official Irish version of the placenames but did not legislate if the Irish-language version was to have precedence over the English-language version.66 The Official Languages Act, 2003 revoked the Place-Names (Irish Forms) Act 1973.67 This new Act gave the Irish version of placenames a legal standing for government use and on road signs and OS maps. The Act also meant that in the case of an Irish placename order for a Gaeltacht68 region the Irish-language name would supersede the English placename for that region.69 The Official Languages Act was drawn up by the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív, and covered details of how the Government were to implement the Irish language in its daily work. The Placename Policy of Other Countries While there is great merit in promoting the cultural heritage of the Irish language, placenames hold much more information than the linguistic history of the names.70 Ireland is a member of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographic Names (UNGEGN) and as such engages with other nations on the research and management of placenames.

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Place-Names (Irish Forms) Act, 1973, Sec. 1. An order made to change the name of a place by the Minister, which must be laid before each house of the Oireachtas in order to be passed. Place-Names (Irish Forms) Act, 1973, Sec. 2(1) – 2(2). 66 I.R. Uimh. 133/1975 - An tOrdú Logainmneacha (Foirmeach Gaeilge) (Uimh. 1) (Postbhailte) 1975. 67 Official Languages Act, 2003, Part 5. Sec. 35. 68 primarily Irish speaking region. 69 Official Languages Act, 2003, Part 5, Sec. 33(2). 70 Nicola Whyte, Inhabiting the Landscape: Place, Custom and Memory, 1500-1800, (Oxford: Oxbow Books 2009) p.135.

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The Norwegian Placename Policy By looking at other countries experience it is possible to see how traditional and local names can be incorporated into the study of Irish placenames while still paying attention to the linguistic value of the names. Due to the scope of this thesis, comparison will be limited to the Norwegian placename policy, as this country experienced similar language change by its administrative bodies as Ireland did during the colonial period. Ferjean Ormeling writes that in Norway ‘from 1550, the administration was carried out by Danish civil-servants. Norwegian was ousted by Danish as the writtenlanguage and the official language became sort of Norse-pronounced Danish, interspersed with Norwegian and Low-German.’71 In 1850 a new standard (official) Norwegian language was constructed and both languages, the standardized Norwegian and old Norse-Danish, were used within the country.72 As such the Norwegian regulation regarding placenames can provide an insight into how Ireland could manage the traditional local elements of its placenames. Norwegian placename policy is similar in a number of ways to the Irish policies. The Standardization of placenames begun in 1879 by the national mapping authority and later the spelling rules for placenames were decided upon by the government in 1917.73 The Lov om stadnamn74 (Law on Placenames) first accepted by parliament in 1990 and enacted in 1991 was later amended in 200675. The Act deals with the spelling of the three languages used in Norway: Norwegian (as standardised in 1850), Saami, and Kvenish (Baltic-Finnish).76 As in Ireland, names recommended by The Norwegian Mapping and Cadastre Authority (Statens kartverk) and the Norwegian
71

Ferjan Ormeling, Minority Toponyms On Maps: The Rendering of Linguistic Minority Toponyms on Topographic Maps of Western Europe, (Utrecht: Department of Geography, University of Utrecht 1983) p.154. 72 Ibid. 73 Boltov Helleland, “Commercial and Private Influence on the Standardization and User of PlaceNames” Working Paper No. 73, UNGEGN 26th session, (Vienna, UNGEGN, 2-6 May 2011), p.2. 74 LOV 1990-05-18 nr 11: Lov om stadnamn, published online in Norwegian http://www.lovdata.no/all/hl-19900518-011.html. accessed 07 July 2011, summarised in English by Botolv Helleland and Terje Larson, “Revision of the Norwegian Place-Names Act” Working Paper No. 86, UNGEGN, 23rd session, (Vienna: UNGEGN, 28 March – 4 April 2006). 75 Helleland, “Commercial and Private Influence on the Standardization and User of Place-Names”, p.2. 76 Helleland and Larson, “Revision of the Norwegian Place-Names Act” p.2.

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Language Council (Språkrådet) are to be used by public bodies for official purposes. Prior to the Act being enforced, many of the names did not have a legal standing and due to conflicts with other laws several cases were brought to the Norwegian Supreme Court in the 1960s regarding the use of names.77 A decision was made during the drawing up of the Act in 1990 for standardization of names that the ‘most important reason [for the Act] was of a legal and not linguistic kind’.78 This allowed the legal aspect to be at the forefront of the Law. The Irish regulation ties the linguistic and the legal elements together causing problems when local issues are raised. In Norway legal issues arising from the standardisation of names resulted in a thirty year wait between the suggestions for the first regulations on the standardisation of names and the enactment of the Lov om stadnamn. Before the Place-Names Act was passed the spelling of place-names was laid down on the ground of special Regulations issued by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. However, as these had no support by law it turned out that they sometimes collided with the view of single holding owners whose interests were protected by the cadastral law.79 The conflict between these two acts came from the local view on the placenames, as recorded by the cadastral law, compared to standardized spellings proposed by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. If the Ministry had consulted the cadastral names or the landowners prior to standardizing the spellings then the lengthy wait between the proposal and enactment of the law may have not occurred. It was noted by Botolv Helleland in hindsight and as a warning to other countries that The procedure in place-name cases is extremely time-consuming and demanding in terms of resources. Consideration ought to be given to amendments that may simplify this, and that will make the rules clearer and thus more accessible to all

77 78

Ibid. Boltov Helleland “Place-name care and place-name standardization in Norway” Eighth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names, (Berlin: UNGEGN 27 August – 5 September 2002) p.2. 79 Helleland and Larson, “Revision of the Norwegian Place-Names Act” Working Paper No. 86, (Vienna: UNGEGN, 23rd session, 28 March – 4 April 2006). p.2.

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who are to practice them, at the same time as the democratic and onomastic aspects are safeguarded.80 With regards to this amendments to the Lov om stadnamn were made to ‘safeguard place-names as cultural monuments’ as well as ‘to determine spelling which is practical and useable and to promote knowledge and active use of the names.’ 81 When compared to the Irish Act all three points highlighted in the Norwegian regulations are of importance. Firstly, the recognition of placenames as cultural entities is placed at the forefront of the definition of the Act. Secondly the practical and useable nature of names is promoted as well an acknowledgment that names must be promoted if there are to be used. An interesting aspect amendment to the Lov om stadnamn is one which allows for the local land owners view on their farm name82 ‘during the standardization process there is a hearing so local parties can present their views before a spelling is determined. When the name of a farm or a part of a farm is in question, the owner’s view should be respected as long as it does not go against the main spelling regulations. It should be noted that the Norwegian law does allow for the replacement of names for a traditional name. No name may be adopted unless it had a tradition in the area.83 Spelling of names in Norway is more complementary to local traditional elements of a name than the Irish tradition. In Ireland historical spellings of names are sometimes imposed over names that have a perceived local value. In Norway names are to be spelt according to the ‘inherited local spoken form of the name’ and ‘two or more written forms of the same name may be laid down as equally valid if [among other

80 81

Ibid, p.3. Ibid, p.4. 82 Farm-names in Norway are important part of the Onomastic heritage; these names not only provide the names of places but have also provided many Norwegian family surnames. for example see Karin Christensen, “A Name Can Be “Carried” Across in an Unusual Way” http://www.nordicancestry.com/index_files/NV.htm accessed 12 August 2011; Karin Christensen, “Far Names are Important in Norwegian Research” http://www.nordicancestry.com/index_files/NV.htm accessed 12 August 2011; Elaine E. Hasleton, “Farm Names in Norwegian Research” http://www.nordicancestry.com/index_files/NV.htm accessed 12 August 2011. 83 Helleland and Larson, “Revision of the Norwegian Place-Names Act”,p.5.

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reasons] two or several written forms of that name are well established by tradition and there is strong local interest in two or more of the forms.’84 The Norwegian Act was informed by years of costly legal battles and current legislation allows for ‘different spelling of a name [to] be in official use at the same time.’85 However the act is not without its fault. There is a tendency for incorrect spellings of names to be found on road signage where local form of a name does not correspond to the official spelling rules for placenames.86 The spelling of names in Norway is quite important as the names of farms (which lend their name to placenames) are the basis for family names, albeit in a corrupted form more in line with the Danish spelling practice.87 When a group of famers from the Toten region lobbied for the change of Kvem and Hol (placename forms) to Hveem and Hoel (surname forms) despite the advice of five different linguistic/cultural groups the government adopted the call for the name change.88 Despite fallacies on behalf of politicians in this instance, the goal of the Norwegian placename law to set a standardized spelling of placenames with allowance for local names that conform to spelling rules for placenames for legal purposes is a good standard model for other countries. Amendments to the act were highlighted at the 25th session of UNGEGN in 2009 by Terje Larsen who noted that local farm owners shall have the right to veto on the spelling of the name of his or her farm. Accordingly the general rule that the spelling shall follow current orthographic principles of Norwegian [language and not the old Danish-Norse language which is used in the spelling of family names] will be removed when it is a question of property names.89

84 85

Ibid. Helleland, “Commercial and Private Influence on the Standardization and User of Place-Names”, p.2. 86 Ibid, p.3. 87 Ibid. 88 Ibid. 89 Terje Larsen, “The Norwegian Place-Name Act – Changes in Process” Working Paper No. 38, UNGEGN 25th session, (Niarobi: UNGEGN, 5-12 May 2009) p.4.

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Ireland has experienced a number of claims of fallacy90 in implementation of placenames in the last decade, and it would appear that these cases will have an effect on future placename legislation.91 If some of the Norwegian regulations were adopted in Ireland, where two distinct language forms of the name that have a long standing tradition and conform to standard spelling rules, then costly cases such as Dingle could be avoided in the future.92 Conclusion This chapter has outlined the different state bodies that standardized placenames from the postal service and the OS in the early 19th century to the PC from 1946, who along with the PB researched and advised the Irish Government on official forms of placenames to be used by state bodies. The failure of the Irish Government to regulate clearly how these standardized names were to be used and by whom, lead to at least two ‘official’ forms of postal names. This would later create confusion and conflict when the post offices were requested to implement the governments standardized versions of names.93 The inclusion of placnames regulations in the Official Languages Act, 2003 and the failure to enact Part 18 of the Local Government Act, 2001 has meant that the government have had to draft new legislation to allow for bi-lingual placename changes. The implementation of Irish-language placenames has not always been accepted by local communities in parts of Ireland. While Urban Councils used British legislation, which applied to Ireland, to change placnames to represent a more nationalist view of the country, the local people of some of those areas later used Irish legislation t reverse the placename change as in the case of Navan. Placenames are the literature of the landscape; they describe the land like a book. It is the current name used by a community that produces this description and in turn the sense of knowing of one’s ‘home place’. The changing of the name by governmental departments on the advice of the PC without prior consultation with current local

90 91

see discussions on An Conc - Cnoc Mhuire and Dingle in chapter 3. Local Government (Mayor and Regional Authority of Dublin) Bill 2010, Part 18. 92 Anne Lucey, “Dingle road sings to cost €10,000” The Irish Times, 21 April 2010, p.2. 93 see discussion on the issue of An Cnoc – Cnoc Mhuire in chapter 3.

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communities has lead to cases where people voice their anger at these imposed exonyms. Edward Casey noted that There is no knowing or sensing a place except by being in that place, and to be in a place is to be in a position to perceive it. Knowledge if place is not, then, subsequent to perception but is an ingredient in perception itself. Such knowledge is itself experiential in the manner of [...] “lived experience”94 It is this lived experience which should be at the forefront of placename policy. The introduction of policy similar to that in Norway would allow for a multi-lingual policy on placenames and for dual legal status of names. This form of policy allows for the acknowledgement of different pasts to be associated with ‘place’, and how different communities (past, present, tourist, family, business for e.g.) can regard and name the same place in different terms. While the Irish language is important to the country there is also equal importance in the anglicized form of names which are commonly used in the country which have become part of the local traditional culture of a lived place.

94

Casey, Edward S. "How to Get from Space to Place in a Fairly Short Stretch of Time: Phenomenological Prolegomena." Feld, Stephen and Basso, Keith, Senses of Place, (Santa Fe: School of American Research Press, 1997) p.18.

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fig. 2.1 Record from Placename Database of Ireland 1 of 20 relating to the name of Navan in Co. Meath. The recorded names are shown as An Uaimh only, while Navan has been added in bold on the top of the card. http://www.logainm.ie/37598.aspx

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fig 2.2 The country's administrative structure; copyright Government of Ireland, published by Placenames Branch.

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Chapter 3
Two Names – One Place Who has the Right to Name a Place?

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Introduction People can use different names to refer to the areas where they live and socialize. These names can describe the postal address used to receive letters, open bank accounts etc. They can also become nicknames/short oral versions of placenames used in social conversation.1 Chapter two has shown how the well established placenames used by different state bodies might inform the local form of a placename. This chapter will look at how challenging these informed names can cause conflict between local communities and the government. By looking at the changing of street names in Dublin in the late 1800s it is possible to show precedence for conflict between local communities and legislating authorities. It will also be shown how the laissez-faire attitude of the Department of Local Government lead to the post office form of Irish-language placenames becoming more widely known than the Irish forms which were given legal status in 1975 with the first placenames order under the Place-Names (Irish Forms) Act 1973. When the post-office in Knock, Co. Mayo changed the Irish form of the placename from Cnoc Mhuire to An Cnoc, as legislated for under the An tOrdú Logainmneacha (Foirmeacha Gaeilge) (Uimh. 1) (Postbhailte) 19752 a local group called upon the government of the day to change the Irish-language form of the name to the well known from Cnoc Mhuire. The Area of Knock is used as a case study for the conflicts which arose from the failure to enforce the legislation outlined in this Act. 3 In the case of the implementation of the Official Languages Act, 2003 the people of Dingle, Co. Kerry felt that they were not consulted on the issue of the enactment of Part 5 of this act which called for all placenames in a Gaeltacht region to be displayed in the Irish

1

Everybody around Castleblayney calls the place Blayney; people around Blacklion, Co. Cavan, call it The Black; natives of Castlebellingham, Co. Louth, pronounce it Castlebellinjem; Kiltyclogher, Co. Leitrim, is known as Kilty; Inishbofin has been known since the 17 th century as Boffin. Some people around Ballydesmond, Co. Cork, still call it Kingwilliamstown (especially when singing a well-known local ballad). Nollaig Ó Muráile [Pers. Comm.] via e-mail 22 June 2011 to 25 July 2011 see appendix 1.4. In Galway the area around the Spanish Arch is known as the Sparch while the section of walkway around the Claddagh Basin is known as the Middle Arch (City side of the Basin) and the Far Arch (Claddagh side of the Basin). 2 I.R. Uimh. 133/1975 — An tOrdú Logainmneacha(Foirmeacha Gaeilge) (Uimh. 1) (Postbhailte) 1975. 3 Place-Names (Irish Forms) Act, 1973.

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language on road signage.4 The case of Dingle highlights the danger of implementing a single language act for a particular region which has used an anglicized name for a substantial period of time. The chapter will conclude with a discussion on the ideas of ownership of placenames by looking at the local collection of placenames in the West of Ireland. By examining the collection of placenames supported by Marie Mannion, County Galway Heritage Officer, this thesis aims to show a local sense of ownership within placename. Under the Galway County Heritage Plan 2004 – 2008 ‘a model of best practice for the recording and compilation of fieldnames and placnames’ was drawn up.5 A number of projects were initiated out of this model. This thesis will look at the collections in Leitir Mealláin and Garumna in Co. Galway overseen by Caitlín Nic Dhonnacha. The fieldnames collection in this region aims to collect the local minor placenames in the Ceantar na nOileán region of west Galway consisting of the Islands of Eanach Mheáin, Leitir Móir, Garumna, Leitir Mealláin, Fornais and Daighnis. The recording of fieldnames is carried out by recording the name and the recording of the geographical location (GPS) of the area, which is later mapped onto Google Earth and made available through the Galway County Council – Google Map Viewer.6 This project expanded to the area of Ros Muc, which utilized the local school children to help in the collection of fieldnames. This project was supported by Patrick S. Ó Flatharta, Youth Officer with Múintearas a local community group in Leitir Móir. Both Nic Dhonnacha and Ó Flatharta were interviewed as part of this thesis and their views on the importance of the collecting minor placenames form the basis for the argument that placenames are first and foremost personal and local, created, nurtured and promoted by local communities. The views of Nic Dhonnacha and Ó Flatharta are supported with examples of placename collection in the Ox Mountains in Co. Mayo conducted by Michael Grehan and by the placename collections of Dr. Éamon

4 5

Official Languages Act, 2003 Part 5. Galway County Heritage Plan 2004 – 2008, Action 3.3, p.21 6 The fieldnames collection will be made available to the public through the ‘map zone’ section of the Galway County Council website. http://www.galway.ie/en/Services/MapZone/Title,13812,en.html accessed 9 August 2011.

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Langford in counties Cork and Kerry which was praised by President Mary McAleese as an example for other counties in Ireland. Dangers of Changing a Placename Without Local Consultation In 1884 Dublin Corporation decided to adopt new placenames for the streets of Dublin which would promote a ‘nomenclature that was more in keeping with their nationalist political agenda.’7 However they did not account for the attitudes of the local residents and traders who took the matter to the courts. Yvonne Whelan has shown that ‘in January 1885 a copy of a writ seeking an injunction restraining Dublin Corporation from making any change was served on the town clerk [in the case of Sackville Street] at the suit of Joseph Anderson and other Sackville Street Traders.8 The Corporation was warned, by a delegation of residents from Upper and Lower Sackville Street, that changing the name of O Connell Street ‘would create a vast amount of commercial and postal confusion and inconvenience.’9 Dublin Corporation was advised by vice-chancellor Hedge Eyre Chatterton that the Corporation could ‘not legally or reasonably [issue a placename change] in the exercise of its statutory functions.’10 Section 42 of The Dublin Corporation Act 1890 contained a note which gave the Corporation the legal power to change the name of a street ‘at the request, and subject to the consent, of the majority in number and value of the ratepayers of the streets.’11 Osborough has shown that the 1884 proposal to change the name of Sackville Street to O’Connell Street was not enacted until after the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922,12 however that the local name for the street alternated between Sackville Street and O’Connell Street (depending on who one spoke with) from the year 1882 when the O’Connell monument was erected.13 While this case refers only to the street names of Dublin it does highlight the issue of
7

Yvonne Whelan, Reinventing Modern Dublin – streetscape, iconography and the political identity, (Dublin: University College Dublin Press, 2003) p.101. 8 Ibid, p.102. 9 Ibid. 10 W. N. Osborough, Law and the Emergence of Modern Dublin – A Litigation Topography for a Capital City, (Dublin: Irish Academic Press & The Irish Legal History Society, 1996) p.49 11 Dublin Corporation Act 1890, Sec. 42. Osborough, Law and the Emergence of Modern Dublin – A Litigation Topography for a Capital City, p.50 see footnote 16. 53 & 54 Vict, c.ccxlvi. 12 The name change occurred in 1924 according to Osborough, Law and the Emergence of Modern Dublin – A Litigation Topography for a Capital City, p.50. 13 Ibid. pp.49-50.

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local opposition to the changing of placenames long before the implementation of the Local Government Act, 1946. It would appear that although the Government of Ireland were aware of the issues surrounding the changing of Dublin Street names, they did not take the local opinion of names into account when legislating in later years.14 In 1954 the Department of Local Government were noted as having a laissez-faire view to the changing of placenames.15 While some names had been officialised with the relevant statutory authority many more only received authority from local authorities such as Urban Councils.16 The only effect this had on the change of a name is that the new changed names were considered illegitimate for the use of electoral or legal purposes.17 The Department’s attitude was ‘that the matter [was] not one for hard and fast official regulations. In the main it is a question of popular usage rather than statute.’18 While the Department was not concerned with what local placenames were used the official placenames were imposed upon towns without consultation. In 1969 when the Placenames Commission19 proposed changes to placenames in the west of Ireland Mayo Cllr. Sean Nestor said that 'the Commission are acting in a very high-handed manner’ by changing names without local consultation.20 1978 saw the town of Clonmellon in Co. Westmeath demand that the postal mark for their village be returned to Cluain Miolain from Ráistín21 after the Department of Environment requested that the Postmaster change the name. Joe Daly, who represented the local community to Westmeath Council, said that the name change was made without prior

14

The Local Government Act, 1946 repealed The Dublin Corporation Act, 1890 53 & 54 Vict, c.ccxlvi. 15 “Problems of Town Which Change Their Names” Irish Independent, 13 April1954, p.6. 16 F 393. Despatch no. 337, records of PCGN 17 “Problems of Town Which Change Their Names” Irish Independent, 13 April1954, p.6. 18 Ibid. 19 Henceforth referred to in text as PC 20 “Name’s the same – with a difference” The Irish Times, 26 March 1969, p.14. 21 The Placename Database of Ireland (www.logainm.ie) notes that the areas of Clonmellon and Ráistín are two distinct and unrelated placenames which refer to one feature. The Irish for the area is Ráistín while the anglicized name for the area is Clonmellon. A lengthy explanation as to why Ráistín was nominated as the official Irish version of the Anglicized Clonmellon is given by the placenames branch at http://www.logainm.ie/51378.aspx under explanatory note. accessed 30 July 2011.

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consultation with the townspeople who did not want ‘faceless people coming along and changing the name of the village.’22 An Cnoc – Cnoc Mhuire: What is the Irish Placename for Knock Co. Mayo? In 1999 the erection of signs in the Mayo town of Knock for ‘An Cnoc’ became an international news story.23 In the minds of the local community the historically and culturally important name of ‘Cnoc Mhuire’ described the town best and the removal of ‘Mhuire’ amounted to a removal to ‘part of their heritage and tradition’ which ‘linked the past with the present’ and ‘breathes the spirit of ages of tradition into a community inextricably linked to history’.24 In 1879 the Irish name for Knock was changed to ‘Cnoc Mhuire’ by Liam Ua Cadhain, founder of the Knock Shrine Society. The PC had given the authoritative Irish for Knock as ‘An Cnoc’ in 195825 based on historical records. The Minister for Finance made the name official in 1975 with the implementation of the first placenames order under the Place-Name (Irish Forms) Act, 1973 in relation to the name of postal towns.26 Seán MacAodhagáin writing in The Connaught Tribune in 2001 said that while the Placenames Branch27 was attended by some outstanding scholars, they must have got lost in ‘academia’ during their deliberations and failed to take cognizance of the greatest historical event to place in Ireland the apparition of The Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and St. John at Knock in 1879.28 The community of Knock saw this event as one which defined their cultural life, and the event has been the main social, religious, economic and cultural source for the

22 23

“Clonmellon up in Arms” Westmeath Examiner, 04 February 1978, p.1. Seán MacAodhagáin, “What’s in a Name?” Connaught Telegraph, 05 December 2001, p.42. 24 Ibid. 25 Ibid. 26 I.R. Uimh 133/1975 – An tOrdú Logainmeacha (Forimeach Gaeilge) (Uimh. 1) (Postbhailte) 1975. 27 Henceforth referred to in text as PB 28 MacAodhagáin, “What’s in a Name?” Connaught Telegraph, 05 December 2001, p.42.

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town ever since. Minister for State, at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, at the time, Éamon Ó Cuív responding to Mayo TD Enda Kenny said that it was important that the Placenames Commission should provide authorised versions of names and that we should not change them willy nilly it was important to have a standard authorised version [and] for that reason the proper procedures should be followed.29 In relation to Knock and other areas Ó Cuiv noted that the problem lay with local authorities putting up signs with any name they wanted. In saying this Ó Cuív points to the need for standardization of placnames which is provided free of charge by the PC and their research department. The name An Cnoc was originally suggested by this department as the official Irish from however while researching the history of the placename the staff failed to recognise the locally historical and religious significance of the name ‘Cnoc Mhuire’. Minister Ó Cuív himself admitted that Cnoc Mhuire was the common Irish version of Knock and was widely used and understood as such within the Gaeltacht.30 The 1975 placename order on post-office names which standardized the Irish placename version as An Cnoc was amended by in 2001 by the Minister for Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands Síle De Valera who signed the placename order to change the name ‘An Cnoc’ to ‘Cnoc Mhuire’.31 In the case of Knock the government took the advice of the PC over the historically significant and culturally evolved named of Cnoc Mhuire. The local people did not become concerned with the Irish from of the name used until the local authority and postal service began to use the official Irish-language version of the placename as directed by the government. If there had been an allowance for alternative local forms of placenames to be used by state bodies and on road signs and maps which are traditionally prominent within the local community then the government could have used whatever legal name they wanted for official documents and publications. While there is a need for a legal name, this is the form of the name which least effects the local communities who used their own local forms of placenames. When the
29

“Dáil Reports – Local Authorities Warned Over Placnames in Irish” The Irish Times, 19 November 1999. p.10 30 Questions – Placenames Commission, Dáil Debates Vol. 511 No. 2, 18 November 1999, p.11. 31 S.I. No. 221/2201 – Place-Names (Irish Forms) (Amendment) Order, 2001.

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government are compiling lists of authoritative placenames they could adopt an official legal name to appear on documents which also cover a number of alternative spellings and forms that have a traditional history of use within the local community. The Dingle – An Daingean Wrangle It should be noted that the following section tracks the case of the Dingle name change through the pages of The Irish Times, and is presented with the opinions expressed by the writers of articles and letters quoted below. While the Official Languages Act 2003 regulated for the standardization of all Gaeltacht placenames, one name caused more trouble for the government of the day than any other. On the 28 March 2005, the Placenames (Ceantair Gaeltachta) Order 2004 came into effect.32 This order officially changed all Gaeltacht placenames from the anglicized form to the legal Irish form. Two months later the community of Dingle in Co. Kerry began to voice concerns that their ‘international tourism brand name’ which could be ‘easily recognised by tourists’ had been changed without consulting members of the community.33 Minister Éamon Ó Cuív responded by saying that if the community wanted they could be taken out of the Gaeltacht altogether.34 This stern threat showed how the Official Languages Act, 2003 was seen as more important than the local lived experience of the community with regards to their placename. The Minister further stated that ‘The days of walking both sides of the street are over. It’s a nonsense not having linguistic criterion attached to the Gaeltacht’ and continued ‘if you are in the Gaeltacht the first brand you would sell is the Irish language.’35 Kerry County Council sought to change the monolingual name of An Daingean to a bi-lingual version of Dingle-Daingean Uí Chúis. Senator Joe O’Toole, a native of Dingle, claimed the Minister was trying to ‘railroad through place-name changes against the wishes of a majority of the community and suggested that Part 18 of the Local Government Act 2001, which would give the authorities the power to decide on

32 33

See I.R. Uimh. 872/2004, An tOrdú Logainmneacha (Ceantair Ghaeltachta) 2004. Anne Lucey, “Minister Insists on Irish Version of Dingle” in The Irish Times, 20 May 2005 p.2. 34 Ibid. 35 Ibid.

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a placename once a local plebiscite was held, could supersede the Official Languages Act 2003.’36 The controversy on the placename change in Dingle was becoming a contentious topic among those who supported the Irish language. During the 2005 Douglas Hyde Conference in Roscommon two language experts made statements on the issue. Dr. Pádraig Ó Laighin said it was reasonable to use the Irish version of the town’s name ‘given the availability of considerable State support’ due to its Gaeltacht membership.
37

Louis de Paor supported Dr. O Laighin saying ‘Dingle was a nonsense – a

meaningless word’ and that there was a ‘huge cultural memory’ seen in Irish placenames such as An Daingean.38 Both experts made the valid point that proper bilingual mapping would alleviate any language problems for tourists within the area. However it may be prudent to highlight at this point that the call for the name change was coming from people living and working in the town of Dingle (which is largely English speaking) and the question might not be the rejection of an Irish-language name but the extent of the official Gaeltacht. Kerry County Council continued to seek ways of keeping the anglicized name Dingle as part of the official name for the town. It was noted Part 18 of the Local Government Act 2001 had not yet been brought into force and that the council would have to revert to the Local Government Act 1946 and its subsequent amendments.39 This meant that the council could call for a local vote on the issue of reinstating the name and then apply to the Minister for Environment to change the name. Minister Ó Cuív expressed his nonchalance over the name the locals called the area saying ‘they could rename it Beverly Hill or Baile Fungi.’40 The Official Languages Act 2003 only called for the Irish name to be placed on maps, road signs and Oireachtas documents which meant that the local community could use any other name in they chose. 41 Ó Cuív was overlooking the local importance of the name Dingle as an established
36 37

Mark Hennessy, “Act May Allow for Return to Dingle Name” The Irish Times, 01 June 2005, p.9. Marese McDonagh, “Change of Dingle Name Supported by Speakers of Conference” The Irish Times, 18 July 2005, p.6. 38 Ibid. 39 Hennessy & Lucey, “Locals to Have Choice in Dingle Placename Dispute” in The Irish Times, 19 July 2005, p.1. 40 Ibid. 41 Official Languages Act, 2003, Part 5, Sec. 33. Sub Sec. 2, parts (a) and (b).

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postal address for businesses, tourism, local identity etc. While he stressed that locals could call the town whatever they liked, he made the point that the official signs would only be in Irish. This official view failed to see that by placing signs to the town of An Daingean the Irish Government were removing any cultural and tourist branding associated with the anglicized name Dingle. Public interest was growing in the region of placenames across Ireland and among a number of letters sent to the editor of The Irish Times was one by Peter J. Callery of Dingle who ‘expressed his concerns that the Placenames Commission could impose unalterable changes to placenames and highlighted that ‘these changes were decided by unelected persons none of whom reside in the town or even the parish affected by their recommendations.’42 Kerry County Council became aware of a division between supporters of the Irish language in the wider west Kerry area and those within the largely English speaking town of Dingle.43 This again raised questions on the extent of the Gaeltacht and highlighted wider language issues which conflict with local value of the widely recognised named of Dingle. During a meeting of the Kerry County Council, Cllr. Séamus Cosai Fitzgerald (FG) stated ‘the bi-lingual name of Dingle-Daingean Uí Chuís was very historic’.44 Minister Ó Cuív continued to remind Kerry County Council that the name An Daingean was only compulsory on road signs, most Ordnance Survey maps and statutory instruments. Otherwise people were free to call the town what they liked. 45 What Ó Cuív failed to see is how the language legislation was impacting on the local importance of the anglicized name. It was noted on a number of occasions by Anne Lucey that tourism interests in particular had objected to the exclusion of the Dingle

42

Peter J. Callery, “An Daingean or Dingle?” The Irish Times, Letters to the Editor, 04 November 2005, p. 19. 43 Anne Lucey “Plebiscite to be Held on Daingean or Dingle” The Irish Times, 13 October 2005, p. 2. 44 Anne Lucey “Date set for plebiscite on renaming An Daingean” The Irish Times, 20 June 2006, p. 2. 45 Anne Lucey, “Ballot Includes 160 Not Living in An Daingean” The Irish Times, 22 August 2006, p.2.

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name. It is those in the tourism sector who receive frontline feedback on such issues as signage on a weekly basis.46 On 20 October 2006, the overwhelming majority of registered voters opted in favour of a bi-lingual placename for the non-municipal town of Dingle. By a vote of 1,005 to 90 (with 20 spoilt votes), the people of An Daingean called for the name to be legally changed to Dingle-Daingean Uí Chúis.47 Despite this majority vote for the renaming of the town Minster Ó Cuív stated that the Gaeltacht placename could not be bilingual legally and he would not change the law affecting 2,300 placenames to suit one.48 However later he bowed to the Kerry County Council saying that he would not block the request to the Minister for Environment conceding that he did not consult with locals before the change and that he did not expect a Gaeltacht area to want an English name.49 Ó Cuív was called upon, shortly after, by the Irish speaking community in the Dingle area to oppose the name change at a public meeting in Kerry. The Irish language supporters in the Corca Dhuibhne peninsula called on him to enforce the Official Languages Act 2003. One person at the meeting was recorded as saying culture was more important and allowing an English name in a Gaeltacht town amounted to “deireadh ré na Gaeilge” (the end of the era of Irish).50 The view of the wider Gaeltacht community regarding the request to have the Irish names of the area changed to a bi-lingual name highlights the different cultural values placed on the name. The Irish speaking community saw this as an English name imposed on a Gaeltacht region and in opposition to the Official languages Act 2003. The English speaking town of Dingle on the other hand saw the original name change as more damaging to the key economic source of stability for their community. The Gaeltacht community claimed that the name change was pushed in ‘the interest of the money-eyed and of people selling property.’51 Alternatively the view expressed from with the community was that the name change damaged the well established brand
46

Paddy Mathews, Manager Destination Development, Fáilte Ireland, [Pers. Comm.] via e-mail 15 July 2011, see appendix 1.5. 47 Anne Lucey, “An Daigean votes for bi-lingual name” The Irish Times, 21 October 2006, p. 2. 48 Ibid. 49 Anne Lucey, “Contrite Ó Cuív bows to wishes of townspeople of Dingle” The Irish Times, 18 November 2006, p. 3. 50 Anne Lucey “Council to recognise Dingle Placename” in The Irish Times, 20 November 2006, p.2 51 Ibid.

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name of Dingle and that in turn affected the personal, social and cultural sense preserved within that name as well as having an effect on tourism which supports the town financially. While there is no evidence that the change of name would have an effect on the tourism of the area there is support for the claims of Kerry County Council that ‘Dingle’ is a tourism brand.52 The simple suggestion previously proposed by de Paor and Dr. Ó Laighin in 2005 could have sorted out the issue by the inclusion of bi-lingual names on maps but the local opinion was that this should be met by bi-lingual signs. The view of the Dingle people was that the name was being forced upon them from outside of the community. This sort of legal enforcement of names by the PC was intended to preserve the culture and heritage of the Irish language, however by tying the language to placenames the government has managed alter the local identity connected with the placename. The changing of a well established name like Dingle clearly was not acceptable to the people of the town on a number of levels (social, cultural, economic, tourism, personal for e.g.) When the Official Languages Act 2003 was drafted it was with the intent of protecting the Irish language and Irish speaking communities. While there is great merit in this, the government failed to see how much the anglicization of placenames had affected the local concepts of what was the correct placename. The idea that the government could pass a law which required a town to change its name, or to only display that name in one language because of the geo-linguistic area they are local in. The case of Dingle highlights how important a correct placename can be to a local community. The name the community sees as being correct is the one they use as a postal address for personal and business reasons. The town of Dingle has been promoted as a tourist destination for a significant period of time via its anglicized name. The introduction of Irish only signposts was perceived by locals as damaging that brand name. The main question that surrounds the issues arising out of Dingle centre around issues of designated language areas and their extent, in the case of
52

The English name Dingle is highlighted by Fáilte Ireland a place for Family Fun, Adventure and Gaeltacht, and a key place to experience the unique culture and heritage of Ireland see http://www.discoverireland.ie/Places-To-Go/Visit-Dingle-Peninsula---North-Kerry. accessed 06 July 2011.

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Dingle the failure to listen to the views of the local community have lead to the government having to re-think legislation on the Irish only placenames. The Ownership of Placenames – Minor Placenames Collections There has been a surge in the interest in local history over last two decades. Local community groups, FÁS community schemes and County Heritage schemes have all produced publications which collected minor placenames53 often known only within a small local community. These minor names preserve a tradition dating back hundreds, if not thousands, of years and can record the history of an area both in a social and geographical context. When a person looks out on an unfamiliar landscape, they may only see the prominent geographical features and field boundaries within a landscape. When a person, who has lived in the area from birth looks out on the same landscape they see an open book; revealing the social and cultural history of an area. The minor names which reflect this local landscape, known only from within a community, and in many case from within a family express the deep rural sense of place that existed in Ireland. It is this ‘loss of knowledge’ that is the driving force behind the local collection of placename.54 Edward Casey gives the reader an insight into the local difference between the local aspect and the official aspect of placenames noting the work of Fred Myers writing on aboriginal peoples in Australia, Casey questions who to believe; the theorising anthropologist, the arsenal of his natural attitude bristling with explanatory projectiles that go off into space? Or the aborigine on the ground who finds the ground itself to be a coherent collocation of pre-given places – pregiven at once in his experience and in the Dreaming that sanctions this

53

For example - The Cork and Kerry Placenames Project was begun in 1996 by Dr. Éamon Lankford, The Ox Mountain Placenames were collected in 2005 by Michael Grehan, placenames collections began c.1999 in Leitir Móir, Leitir Meallain, Garumna in Connemara as part of FÁS community project by Delia Val Ní Chualáin et al. This project is still ongoing and has branched out into a collection and mapping project for the Garumna Island region run by Maire Mannion, Galway County Heritage Officer. Cartographer and author Tim Robinson has also engaged with placename recording during his mapping of Óileáin Árann c.1980 and Connemara 1990. 54 Michael Grehan, Ox Mountains, Co. Mayo, [Pers. Comm.] via e-mail 22 July 2011 see appendix 1.3; Patrick S. Ó Flatharta [Pers. Obvs.] via interview 20 July 2011 see appendix 1.2; and Caitlín Nic Dhonnacha, Leitir Mealláin [Pers. Obvs.] via interview 20 July 2011 see appendix 1.1

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experience? For the anthropologist, Space comes first; for the native, Place; and the difference is by no means trivial.55 This concept of place and identity in place, provides a key to the cultural understanding of place and the ownership quality of placenames. There are a number of ways one can collect placenames within a locality; although ultimately they all include interaction with the landscape and the people who live within it. Tim Robinson when collecting placename in Árainn56 and Connemara travelled from place-to-place collecting placenames from the local people. Writing of his work Robinson has said having spent unnumbered days trampling south Connemara prising placenames like winkles out the crannied stones. My obsession with where thing are and what they are called – their terrestrial and linguistic co-ordinates – was filling the notebooks and blackening the Ordnance Survey maps I carried with me. However if people though me odd, at least they recognised my seriousness when I turned up on their doorsteps again and again to verify the names of a string of little lakes out on bogs or rocks out in the sea, and responded to it by poring over my maps calling in neighbours for consultations, and accompanying me on expeditions by land and sea. And by degrees I felt myself toning in with the countryside itself.57 This personal method of mapping and collecting the names of the landscape is what makes the works of Robinson, some of the best local folklore and placename collections formed from a great love of the landscape of his adopted homes of Árainn and Connemara. By using the local people to map the landscape, Robinson’s maps took on a local expression of the land; and while there may be still an element of the opinion of the source in the information Robinson received and a hint of editors choice in what appears on the map, the work of this Englishman was warmly

55

Edward S. Casey "How to Get from Space to Place in a Fairly Short Stretch of Time: Phenomenological Prolegomena." In Feld, Stephen and Basso, Keith, Senses of Place, (Santa Fe: School of American Research Press, 1997) p.16. 56 This refers to the Aran Island of Inis Mór, which is known locally as Árainn. 57 Tim Robinson and Liam Mac Con Iomaire, Camchuairt Chonamara Theas - A Twisting Journey Mapping South Connemara Part 1-59, (Binn Éadair: Coiscéim, 2006 2nd ed.) p.x

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welcome and in some cases expected by the people in Connemara.58 Nollaig Ó Muraíle notes the unreliable nature of sources and the local perceptions faced by researchers in the area of minor placenames. Many workers in the field, myself included, have come across a name given by a particular informant, while his brother, or other family-member, will have never heard of it or, if he has, may pronounce it differently, or insist that it is located elsewhere.59 In closing the preface to his collection of placenames in south Connemara Robinson wonders Could such a journey be made nowadays? Would a stranger picking his way unannounced over fields and along shore be greeted with such invariable goodwill as I was then, in today’s edgy countryside beset by EU regulations, planning-permission controversies and the access problem arising from mass tourism? I think not.60 Here Robinson makes a valid point. It may be difficult for a stranger to enter an area and embark on such a project that involves gathering local information about the land. Indeed local groups working within their own communities come up against similar problems from wary landowners. Caitlín Nic Dhonnacha, Bainisteoir Ionad Oidhreachta Leitir Mealláin agus Gharumna; who runs a placename collection and mapping project in Ceantar na nOileán, Connemara noted of her experience collecting placenames that Not everybody is not happy to help, but hopefully that when they see their neighbours collecting them they might get on board. People can be protective of their land, but most people were interested in helping with the collections.61 Michael Grehan, who collected names in the Ox Mountain region in 2005, similarly noted that ‘Most people were easy to talk to once they knew you were genuine. You
58 59

Ibid, p.xii. Nollaig Ó Muraíle [Pers. Comm.] via e-mail 22 June 2011 to 25 July 2011 see appendix 1.4. 60 Robinson and Mac Con Iomaire, Mapping South Connemara, p.xiv. 61 Caitlín Nic Dhonnacha, Leitir Mealláin [Pers. Obvs.] via interview 20 July 2011 see appendix 1.1

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would meet the odd person who would not give you any information but they were in a minority.’62 When Nic Dhonnacha was asked during an interview for this thesis if it was easier for someone from outside of the community to collect names she responded I would say that it would be harder. People can be very untrusting when it comes to issues of land. We work with the schools in the area to collect names also and it is interesting to get the kids involved in collecting the names from their families. They have collected the names, and the principle of the school in Ros Muc has been great at collecting the names. There were some problems when land was commonage and this did not seem to be named as well as private land. People were very helpful with the information they could give but they were wary when people started talking about GPS and using the equipment and recording sheets.63 This may help in explaining how Tim Robinson was so successful in collecting the placenames when he travelled Connemara in the 1990’s. While Robinson was an outsider to the area he did not bring anything more than a pen and pencil with him to record the names. Modern researchers and collectors rely more on evolutions in technology, with digital recorders and cameras at the ready. When recording sheets and GPS equipment were used in Ros Muc the locals became more wary of why the collection was be conducted. The use of unstructured interviews is suited to research in the areas of anthropology and sociology and can be used to gain culturally important information that might not be extracted from a formal interview. These interviews are conducted where ‘neither the question nor the answer categories are predetermined. Instead they rely on social interaction between the researcher and the informer.’64 When dealing with sensitive information which may include land ownership it is best not to appear too official. If a person sees recording equipment the process may seem too official and there is conscious record of the conversation, while
62

Micheal Grehan, Ox Mountain Development Company Ltd, [Pers. Comm.] 22 July 2001 via e-mail see appendix 1.3. 63 Caitlín Nic Dhonnacha, Leitir Mealláin [Pers. Obvs.] via interview 20 July 2011 see appendix 1.1 64 Yan Zhang, and Barbara Wildemuth, "Unstructured interview", in http://www.ils.unc.edu/~yanz/Unstructured_interviews.pdf, Libraries Unlimited, (Online, 2009) p. 1.

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the act of scribbling notes onto a page or map as in the case of Tim Robinson can be perceived as less of a threat to the informer. The deep desire to preserve the placnames of one’s local area needs to come from the heart according to Patrick S. Ó Flatharta, Youth officer with Múintearas, in Leitir Móir Co. Galway.65 Patrick works with the community development group Múintearas in Ceantar na nOileán, co-ordinating between another group in the region run by Caitlín Nic Dhonnacha. Both Patrick and Caitlín are interested in the collection of placenames from the local area as ‘the tradition of naming is...dying out’66 With the help of Marie Mannion, the Galway County Heritage Officer both parties have been able to fund the collection of placenames in the Gharumna region. One of the interesting aspects of the collection work carried out in this area is the inclusion of primary and national school children in the collection and GPS recording of placenames. This particular project is run in conjunction with Gortmore National School in Ros Muc as a heritage project for schools run by Galway County Council. The placename work is incorporated into the daily school work of the children and this is how the kids are introduced to the subject. Patrick S. Ó Flathartha expresses the importance of involving the younger generations in such projects. Involving the kids is brilliant, what other ways are we going to keep them alive. This is the only ways I can think of [keeping the placenames alive] anyway. People in a village would know the names of places in that village. The thing is that it is fading away in the last number of year’s altogether. Having the schools involved in colleting the names means that there is a record there in the local area for the future. We collect any name that can be recorded. I think that all of the names are of interest to somebody somewhere. If you record them at least they are there. We also collect folklore that goes along with the names.67 The idea of involving children in the collection of folklore and local history is not new. ‘The Irish Folklore Commission, in coloration with the Department of Education and the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation’ in 1937 invited schoolchildren to
65 66

Patrick S. Ó Flatharta [Pers. Obvs.] via interview 20 July 2011 see appendix 1.2 Caitlín Nic Dhonnacha, Leitir Mealláin [Pers. Obvs.] via interview 20 July 2011 see appendix 1.1 67 Patrick S. Ó Flatharta [Pers. Obvs.] via interview 20 July 2011 see appendix 1.2

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engage in the collection of folklore and local histories.68 In 1999 Dr. Éamon Langford was expanding his collection of minor Cork placenames and incorporated the help of local schools to the project; by 2001 there were 274 schools in Cork and 70 in Kerry involved in the collection of placenames for the Cork and Kerry Placename Survey.69 Lankford’s collection of placenames has now been published in a 115 volume archive which is held by Cork County Library.70 President Mary McAleese praised the early work of Dr. Lankford in Cape Clear and West Cork noting that his study emphasised the abundance of local descriptions and local names for places and features, their general absence from written records, and the great fragility that the oral transmission of such local information has in our modern globalised era.71 The president further remarked To date [the] Cork archive has over 100 volumes containing more than 150,000 references to Cork place-names which will function within the existing Cork County library network. The establishment of the Cork Place Names Archive in 2009 will now surely act as a spur for other counties to engage in a systematic collection and mapping of their oral and documented place-name heritage and indeed further, on a national basis. What a great achievement that will be!72 Collections such as the ones supported by Dr. Lankford and the groups in Ceantar na nOileán Connemara not only preserve the placenames from the past generations but also help to engage a younger generation in an age old tradition which is dying slowing being lost the modernity. When asked if he thought that the names would be remembered by future generations Ó Flathathra said
68

“School’s Folklore Scheme (1937-38)” National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin, available online http://www.ucd.ie/irishfolklore/en/schoolsfolklorescheme1937-38/ accessed 04 June 2011. 69 “Pupils enlisted in place names survey” The Irish Times, 27 March 2001, p.2. 70 Barry Roche, “President launches mapped archive of Cork Placename” The Irish Times, 11 May 2009, p.2. 71 Mary McAleese, “Nótaí Cainte an Ucahtaráin Seoladh Chartlann Logainmeacha Chorcaí, 10 Meitheamh, 2009.” Presidential Speeches, http://www.president.ie/index.php?section=5&speech=663&lang=eng , last visited 04/07/2011 accessed 04 June 2011. 72 Ibid.

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I think if you even get to one person that would be great. I think that’s progress and that’s all you might get and that’s all you might need. If you get somebody to go forward and carry this on, if it comes from the heart then that is what I am aiming to do.73 Conclusion Placenames are first and foremost local. It is from within the local area that names are given. On the other hand names were generally written down outside of the personal nature of local living. By the time placenames in Ireland began to be recorded for mapping purposes there were already a number of different official version of names within an area.74 The modern perceptions of placenames come from the official documents, which local people interact with on a daily basis. The Ordnance Survey maps, postal marks and road signs are just a few examples of how people are exposed to placenames on a daily basis. It is from these official sources, that a local person draws their perception of the local name. When a person is introduced to the long standing official form of a name, laid out in of the governmental Acts concerning placenames, their perception of what the correct spelling or derivation of a name can be challenged. There is evidence from a number of countries that it is not the changing of these names that conflict with local communities, but the lack of consultation in changing a name. This lack of local input into the official version of a placename may be overlooked by a Government due to the long standing official names which have been laid down for decades, however due to a lack of implementation and enforcements of regulations older names continued in use. If governments had considered consulting local communities as to their personal views before ordering the implementation of these long standing but little known placenames then costly issues could have been avoided.75

73 74

Patrick S. Ó Flatharta [Pers. Obvs.] via interview 20 July 2011 see appendix 1.2 ‘The process of ad hoc Anglicisation was, of course, in train long before the OS came along’ Nollaig Ó Muraíle, [Pers. Obvs.] via e-mail 22 June 2011 to 25 July 2011 see appendix 1.4. 75 Anne Lucey, “Dingle road signs to cost €10.000” in The Irish Times 21 April 2010, p.2.

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By changing a placename from English to Irish or by changing the spelling of the Irish name without consultation the PC has managed to anger a number of communities. These communities see their existing placenames as key elements of their local culture. This perception does not necessarily have to connect to a historical or Irish-language name; but it does need to represent the ideals of the lived community. The placenames which people grow up with are the ones that recall past memories and develop a sense of belonging and place. It is the current name that is used by people on a daily basis. Outside of the Gaeltacht areas the English-language placename is more common than Irish and so represents the community more than a historical name, regardless of what that name suggests. The communities who have requested placenames be returned to the most commonly used form often see the work of the PC as an outside interference in their lives. The local nature of placenames can be seen in the collections of local communities. The notion that the tradition of naming local areas is a dying tradition has lead to a number of rural collections to preserve these names. While many people are happy to help in collection of placenames these are those who are not. The perceived official nature of collecting names and the cultural fallacies regarding the Ordnance Survey, as proposed by Brian Friel in his play Translations are still alive.

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fig 3.1 Top - Road Signs in Kerry where Dingle has been painted on to the sign after the removal of the Anglicized form – Bottom Road Sign in Kerry Displaying only Irish language names - Dingle News © 80

Conclusion
A Proposal for Future Irish Placename Acts.

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Key Points of Thesis Chapter one of this thesis outlined how early map makers recorded the placenames of the country as exonyms, imposing a foreign language upon the landscape of Ireland. By looking at how maps produced as part of the colonial exercise for Ireland recorded and created anglicized forms of Irish placenames on maps which have been used for census, land valuation, land registry, election and voting purposes etc. It is possible to see how the local forms of placenames have been informed by the official and unofficial cartographic sources. Chapter two expands on the process of established placenames informing local opinions on placenames by introducing the reader to the issues of postal names for the country. The placenames for the country were standardized separately by both the Ordnance Survey and the postal service and these two competing yet locally valid placenames have influenced the local forms of placenames since the early late 1800s. Both the anglicized and Irish-language forms of these names have been used on official documents, and the failure of the Irish Government to enforce legislation enacted under the Place-Names (Irish-Forms) Act, 1973 lead to local views conflicting with official views when names were implemented at a later date. One of the main problems the Irish Government has had with the formulation of Acts legislating for the proper use of placenames has been the failure of the government to legislate for dual-language placename. Instead the view of the Irish Government would be that the answer to fixing local conflicts regarding correct placenames is by legislating for authoritative forms of Irish-language placenames.1 While there is merit in formulating a standardized version of placenames for legal purposes, there is also a need to recognise local forms of placenames which are currently in use as it is these names which if the differ in form from the official authoritative from of an name can cause problems in the area of legal proceedings. The policy of Norway outlined in chapter two, shows how a country can legislate for authoritative forms of placenames while still adhering to local orthographies for

1

Both the Place-Names (Irish Forms) Act, 1973 and the Official Languages Act, 2003 only legislate for the production of authoritative lists of Irish-language names, assuming that the English language names already have legal status.

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placenames. While there is evidence that the Norwegian law suffers some of the same pitfalls when it comes to the display of names on road signage as Ireland, this is more a question of governments enforcing legislation to its fullest effect and ensuring that all government bodies and local authorities adhere to the guidelines set out in national legislation. The key points behind the Norwegian policy promotes the Recognition of placenames as cultural entities The practical and useable nature of names An acknowledgement that names must be promoted if they are to be use. These three points are important in light of Irish cases where local perceptions on the correct from of a placename conflicted with the authoritative form of the name as advised by the Placenames Commission.2 In the case of Knock, outlined in chapter 3, the lack of recognition of the Irish-language name Cnoc Mhuire as a cultural entity with an established local history created a local issue where the Irish-language from of the town name was not accepted. While the Commission was advising on the a historically valid from of the Irish-language placename, which best represented the anglicized form of the name, they ignored the local and national tradition within the Irish speaking community of the use of the placename Cnoc Mhuire when referring to Knock. In contrast to this, in the case of the Irish from of the placename Clonmellon the Commission advised on the use of the historical name of Ráistín instead of the more phonetically correct Irish version of Cluain Miolain which had been used by the postal service until 1969. It was also noted by the Commission that Ráistín is the official Irish form of Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath. Clonmellon and Ráistín are two distinct and unrelated placenames, both referring to the one feature, namely, the town in County Westmeath. Both names are apparently of Irish origin. Clonmellon is also the name of the townland in which most of the town is situated.3

2 3

Henceforth referred to in text as PC. “explanatory note” http://www.logainm.ie/51378.aspx, accessed 30 July 2011.

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A number of key concepts highlighted in the introduction of this thesis were the ideas of official and unofficial names which raised the question of whose version of a placename is the correct version. The answer to this question lies within the question, who has ownership over the placename? Beltov Helleland of the Norden Division of UNGEGN noted that Place-names (geographical names) are not only vital for identifying places, but also for promoting knowledge about public and private properties, buildings, businesses, products, etc. When a name with a particular spelling has obtained certain repute, it is normal that those involved in a business want to continue using the name, also within and municipal areas.4 While Helleland was arguing for that the standardized forms of spelling should take precedence over the local spelling, if it did not conform to the Norwegian place-name spelling standards, the importance of which was highlighted in chapter two, he does note that if a placename has ‘obtained certain repute’ that, if in the case of Norway it conforms to placename spelling forms, the local reputable from of a placename should be used. The Norwegian placenames act places the power of naming on the ownership of land. Due to the onomastic heritage of farm names, these usually local, minor and private placenames have informed the lager placename heritage in Norway. Legislation allows for an ‘additional localization of [place]names to be incorporated into addresses in order to preserve the cultural-historical value of the placenames.5 In Ireland the PC advise the government on authoritative forms of placenames, in spelling and correct from. While the Commission have the best interest in mind, the work carried out on their behalf by the Placenames Branch6 could be seen as detached from the local customs, heritage and tradition concerning local placenames. Up until 1991 the PC chose to work outside of the public eye, in order to work unobtrusively and the historical research of the PB did not at the time receive

4

Boltov Helleland, “Commercial and Private Influence on the Standardization and User of PlaceNames” Working Paper No. 73, (Vienna: UNGEGN 26th session, 2-6 May 2011), p.2. 5 Anne Scanevik and Botolv Helleland, “Naming Streets and Roads when Assigning Address in Norwegian Municipalities” Working Paper No. 74, (Vienna: UNGEGN 26th session, 2-6 May 2011), p.2. 6 Henceforth referred to in text as PB.

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publicity.7 It is this decision which may have lead to claims that the PC was ‘changing original Irish names of towns and villages all over the west without consultation with anyone.’8 This raises the question of ownership of placenames in Ireland. Is it the government who have ownership over placenames, since they can change a name without local consultation by issuing placenames orders on the authoritative forms of placenames? Or are names owned by a local community, who have used and cared for the placename over centuries? This thesis proposes that names are first and foremost local and so the ownership of names and the right to alter names is owned by the collective community over time. When corruptions occur in the one from of the placename within the living language of the living community this should in right, be seen as an evolution of the placename and not in fact a corruption of an original historical form. The collection of minor placenames within local communities outlined in chapter three shows how local communities care for and preserve local minor placenames, this can also be evident in the historical place lore of Ireland which was expressed in chapter one. The evolution of the forms of placenames within the local living community is evident of an evolution of both the Hiberno-English and Irish-language within Ireland since placenames were recorded in the 1800’s by the Ordnance Survey. A Proposal for New Legislation It have been noted a number of times throughout this thesis that the placename policy is fractured between different legislation. It may be prudent to examine the new proposed legislation on placenames included in the Local Government (Dublin Mayor and Regional Authority) Bill 20109 before commenting on any proposed changes. This Bill legislates for the powers of a local authority to change a placename with the consent of local people who have a stake in the placename. The section of the Act which most concerns the discussion of this thesis is contained in Section 189 changing of placename. A proposal must made on both the Irish and English forms of

7

Art Ó Maolfabhail, “The Background and Present Role of the Placenames Branch of the Ordnance Survey” in Art Ó Maolfabhail (ed.), The Placenames of Ireland in the Third Millennium – the proceedings of a seminar 28th February 1992, (Dublin: Ordnance Survey and The Placenames Commission 1992), pp. 22-23. 8 “Name’s the same – with a difference” The Irish Times, 26 April 1969, p.14. 9 see appendix 2.5

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a placename10 The local authority must specify if the primary form used is to the Irish or English from of the name.11 Under Section 192 general provisions relating to change of names the local authority must ‘give due regard to local and indigenous traditions in the development of any proposal for the change of a name.’12 The Bill further allows for the supersession of a declaration made under the Official Languages Act, 2003.13 This Bill would appear to have taken into account a number of the key issues of placename conflict which have arisen over the past decade. The Irish and English form of placenames must be proposed when proposing a placename change The language form which is to take precedence is to be highlighted before a local plebiscite on the name change has taken place. The Official Languages Act 2003, where it applies to a Gaeltacht placename, can be superseded by a plebiscite under this new bill. While these three points are important neither the new legalisation proposed nor the Official Languages Act indicate what current forms of placenames are to be used in legal documents. While there are current standardized placenames available there is no definitive published list of placenames in the authoritative anglicized or Irishlanguage forms available for each county in Ireland. While this work is currently being conducted by the placenames commission the placename orders legislating on the official placenames have only been completed for a small number of counties. I.R. Uimh. 520/2003 An tOrdú Logainmneacha (Contae Chill Chainnigh) 2003. I.R. Uimh. 521/2003 An tOrdú Logainmneacha (Contae Lú) 2003. I.R. Uimh 523/2003 An tOrdú Logainmneacha (Contae Mhuneacháin 2003.

10 11

Local Government (Dublin Mayor and Regional Authority) Bill 2010, Sec. 189(3). Local Government (Dublin Mayor and Regional Authority) Bull 2010, Sec. 189(4). 12 Local Government (Dublin Mayor and Regional Authority) Bull 2010, Sec. 192(4). 13 Local Government (Dublin Mayor and Regional Authority) Bull 2010, Sec. 192(6).

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I.R. Uimh. 524/2003 An tOrdú Logainmneacha (Contae Phort Láirge) 2003. I.R. Uimh. 525/2003 An tOrdú Logainmneacha (Contae Uíbh Fhailí) 2003. I.R. Uimh. 847.2005 An tOrdú Logainmneacha (Contae Thiobraid Árann) 2005. An tOrdú Logainmneacha (Contae Bhaile Átha Cliath) 2010 (Draft schedule). The final placenames order for Dublin was published in draft form on the website www.logainm.ie with the following note Before giving its advice, the Commission wishes to receive recommendations from the public regarding the draft order, the Irish versions included. So that the public may study the draft order the Commission is launching a draft of the proposed order. The Irish versions in the draft are based on the work of the Placenames Branch in the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. The Commission will study all the recommendations in cooperation with the Branch before it advises the Minister.14 This is the first evidence of consultation with local concepts on the forms of placenames by the commission and a step in the right direction. The five of the other six county placename orders were all passed before the placenames order for Gaeltacht regions was published in 2004 and represent the research of the PC up to the implementation of the Official Languages Act 2003. Proceeding in the future – Utilizing Local Groups to Help in Placename Standardization. Chapter three examined a number of cases where local groups engaged in the collection of minor placenames. These local placenames collections are funded through government funding available to local community groups in order to promote community development and employment. In the introduction a reference was made to how local authorities dealt with the naming of new housing estates. In a number of cases local groups which include a number of local historians and language experts

14

http://www.logainm.ie/Orduithe.aspx, accessed 13 August 2011.

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were organised as local placename commissions.15 There is a current economic need to create Jobs and the election promise of the current Irish Government was to implement a Five Point Plan.16 One promise under the plan was to stem emigration in Ireland by providing ‘a wider range of opportunities, Fine Gael will create over 45,000 additional work experience, training, and internship opportunities.’17 This could be implemented in the case of placename research and standardization of authoritative forms in a number of ways. By utilizing local community groups and the knowledge of local people in the collection and recording of placenames it would be possible to legislate on an authoritative from of a placenames with reference to local traditions. Each project could be overseen by established local placenames commissions who work on a voluntary basis to provide advice to local developers and local authorities. Local projects could be funded through FÁS and Leader funding, providing local employment in the projects. This could be incorporated in a social welfare payment scheme where people have to work a number of hours to receive social welfare payments. Where two or more forms of placename occur, legislation should arrange for both names to be recorded if the lesser known of the two names has a historical tradition within the areas. This would allow for an authoritative legal form of the name to be used, which would stand as a legal name for both local versions, while allowing for local orthography to continue in use. New legislation would need to be drawn up that protects both the Irish language and anglicized versions of placenames as well as providing for traditional names to be used. As in Norway standardized spelling regulations would need to be formed for
15

In Galway, Gaillimh le Gaeilge formed a Placenames Committee in 1992 to provide developers with suitable Irish names for new housing developments in the city. Gaillimh le Gaeilge, “Placenames Commission” http://www.gleg.ie/menu.asp?Menu=179&SC=Y, accessed 13 August 2011. The local development plans, language guidelines and heritage plans for a number of other counties indicate that most counties followed suit and organised their own Placenames Commissions. 16 Fine Gael, http://connect.finegael2011.com/, accessed 13 August 2011. 17 Fine Gael, “Working for Our Future – A Jobs and Economic Development Strategy for Ireland 2011 – 2016, http://finegael2011.com/pdf/WorkingforOurFuture.pdf, p.36, accessed 13 August 2011,

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placenames according to local traditions within the area. This would require a study of the Irish language within local areas, which at the same time would provide the government with detailed information on the true level of Irish language usage on a daily basis. A project like this could be managed by the PC who, would advise on local issues of placenames, and promote education of the proper forms and usage of placenames in the country. By utilizing school children in the collection of placenames, as in the cases of Ros Muc, Co. Galway and Lankford’s placename collection in Co. Cork and Co. Kerry, children could be introduced to the Irish language in a new and interesting way, which could be incorporated into a school project. Returning to the case for Norway, the recognition of Irish placenames as cultural entities has been acknowledged in the new Local Government Bill 2010 where the ‘indigenous traditions [must be taken into account] in the development of any proposal for the change of a name.’18 However the practical and useable nature of names is not promoted. In the case of local authorities and state bodies such as An Post under directions from the government, changing the local form of a placename, without consulting local communities, there needs to be an understanding of how the names have been used by local communities as postal addresses for a significant period of time. Acknowledgement needs to be given to the placename forms which are used as postal addresses for business or as tourism brands in the case of Dingle. If the government wishes for a standard authoritative form of a placename to be used then the importance of standard names needs to be promoted within local communities. If the government were to fund projects which incorporated local communities and possibly local children into the collection of placenames then the local knowledge of the correct forms of names would improve as would the understanding of local forms of placenames. The proposals outlined in this thesis may not fix the problem of local perception on the correct or incorrect versions of placnames, but they would help in educating future generations on the importance of placenames within local communities. The Norwegian Act, has not reached a perfect stage yet, with political influence promoted
18

Local Government (Dublin Mayor and Regional Authority) Bull 2010, Sec. 192(4).

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over the implementation of government legislation. However the act is more complementary to the views of the local communities.

Possible Future Work Which can be Extracted From This Thesis. The studies contained within this thesis were limited by the time frame and the scope of the work. The outline of the local collection of placenames could form a larger project on the ideas of place and local connection with the land through the study of placenames. While a number of scholars have written on minor collections of placenames19 and there are a number of local histories or collections of placenames published in Ireland20 there has been no substantial study on how these placenames are collected by local community groups, or projects such as Dr. Lankford’s in counties Cork and Kerry. By looking at a number of placenames collections across the country as well as the research conducted by the PB, it may be possible to conclude on a best practice model for the collection and preservation of placnames in Ireland. There is also scope to continue the work of looking at local conflicts of placenames in Ireland in more depth and to expand on the cases already mentioned as well as incorporating more cases into the study. These could then be compared to other the placename research in other former British colonies such and South Africa where conflict arose regarding the changing of placenames. This could be used to from the basic of a best practice model for the changing of placenames, through the study of local plebiscites and legal cases.

19 20

See the works of Nollaig Ó Muraíle and Patrick Duffy for examples. See the works of Liam Price and Patrick McKay for examples.

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Appendices

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Appendix 1 Interviews and Electronic Communication

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While researching this thesis a number of interviews were conducted with people working in the area of placename collection. This appendix will include the edited textual version of those interviews in order to provide the reader with a complete understanding of the view of the interviewee. Reference has been made to these interviews in the footnotes to the main body of text as Personal Observation [pers. obvs.]. This represents oral conversations with those interviews as recorded on the date shown and is regarded as the opinion of the interviewee. A separate form of communication was used when engaging with people via electronic forms of communication. This form of communication is noted as Personal Communication [pers. comm.] in the footnotes of the main body of the text and is used to represent the official views of correspondences as written and expressed in emails. The following appendix is separated in interviews: 1.1. Caitlín Nic Dhonnacha, (CD) Bainisteoir Ionad Oidhreachta Leitir Mealláin agus Garumna. 1.2. Patrick S. Ó Flatharta, (PF) Bainisteoir Óige, Múintearas, Leitir Móir. 1.3. Michael Grehan, (MG) who conducted a placename and local history collection in the Ox Mountains in Co. Mayo. and communications 1.4. Nollaig Ó Muraíle, (NM) Lecturer at NUI Galway and member of the Placenames Commission. (edited from of extended e-mail correspondence). 1.5. Paddy Mathews, Manager, Destination Development, Fáilte Ireland.

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Interviews
Appendix 1.1. Date: Format: 20 June 2011 Informal interview between Gary Dempsey (GD) and Caitlín Nic

Dhonnacha, (CD) Bainisteoir Ionad Oidhreachta Leitir Mealláin agus Garumna. Caitlín heads up the placename collections for Ceantar na nOileán, which is the flagship area for the mapping and recording of placenames in County Galway; headed up by the County Heritage Officer Maire Mannion. Notes: The following is an edited version of a recorded informal conversation.

The answers recorded below draw together the overall conversation relating to particular topics which have been formulated into questions. GD: How did you become involved with placename collections? CD: We started off the collections here, by ourselves and slowly the County Council came on board with us. When we began I had two ladies working here with me collecting field names and any other names we came across, like the old names of hills or wells. The people who worked on the projects were part of FÁS schemes and you could have them here for one day and then off the next. When [Marie Mannion and] the council came onboard we started to mark the location of the names, so that they could be mapped. Marie provided us with collection sheets in English, which we translated in Irish as we work through Irish here. GD: Do you find that names are known locally or is it just in families? CD: We generally go to families to get the names. Some families may have moved on and those who remain try to get the names from them. The tradition of naming is kind of dying out now. They used to use the fields for potatoes and everything but there is few and far between that do that now. GD: Would neighbours know the field names of farms around them or just their own? 94

CD: Everybody had their own names for the field but would find names such as Garraí an Tobair a lot in one village. If there is conflict over the names of a field you would take the name from the person who owns the field. That’s what we were doing. GD: Do you find that names have an element of ownership or are they descriptive of the field? CD: You would find that names are descriptive in this area. People would know who owned the land, so there are more names describing the land type. GD: How do you tie the placenames collection together, when they are done as part of small projects? CD: The times we can work on the collection are limited, I will have some new staff now in a few weeks and we can move onto a new area to collect the names there. I work then to train in the different groups on how to use the GPS and fill out the forms. There can be difficulties when dealing with other areas. When I was training in the people on Aran for the project, the issue of farmers owning land in different places came up. In this area people tend to own land near their home, but on Aran famers might live on one side of the island and own land on another. Issues like that have to be dealt with when using maps as the basis for the collections. When my teams starts back in a few weeks, that will be great, because we need to collect the name or else they will be lost. GD: Would you have come across unique names in an area that you do not see, or hear of in other places you have collected names? CD: Well we get a lot of holy wells in this area here, and the names can be unique. When working with Aran, the name Buaile came up where we use the word Garraí for a field. I had never heard of this term before. GD: If the names were changed or contested do you think that people would be upset of angered at this? Do you think that the people have a connection to the land through the name or are the names something that does not matter?

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CD: Chuigéil is the name of a village and then you have Garraí Chuigéil and Garraí Beag Chuigéil so there is a connection between the two there. There is a lot not known about why the names were there even by the current owners. Garraí Lar is in the middle of a field and that’s why that name stuck and then An Cnocán Mór would be the Big Hill and the name comes from a feature in the middle of the field. The names were once important but now the names are losing their importance because people don’t use the fields as much as they did. Some people would see the field names as important but others could not care one way or the other. GD: If you were giving directions to a local, from the area, would you the field names when describing where to go? CD: For local’s maybe, but not the field names. You might use the name of a house, Tigh Johnny, but this would only be used among the older generation. The names would stick with the older people. The use of names is dying out, I would have known the names when I was growing up and we would be out in the fields but it did not stick. It would stick more with my parents, and they might still use the names of fields, but you might not know what they are referring to. We would have used the same names as our parents but we do not use them. GD: Do you find it hard to collect names from people sometimes? CD: We do have gaps in the mapping of names. Not everybody is not happy to help, but hopefully that when they see their neighbours collecting them they might get on board. People can be protective of their land, but most people were interested in helping with the collections. GD: Do you think that someone from outside of the community might find it easier to collect names? CD: I would say that it would be harder. People can be very untrusting when it comes to issues of land. We work with the schools in the area to collect names also and it is interesting to get the kids involved in collecting the names from their families. They have collected the names, and the principle of the school in Ros Muc has been great at collecting the names. There were some problems when land was commonage and this 96

did not seem to be named as well as private land. People were very helpful with the information they could give but they were wary when people started to talking about GPS and using the equipment and recording sheets so we have put that to one side at the moment. The collections record local history as well as placenames and the kids show great interest in the collections.

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Appendix 1.2. Date: Format: 20 June 2011 Informal interview between Gary Dempsey (GD) and Patrick S. Ó

Flatharta, (PF) Bainisteoir Óige, Múintearas, Leitir Móir. Patrick works as a coordinator between Múintearas and Caitlín Nic Dhonnacha who manages the placename collections in Ceantar na nOileán. Múintearas provides funding for such projects and helped to expand the original project through Gortmore National School in Ros Muc. Note: The following is an edited version of a recorded informal

conversation.. The answers recorded below draw together the overall conversation relating to particular topics which have been formulated into questions. GD: Why did you become interested in placnames collection? PF: Since the first day I came to Múintearas I thought that we might do something like this. The first chat I had with Seán Ó Coistealbha, [Príomhoifigeach Múintearas] he asked me what I might like to do with the schools around the area, and I mentioned placenames that time; that’s about eight or nine years ago. So I was always interested in the subject myself anyway, but then this opportunity came about between the County Council, Scóil Ros Muc and Múintearas. We found out this thing [the County Council] do with schools [The Golden Mile Programme]. I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to start this [placenames] scheme somewhere. I was interested in what Marie Mannion had to say, her heart and soul is in the project. She is doing what everybody in schools should be doing. Getting kids involved in Heritage and recording names getting the co-ordinates and everything. From a personal point of view I am very interested in placenames, and would know a lot, but not as much as other people in Galway. I would have a fair idea of names. That is where we started and hopefully if this project goes well we could take it to a different level. I hope that the school gets an award for this; because if one school is seen to do well at something like this then other schools become interested. It’s a 98

great way to start putting the word out that there is an award out there for schools and this is a great incentive for schools. They tend to follow each other. GD: Do you think that this is a good way to collect the placenames, where the local kids help in the collecting? PF: I think it’s a brilliant way. If you can start at that level it’s great. [Work is currently done a national school level, but] it would be great to get something done with secondary schools and transition students. A lot of this work is done in primary schools and it would be nice to see it carry over into secondary schools. GD: Does it help to keep the names alive, by involving the children? PF: It does yeah; involving the kids is brilliant, what other ways are we going to keep them alive. This is the only ways I can think of [keeping placenames alive] anyway. GD: Do you think that names are only known within families or are they known throughout a community? PF: People in a village would know the names of places in that village. The thing is that it is fading away in the last number of year’s altogether. Having the schools involved in colleting the names means that there is a record there in the local area for the future. We collect any name that can be recorded. I think that all of the names are of interest to somebody somewhere. If you record them at least they are there. We also collect folklore that go along with the names. GD: How do you get the kids interested in collecting the names? PF: It is integrated into their schoolwork. They come here to centre and tie it into computer work, where the kids put the tags [GPS locations] on the names here in the centre. There is a lot of science available which we can work with like Google Earth. The landscape will be there for the rest of our lives at least, so why not keep the names.

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GD: All the work here will be published through the Galway County Council Mapping website and be put up on Google Earth, but will you be doing anything else with the work? PF: Well hopefully, down the line. I think a lot of schools have their own websites, we could maybe put this up on their website and if someone; a past pupil, sees that, he would think fair play to them. GD: The first work I had seen of the area here was as part of the graveyard study, which included placenames form some of the areas. PF: That was done with local people through a FÁS scheme, and it was there before my time. It was done by Gaeltacht i gCéin and published in book form. Those books are now out of print and it is a shame that you cannot get them now. The maps that were published as part of the book on Reilig na Trá Báíne was great and they collected all the coastal names in the area. It is a pity that, that has not been recorded and put up on a website and then at least it would be easy to find and to add to the collection overtime. I think Gaeltacht i gCéin are an inspiration to all of us, you just have to look at the map they have done, I think it was in the 1980’s. If you could update that map, then you pinpoint exactly where the places are. GD: Do you think that the names will be remembered in this area in the long term, given that the knowledge on names is already starting to disappear? PF: I think if you even get to one person that would be great. I think that’s progress and that’s all you might get and that’s all you might need. If you get somebody to go forward and carry this on, if it comes from the heart then that is what I am aiming to do. GD: I am trying to look at the way people view their own area. Their personal perception of the land and it seems that if you record a name and say that is the correct name, then the view someone else thinks is right can be proven wrong. I do not agree with the idea of correcting the views of a local person who thinks they are right, but are contradicted by the recorded version. 100

PF: I wouldn’t say that person is always right, but I would say to them that’s their version of the story, and there can be many different versions of the story. GD: Do you find that neighbours can have different names for the same field? PF: You would have that yeah. People have different views on the land and the names come from the view of the land. GD: Would you find many family names for fields? PF: We would find that. That goes back generations and the names would stay for generations. Names would be used locally and it is there that they have been preserved. The house I would live in is known by my grandfathers’ names and my neighbours’ house is known by his father’s name; even the local pub is known as Tigh Hanny, which is three owners back. GD: Do you think there is pride then in where you are from; If you were in Dublin where you tell someone you were from? PF: I would say Trá Báine, and if they were to ask me where that was I would say the next post office to Leitir Móir; and if they still wanted to know where that was I would say Co. Galway. I think it is good that you keep your own identity and I think it is your choice and people are proud of their own name and proud of their traditions. I think that people can find pride in their own names, not just placenames but family names. If you heard that someone with your surname did well in the Olympics you would be proud, you would be prouder then if they were from your county and even more still if they came from your own village. There is always a local pride.

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Appendix 1.3. Date: Format: 22 June 2011 The following is an e-mail reply to Gary Dempsey (GD) received from

Michael Grehan, (MG) who conducted a placename and local history collection in the Ox Mountains in Co. Mayo. Michael began his collection in 2005 Notes: Development Details of Grehans collection can be found on the Ox Mountain Company Ltd. website

http://www.oxmountain.com/display_sub_section_topic.asp?27 accessed 30 June 2011. GD: What was the reason for the collection of placenames? MG: Old Irish placenames are disappearing rapidly. They are an important part of our heritage so I believe we should try and record as much as possible of what is still left. Some of the old people who gave me placenames have died since I talked to them and if I did not record them then they would now be lost forever. GD: Did you find that local people were easy to approach with regards to providing names that they knew? MG: Most people were easy to talk to once they knew you were genuine. You would meet the odd person who would not give you any information but they were in a minority. GD: Was there a tendency to use Irish language or Anglicized names in the area? MG: In some areas most of the names were Irish. In other areas they were a mixture of Irish and English names which shows the changeover from Irish to English. GD: Was there a pattern of what types of features were named (Fields, woods, ponds, wells etc)?

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MG: Features that stood out in the landscape like large hills, peaks, waterfalls, large rocks, rivers/streams, bogs/marshes etc. also places associated with people, animals, birds and places where a battle was fought etc. GD: Was it easy to find the back story to the placenames collected or did the names exist despite the origins not been known? MG: They say every placename tells a story. In some cases the story was known. Others were obscure, the origin of the name forgotten. Some names are easily translated, like Cnoc Mór, a large, hill but others are much more difficult and require a lot of research and even then you may not be sure so in that case I gave the different possibilities. GD: In your opinion what are the key importance’s of placenames (what are the reasons that people name the land/area around them? MG: When people first came into an area they would have picked out landmarks in the landscape and later they would be named after people who settled there and also features like archaeological sites, monasteries, churches etc.

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Communications
Appendix 1.4 Date: Format: Correspondence between 22 June 2011 to 25 July 2011 The following is the edited e-mail correspondence between Gary

Dempsey (GD) and Nollaig Ó Muraíle, (NM) of NUI Galway and member of the Placenames Commission. Notes: Nollaig has previously worked with the Placenames Branch, was

director of the Northern Ireland Place-Name Project and edited Ainm: The Bulletin of the Ulster Place-Name Society. GD: The governmental regulations concerning placenames have created tension between sections of local communities and the government. In the case of Dingle and Knock the perceived version of the name which was in use by people in the locality did not match with the official version of the placename. The official Languages Act, 2003 meant that placenames in the Gaeltacht could only be expressed in the Irish form. NM: People living in the Gaeltacht might choose to use anglicised forms of certain placenames in an unofficial context; there is currently nothing to prevent them using such forms as ‘Dingle’, ‘Carrowroe’, ‘Dungloe’, ‘Gweedore’ on brochures, shopnames, company-logos, or the like. GD: There are regulations regarding signs and official documents which do affect local forms of placenames. The case of Knock and Dingle only arose when the official names were introduced to the community for the first time. I have read a wonderful letter to the Irish Times which said that if the placenames had been changed under the Free State from the anglicized form back to Irish there would be no problem today as these names would have been the ones in common use on maps and road signs not the anglicised names

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NM: I think I recall someone making that case, and there is a similar one relating to the Ordnance Survey which, in the early 19th century, was responsible for furnishing anglicised versions of all townland, parish, barony and town-names. The process of ad hoc anglicization was, of course, in train long before the OS came along – in this respect Brian Friel’s play Translations is mistaken – but the OS completed the work, and the methodology the OS chose was quite different to that chosen later in regard to Scotland and Wales, where an orthography much closer to the Gaelic and Welsh ones was employed. One wonders, for example, if they had decided to use ‘Loch’ in place of ‘Lough’ (as they did in Scotland), would the anglicised form have died out. GD: Most placenames research is concerned with the search for the origins of placenames. What does a name mean? Or why was an area called this? – There is another overlooked element to placenames, which is the local importance of a name. This local version of the name carries with it local pronunciation and ideas of place. I am interested in looking at how names are used and spoken by local people, are they spoken in English or Irish. NM: The actual methodology in relation to Irish language placenames is (1) To catalogue historical attestations of a particular name through the centuries from as comprehensive a range of sources as possible. (2) To try to establish what the various forms – perhaps in a variety of languagecontexts, Latin, Norman-French and English, as well as Irish, Old, Middle and Modern – indicate was the original Irish-language form. (3) To see if that historically attested form agrees with the modern Irish form, especially as spoken by the most recent speakers of Irish in the area (if the area is not still Irish-speaking). In the course of this research it will, in most cases, become apparent (a) What the name actually meant, (b) Why that name was applied to that particular place.

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But in a small minority of cases it may prove impossible to come to any definite conclusions about these two last points. Names are not spoken ‘in English’ unless they have been translated or otherwise transformed into fully English-language names – Blacksod, Burtonport, Roundstone, and the like – perhaps better to say that they are pronounced in an English language context, or expressed in anglicised form GD: I am suggesting that when looking at the placenames of Ireland the current form of a name is taken into account when deciding on the official version. It is this current form, be it English or Irish that is used by the community and that is used to promote sense of place and community spirit. NM: The ‘current form’ is always taken into account, as in many instances the way a placename is pronounced, even by a speaker with no knowledge of Irish, may give a valuable hint as to the origin of the name; for example, stressing of syllables in accordance with Irish phonology can long outlive the disappearance of the language – compare ‘Armagh’ and ‘Omagh’, GD: The Placenames Commission has come under fire on at least two occasions when names were changed; once in Dingle where a portion of the local community wanted to keep an anglicized version of the placename [Dingle/Daingean Uí Chúis] and secondly with Knock whose Irish name An Cnoc was commonly known as Cnoc Mhuire by Irish speakers. In both cases the local community saw their version of the name as being more important than a historical or official version of the name and fought for the change of the name to their version. The commission seems (from media reports) to be saying that the name they gave was the official name and the one to be used. NM: The controversy over these two names merits some explanation. First, ‘Dingle’. The Placenames Commission has had no role in relation to it since the mid-1960s when it recommended An Daingean as the form generally used by Irish-speakers in the locality. Under a government order of forty years ago, made by the then Minister 106

for Local Government (Bobby Molloy, as far as I recall), Gaeltacht placenames were to be given in their Irish form only in official documentation and signage. The whole row over the supposed banning of ‘Dingle’ arose from a misunderstanding, since the name was never ‘banned’ – just as there was no ban on names such as ‘The Book of Kells’ or ‘Navan Carpets’ during the years when those towns were known officially as Ceanannas Mór and An Uaimh, respectively. GD: You mention supposed banning – It was legally not allowed on road signs within the region (Gaeltacht) and this was what caused the problem. As you noted the legal Irish names had been An Daingean since the 1973 Act was passed. NM: But there has to be a standard form for use on road signs! Everybody around Castleblayney calls the place Blayney; people around Blacklion, Co. Cavan, call it The Black; natives of Castlebellingham, Co. Louth, pronounce it Castlebellinjem; Kiltyclogher, Co. Leitrim, is known as Kilty; Inishbofin has been known since the 17th century as Boffin. Some people around Ballydesmond, Co. Cork, still call it Kingwilliamstown (especially when singing a well-known local ballad). Yet none of these ‘popular’ forms appears on a signpost and so, in a sense, are ‘banned’. The Dingle controversy gave rise to some very dubious ‘history’, one protagonist, for example, claimed that the name ‘Dingle’ could be traced back to the 12th century, the source cited being the Calendar of Documents, Ireland; the person in question did not realise that in the ‘Calendar’ the 19th-century editor had substituted modern forms for the original placename-forms whenever he thought he could identify them! Part of the annoyance of people in Corca Dhuibhne towards the ‘Dingle’ campaigners appears to have arisen from the perception that the latter were happy to live in a Gaeltacht town, with the various benefits deriving from that status, but wished to downplay the Gaelic dimension. Many of the arguments the campaigners advanced were typical of the monoglot anglophone who always wants to know ‘What is that in English?’ We were informed that tourists couldn’t pronounce An Daingean (or even find it – even though it is printed on tourist maps). How many of them could pronounce 107

Gneeveguilla or Lyracrompane? How would they manage with Blaenau Ffestiniog, Milngavie or Cholmondley in the respective countries of the neighbouring island – not to mention places a bit further afield (try Capelle aan den Ijssel, Jastrzebie-Zdrój, Nyíregyháza)? And then, the campaigners decided to resurrect Daingean Uí Chúis – anything but to recognise the form in everyday use by the people who spoke the local ‘patois’! (Daingean Uí Chúis did exist historically, but so also did Doire Cholm Cille, Ceanannas na Mí, Callainn an Chlampair, Béal Feirste Cois Cuain, Gort Inse Guaire, Aonach Urmhumhan – on a par with Lovely Leitrim, the Kingdom of Kerry, Rebel Cork, Tyrone among the Bushes, even Mayo God help us, etc. – but Irish speakers almost invariably use the abbreviated forms – An Daingean, Doire, Callainn, Béal Feirste, An Gort, An tAonach – in normal conversation.) GD: Removing the question of Dingle (an English Town) being part of the Gaeltacht for just one moment, there is evidence from Fáilte Ireland that tourists did find it confusing and difficult to find Dingle while the signs said An Daingean. The fact that tourists were walking into the Dingle tourist office asking for directions to Dingle does prove a point that Fáilte Ireland, Kerry County Council and Local (business) people made. NM: A facile answer here is to say that the poor tourist who looks for Florence on an Italian map won’t find it. However, I have to concede that the standard of signage in Ireland, in either of the two official languages, is a disgrace – and particularly bad in the case of Irish, where misprints and other howlers are left uncorrected for years, whereas mistakes in the ‘English’ forms are usually corrected. Leaving aside the principles of the thing – it is my personal view that it is wisest to permit both Irish and anglicised name-forms in Gaeltacht areas. It is a historical fact that many of the urban areas located within the bounds of the Gaeltacht have always been quite anglicised and it is probably unwise, and indeed unjust, to compel the English-speaking residents to use the Irish name-forms only. Here of course we come to the question of what should constitute a Gaeltacht area, and this is a matter that is

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under consideration at the moment, since the boundaries laid down in the 1950s no longer conform to linguistic reality. GD: The other area which I have mentioned is Knock, where the issue did not arise with regards to the use of the Irish name but rather what Irish-language version was used on signs and by the post office. NM: The historical name was Cnoc Dromma Calraige (later Cnoc Droma Calraí), but since the 17th century it has been known as An Cnoc. Then, about 1935, the founder of the Knock Shrine Society, Justice Liam Ua Cadhain, invented the form Cnoc Mhuire, and this came to be used fairly widely. The Placenames Commission in the 1960s assessed the evidence for the name and agreed that An Cnoc was the correct Irish name. It was later suggested in some quarters that this was evidence of an anti-clerical bias – in fact about half of the Commission at the time was made up of priests, including An tAthair (later Cardinal) Tomás Ó Fiaich and An tAthair Pádraig Ó Fiannachta. About a dozen years ago a campaign was launched at home – by a cousin of my own – to change the name officially to Cnoc Mhuire. As a one-man campaign it was very effective; the man in question was active politically and is very bright, speaks good Irish and is a most effective controversialist. I engaged in debate with him in the local papers – mainly to contradict his contention that Cnoc Mhuire was a long-established name, rather than an invention of the 1930s. There was a local ‘referendum’, which was rather problematical because it was unclear if everyone in the parish of Knock had a vote, or was it to be confined to the village and, if the latter, where were the boundaries to be drawn, as Knock is not a townland. Some people suggested that, since the new Connacht Regional Airport is popularly known as ‘Knock Airport’ (even though it is about ten miles from the village), the people of that area of east Mayo should also have a vote! Most people in the parish did not vote, and some who did, told me they voted for Cnoc Mhuire ‘just to spite that shower above in Dublin’. The campaign caught the attention of the Minister, Éamon Ó Cuív, and he sought the advice of the Placenames Commission.

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The Commission, of which I was not yet a member, advised that he retain An Cnoc as the official name. (The role of the Commission is to advise the Minister, on the basis of research carried out by the staff of the Placenames Branch, or Placenames Office; the minister may or may not accept the advice) Eventually Ó Cuív decided to award the name Cnoc Mhuire to the people of Knock as a ‘Millennium gift’. I was a guest speaker at the occasion of the ‘presentation’ and I repeated my reservations about the whole affair, but conceded that it was a fait accompli. It was all a good-humoured event. To sum up, then, there was no popular ‘fight’ by the people of the area to have the name changed. In many ways, it was like a number of other campaigns in this field that I have experienced in my time. One other aspect I should mention is that the famous Monsignor James Horan about thirty years ago, knowing I was working in the Placenames Branch of the Ordnance Survey – where I was from 1972 to 1993 – invited me to meet him to see if it would be possible to change the anglicised name of the village, and perhaps the parish, to Knockmary; I told him there was much uncertainty as to the legal standing of anglicised name-forms. (It was discovered when the Languages Act was being prepared, about a decade ago, that, in fact, they had no legal status!) When I mentioned this episode at home some years ago, I found people were very definite that – whatever about the Irish form, and however great their admiration for the Monsignor – they did not want the name ‘Knock’ to be changed! GD: This is where the local importance of placenames comes into play. If Knock was in a Gaeltacht, the road signs could only show Cnoc Mhuire – if your statement above can be carried over then the people could have a problem similar to that of Dingle. If the Official Languages Act allowed for both Irish and anglicized names (where they are popularly known outside of the area) to be on signage then there would be no problem. NM: I tend to agree with this – except for the term ‘popularly known’ as this would give carte blanche to all kinds of eccentric people – see below.

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GD: While you say that the Commission had no role since the 1960’s, it was this role that would later affect the placename, when it was ‘forced’ (I use this term as it was used by the local committee calling for change) upon the people – I have noted above that the problem here lies with the length of time that it took for the name to be used in a way that (a small exclusive group within) the community saw as having an effect on their culture and way of life. NM: What I meant here was that the Commission used research done on the name in the 1950s, the form An Daingean was published in Ainmneacha Gaeilge na mBailte Poist in 1969 (after the provisional list of post-office names had been issued in the early 1960s) and it was made official by a Placenames Order in 1975 (based on the Placenames Act of 1973). Irish speakers in Corca Dhuibhne had been using the form for centuries; the English speakers in the Dingle area were oblivious to this as many were unfamiliar with the ancestral language of in the area. GD: It has been claimed by Nicola Whyte (Inhabiting the Landscape - Place, and Custom Memory, 1500-1800, Oxbow Books, 2009, p. 135) that "Scholars interested in the history of minor placenames have mainly been concerned to catalogue [a] name without any real consideration of their significance in a local context". NM: This is in the nature of microtoponymy; unfortunately, what are classed as ‘minor names’ are usually known to very few people – often only the owner of the piece of land where the name occurs. Most have never been written down, and many appear to have been quite ephemeral – rarely lasting more than a couple of generations. Many workers in the field, myself included, have come across a name given by a particular informant, while his brother, or other family-member, will have never heard of it or, if he has, may pronounce it differently, or insist that it is located elsewhere. (There are, on the other hand, some instances of names that have survived for centuries – in one case I know of, a name recorded in the late 7th century does not appear again until the early 19th century, but that would be exceptional). GD: While Whyte was speaking about English names her statement taken from J. Field's Guide to English Field-Names (1993) could be extended to placename research in general. It would appear that the Placenames Commission has in the past 111

suggested names which have caused contention with local communities due to the view that the name is wrong or has not been used in a long time. NM: One class of name I can think of in this context consists of names which appeared in Seosamh Laoide’s Post-Sheanchas (1905) and which were used for about forty years by the postal authorities, and taught in school; when the Placenames Commission corrected some of these there was local opposition, with demands to ‘bring back the old name’. I have had direct experience of three or four such campaigns, which were usually led by a local person who had time on his hands GD: You stated that most placename conflicts were begun by one person or small group of people from within the community. However while these people may have business interests and have a perceived stake in what the signs say directing people to the town their business is in, they do represent a community that chose to vote in favour of keeping an Anglicised name which has been claimed to be nonsense. My point on this is that Dingle was an established name, on road signs and in the living language for over 100 years. There is a perception that this is the name of the town, this is the name that has been used; despite the Place-Names Irish Forms Act 1973. The Official Languages Act called for a change that affected the people (albeit a small portion) of the community of Dingle Town. This is where the placenames policy (the 2003 Act which repealed the 1973 Act) conflicted with the perceived cultural importance of the name as viewed by a section of the community, who, in the case of Dingle, voted to change. NM: On the question of local plebiscites, as in Dingle or Knock, there is the problem of what part of the population should be given a vote. There is no difficulty in the case of a townland, which is clearly delineated, but a town or village usually has no clear boundaries, and nowadays with ribbon-development it may be difficult to decide where one town ends and another begins. GD: A democratic vote or populism is six of one, a half dozen of the other. Every vote is a popularity vote. Government elections are held the same way

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This is the legal way that placenames have been voted on since the Local Government Act 1946. If locals do not want a name, the vote will not pass. Failed name changes Original Name Beresford Place Church St. Williams St. Upper Williams St. Bridewell St. Ashe St. Ballymun Park Ballymun Driver Ceanannus Mór Hacourt Terrace Proposed Change (James) Connolly Place Pearse St. Saint Patrick St. Same An Gleann Colbert St. Glasnevin Park Glasnevin Drive Kells MacLiamóir Terrace Area Dublin Listowel Same Same Same Same Dublin Dublin Meath Dublin Year 1932 1951 Same Same Same Same 1974 Same 1979* 1979

*Ceanannus Mór was officially changed back to Kells in 1993. NM: I would question including Beresford Place in the above list since it precedes the Act of 1946. Another recent instance is Newtownsandes, Co. Kerry, where there has been a popular campaign for some years to change the name to Moyvane; this was carried by plebiscite a few years ago, but apparently a two-thirds majority of the rate-payers was required, so the majority vote did not suffice. You would need to check this out. I think the well-known poet Gabriel Fitzmaurice was prominent in the campaign.

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There is a fairly extensive list of names of places – towns and villages, plus two counties – whose official names were changed from English or anglicised forms to Irish forms: Navan : An Uaimh, Kells : Ceanannus Mór; Bagenalstown : Muine Bheag; Queenstown : Cobh; Kingstown : Dún Laoghaire; Philipstown : Daingean; Maryborough : Portlaoighise (>Portlaoise). And then there are the two counties whose names were changed from English forms to anglicised ones: King’s County: Offaly; Queen’s County: Laoighis (>Laois). There is also the issue of Derry Vs Londonderry. Although the former is the version supported, and used, by an overwhelming majority of the city’s population, the latter is the only official form. Despite this, Derry is the only form the Ordnance Survey (of Ireland) has used, for both city and county – apparently since the early days of the state. [The following is a continuation of the discussion of local perception of placenames and the attempts of individuals to change a name. Nollaig was making the point that he had dealt with a number of cases where the individuals views were incorrect historically] NM: I have had direct experience of three or four such campaigns, - relating to Skull, Co. Cork, Doon, Co. Limerick, Sallynoggin, Co. Dublin, and the Irish name of Louth. In the first case, Skull, An Scoil, the ‘traditional’ form was Scoil Mhuire; when I did a little research, I discovered that that form dated back to 1893 when the parish priest, who fancied himself as a historian, misread a Latin sentence as referring to a ‘College of St Mary’ in Skull; in fact, the text referred to a collegiate church in Waterford, but the PP had set the ball rolling and the leader of the campaign made numerous requests of me that the name be changed. Of course I had no authority to change it, but I did try to explain how the incorrect name had come about; the campaigner had made his mind up on the situation already and was not interested in any other version of the name’s origin but the one he had. In more recent times, the locals in that part of west Cork were put out because of the current policy of using the anglicised forms recommended by the Ordnance Survey 114

instead of those used by the postal service from the early 19th century. The postal forms predated the OS by a couple of decades and they were doggedly retained until about a decade ago (I think it was the Languages Act that gave legal status for the first time to the OS forms, although legal actions had been decided down through the decades on the basis that the OS form was the correct one – there was quite an amount of surprise, even shock, when it was discovered that this was not, in fact, the case). In many cases the divergence between the two forms (Ordnance Survey: OS) and Postal Service: P) is very slight but in others it may be more significant – in the west, for example, we have Inishcrone (OS) Enniscrone (P); Mallaranny (OS), Mulrany (P), Kiltamagh (OS), Kiltimagh (P), and of course in Co. Cork, Skull (OS), Schull (P). GD: I would make that point that people perceive their local names one way while the official version may be different. The sources from which these people receive their ‘correct’ information inform their perceptions; in turn they have a right to be angered about a change to their perceived view. If they prefer one version of the name based on an error by an official body in the past which is only now being corrected it is not their fault. But by changing the name they use, even slightly, affects their sense of place, which is an important part of Irish culture. There will always be people who want their view to come over others. One man can start a campaign to change a name, but the idea of the plebiscite is that the community affected have a chance to vote on any changes. If one side can rally more people to vote than the other then democracy works – the tag line of the lotto is always relevant, if you’re not in you can’t win. If people cannot be bothered to get up and vote on such an issue they most likely don’t care either way. They have more important real issues to contend with. However the people who do come out and vote represent a majority of the voting community and if such a vote is passed by a majority, no matter how small then one can argue that the community requested a change. Not all placename cases are put to a vote, but for the ones that are, I would argue the above point. NM: When I speak of view of the people of Skull on their placename and their wanting to use the pre-Ordnance Survey anglicised form Schull I merely meant that that took the heat off the campaign to ‘restore’ Mhuire to the Irish form of the name. 115

By the way, the gentleman who led the latter campaign also had another running in parallel: he wanted the Irish version of Barleycove, Cuan na hEornan, changed to Barr le Cuan – he was convinced that the English name was an attempted phonetic version of the original Irish rather than a translation. (The Irish ‘version’ he suggested is largely gibberish, but he refused to accept that judgement either.) This case reminds me of another individual who, in the 1940s and ’50s, tried to convince people that the names Wicklow and Arklow were not of Norse origin – the unanimous opinion of scholars of both Irish and Norse (apart from him!) – but, rather, represented the Irish names An Bhuíchloch and An Ardchloch, respectively. Fortunately, he did not get many people to back his support him. Returning to the issues raised by ‘Skull’ vs. ‘Schull’, if we want to revisit the anglicised forms recommended by the OS in the 1830s and ’40s (and which the Postal Service, having been in the field a couple of decades earlier, refused to adopt until about twenty years ago), we are in a whole new ball game. We are in effect back to the chaos that prevailed prior to the Survey – with some places having as many as half a dozen different spellings of their name. Just consider the mayhem (and the cost!) that would result from maps, land registry documents and deeds, acts of the Oireachtas and the like all having to be changed – and just because some local person decides to start a campaign, perhaps designed to further his own political ambitions! In the west of Ireland alone there are at least a few hundred townlands whose Irishorigin names have been replaced in popular usage by translations (and sometimes ludicrous mistranslations) – Carrownaglogh/Stonefield and Rockfield,

Slievenabrehan/Rookfield,

Treanlaur/Midfield,

Cloonnagleragh/Clarkfield,

Glennameeltoge/Midgefield, Tawnynameeltoge/Midgefield, or the wonderfully daft Knockbrack/Trouthill. Should these, too, be subject to referenda? In at least one case, the only inhabitants are an old man and his wife, both in their 80s – should they have the right to call a referendum? The foregoing are just some suggestions as to the practical implications of permitting a democratic free-for-all in relation to place-name forms. Maybe it is an example of that thorny old question that Mr de Valera raised at the time of the Treaty Debates in 1921-2: Do the people have a right to do wrong? 116 Perhaps they do, but the

consequences could be pretty depressing in terms of what we hand on to future generations. (There is a wonderful bardic poem in Classical Irish on this very question – it tells of thirty philosophers who discover there is going to be a terrible shower of rain which will cause anyone it falls on to lose their reason; they urge the people to take shelter until it is over, but they are ignored. They take shelter themselves and when the shower is over they come out, only to find that everyone else has gone mad. After a time they realise that they are out of step with all those around them, so they eventually decide that when the evil rain comes back they, too, will stand under it and become mad like everyone else. If you can’t beat ’em should you join ’em?) My reservations about place-name forms being decided by plebiscite remind me of a maxim of an old history professor of mine who used to declare in relation to committees seeking to decide some matter of importance: ‘I have never known collective enlightenment to emerge from individual ignorance’. Which reminds one of the saying that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. In the case of Doon, Sallynoggin and Louth, a head of steam built up locally – all, I would contend, characterised by that dangerous thing, ‘a little knowledge’, combined in many cases with closed mind. The research of the Placenames Office showed quite conclusively that, in the first instance, the desired form, Dún Bleisce, has not be shown to have been in active use for about 1200 years, that the recommended alternative Irish form for Sallynoggin was grammatically impossible, and that the suggested disyllabic Irish form for Louth had no basis and could not be explained; nevertheless, at least some of the proponents of the alternative forms were determined not to be persuaded by any evidence that might be laid before them. GD: 1978 saw the town of Clonmellon in Co. Westmeath demand that the postal mark for their village be returned to Cluain Mioláin from Ráistín after the Department of Environment requested that the Postmaster change the name. Joe Daly, who represented the local community to Westmeath Council, said that the name change was made without prior consultation with the townspeople who did not want ‘faceless people coming along and changing the name of the village.’

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NM: ‘Clonmellon’ is an invented name dating from the mid-19th century – as long as Irish was spoken in the area, and much later in neighbouring Co. Meath, the place was known by one name only - Ráistín. The name Ráistín was recommended by the Commission and published in Ainmneacha Gaeilge na mBailte Poist (1969), but the matter was put beyond dispute long before that by the great Westmeath scholar Fr Paul Walsh in his book Placenames of Westmeath (1915 and 1957). GD: The points on why the Irish name is Ráístín are explained extensively on Logainm.ie; this does highlight my point that the Commission or at least the Government department involved is suggesting a name which is not used within the community. NM: But it was used, and none other, while the language in which it occurs, Irish, was the local vernacular. GD: But at the time of the complaint Irish was not the local vernacular and (although led by a man with time on his hands) the claim was made that the name was not locally accepted. It must also be noted that not everyone cares about what someone stamps on the post mark of a letter as they have more important real life issues to contend with. That said when these name changes are reversed then the local issue goes away and the concerned elements of the community (who may or not have been voiced through a majority vote) have their views on what belongs to them back. NM: Perhaps we here come to the nub of the problem – the role of ‘democracy’ in such matters. I am all for democracy, but in certain things I am not sure just appropriate it is. A vote to make stealing legal, to abolish adverbs, to declare St Patrick never existed? I mention this in the light of my experience of dealing with strong willed people who will argue in relation to material which they cannot read or understand – such as sources in Latin or Old Irish, or even Modern Irish (and – even more bizarrely – in English) – but which they still have no hesitation in pontificating about. Twenty years ago Donnchadh Ó Corráin, recently retired as Professor of Medieval History in UCC, wrote a damning critique of ‘posh’ estate-names that show 118

developers aping the English while betraying a total lack of understanding of the meaning of certain English words they use in the names they apply to estates – ‘hurst’, ‘bury’, ‘close’, ‘holm’ and perhaps most notoriously, ‘down’ (as in Tiffany Downs, where the developer obviously thought that ‘down’ meant low land whereas it means quite the opposite – Ó Corráin also mentions the likes of Cypress Downs which was named by someone oblivious of the fact that ‘the real downs … are virtually treeless’.) Ó Corráin makes the very interesting point that piecemeal naming with little regard to the cultural context might be excusable in places like the American Midwest or Australia where an empty landscape (often in the wake of genocide) has to be named anew, because those who knew the former names are now gone. Ireland, in contrast, ‘is the most minutely named landscape I know’ and it behoves us to treat this onomastic heritage with a degree of sensitivity, and understanding. I have personal experience of names being plucked out of the air with no regard for the local context. When I bought my first house in west Dublin almost forty years ago I was on the committee of the local residents’ association, and one of our first tasks was to provide a name for our new estate. The previous name, that of the townland, was being used for a public housing development nearby, so the ‘private’ residents thought it was important to choose a separate name for our estate. Various names were kicked around and one of my fellow committee-members suggested a name which he thought sounded particularly attractive – ‘Avolawn’. I assumed that he had dipped into Arthurian literature and was mispronouncing Avalon but, not wanting to embarrass him by correcting him in public, I asked where he had heard this name, and he told me that he heard it on an ad for aftershave! As it happened, the rest of the committee did not find the name too appealing, so the eventual ‘winner’ was Brookhaven – suggested by someone who had worked near a place of the name in the United States. Actually, I think three or four names (which have long faded from my memory) were put to the residents in a plebiscite. Only about a quarter of those entitled to, cast a vote and this fairly uninspiring name won by a few votes.

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My point with regard to voting for place-name forms is that it is often an exercise, not in democracy but in populism – on a par with ‘X-Factor’ or one of those TV-polls for ‘the greatest Irishman ever’ or the like. The latter will almost invariably be won by the figure that has got the greatest TV exposure. So, if we want a complete dumbing down of our culture, and a triumph of know-nothingism, then we give in to this kind of thing. It would all bring us back to the days before the Ordnance Survey when most of what was written (in English) about Irish place-names was characterised by a miasma of ignorance and idiocy. For example, an early ‘expert’ employed by the Survey explained the parish-name Billy in north Antrim (from Irish Bile, ‘a sacred tree’) as commemorating King Billy, while another suggested the Irish of Maynooth to be Magh an Fhuaith, translated as ‘the plain of hatred’. When the young John O’Donovan joined the Survey in 1830 he transformed the approach to the study of our place-names almost overnight. (He scrawled over the full page of rubbish written in relation to Billy aforementioned: ‘These are the ravings of a bedlamite!’) Were we to yield to the Scoil Mhuire and Cluain ‘Mioláin’ advocates and others of that ilk, we might as well cast aside all the valuable work done in the field of Irish onomastics, especially since the establishment of the Irish Placenames Commission in 1946. This work is now held in high regard internationally, but if we were to reduce it to ‘X-Factor’-type populism we would be as well to throw it all overboard, or present it to the archives of an American university. One other example that occurs to me is Mountmary in south Roscommon. Research by my former colleagues in the Placenames Office quickly and irrefutably established that the original name in Old and Middle Irish was Slíab Fuire – rendered in Modern Irish as Sliabh bhFuire – and that Mountmary clearly derived from a misunderstanding of the name as Sliabh Mhuire, the pronunciation of which would be identical to that of Sliabh bhFuire. There was some consternation locally at the apparent banishment of ‘Muire’, with some seeing it as further creeping secularisation emanating from Dublin. When it was explained that this was a very old name indeed I think that some at least of the locals were willing to accept it, however grudgingly. It only takes one local, who has not bothered with the evidence (or lacks an understanding of it), to start a campaign on a matter like this. In one instance I know 120

that the leader of such a campaign got children in the local school, from infants up, to sign a petition to have the name of the parish changed. Quite obviously they did not have the evidence for the name explained to them – if only because the element he wished to have restored to the name was an Old Irish word meaning ‘prostitute’. GD: As I have stated the Irish language is a key cultural element in placenames but there are also the issues of perceived importance to the local community with should be considered when proposing a change of name for an area. NM: It is very rare indeed that a name is actually changed – except where Seosamh Laoide got it manifestly wrong (and misled a couple generations of schoolchildren). Some noted examples of howlers on his part are Ros Eo for Rush in north Co. Dublin (there was a place called Ros Eo in ancient times, but it was in Co. Westmeath); Ráth Luirc for Charleville, Co. Cork (Ráth Luirc was an ancient name for Ireland! The correct Irish form for the town is An Ráth, derived from Ráth an Ghogánaigh); the Irish form he recommended for Blanchardstown, Co. Dublin, Baile Luindín, occurred because his eye slipped down to the next name on the list, Blundelstown; Cill Bhéacáin for Bekan, Co. Mayo (there is plenty of evidence for the name Béacán, none whatever for Cill Bhéacáin); Brí Chualann for Bray is an invented form (the name is undeniably derived from Bré); Ball Álainn for Balla, Co. Mayo, is an example of grammatical ignorance, by someone who could not distinguish between a noun and an adjective (the correct form, Balla, meaning ‘a basin’, or baptismal font, goes back to the year 693). GD: While placename changes do not occur very often within Ireland and many of the names that have caused problems have been long established as the official name, although they were not implemented by local authorities and An Post as mentioned above, does the Commission or someone working on their behalf ever contact local communities in these situations to see what is the most commonly used name and how these names are perceived locally? NM: When research was done on the names of more than 3,000 ‘postal towns’ – encompassing names of all towns and most villages, and many smaller hamlets – in the 1950s and ’60s, there was extensive consultation with local informants; 121

provisional lists of name-forms, province by province, were published and distributed (beginning with Ainmneacha Gaeilge na mBailte Poist i gCúige Chonnacht, 27 pp (1960)) and a voluminous correspondence ensued. Suggestions and recommendations were discussed in minute detail by the Commission and a fairly significant proportion of the name-forms were revised – in many cases, the changes were simply matters of orthography, or the addition or removal of the definite article, but sometimes the changes were quite substantial. The most significant advice came, as might be expected, from people with good local knowledge and with a good mastery of the Irish language, but the overall range of opinions offered was impressive. It has to be borne in mind, however, that this field of scholarly research attracts its fair share of eccentrics. I never cease to be amazed at the number of people who are ready to pontificate on Irish place-names despite their self-confessed lack of knowledge of the Irish language, or their inability to handle the most basic aspects of the language’s grammar and syntax. I have recently been involved in a tiresome debate on the origin of the name Sligo, Sligeach, with a gentleman, a leading member of the legal profession, who has an idée fixe about the name – he is convinced that the name has nothing to do with the word slig ‘a shell’, but rather that it means ‘the road between two bridges’. While freely admitting that he has no Irish, he does not allow this to deter him from arguing about the name ad nauseam. I recall several years ago a gentleman who tried to convince me that the Co. Limerick townland-name Ballinvanna represented Baile an Bheana and that it referred to a woman (it is actually Baile an Mheana, ‘the townland of the awl’); even though I pointed out that the word bean has as its genitive singular the form mná (and nothing else), he would not accept that there might not have been a local dialect of Irish in east Limerick in which there was a variant genitive, beana (even though there is a fair amount of Limerick Irish on record, and of course no trace of such a genitive form). Another memorable instance was an author who in an eccentric book published about a century ago asserted that the north Mayo townland-name Errew represented the phrase ‘Taobh thiar de shruth’ (meaning ‘behind the stream’) – rather than Oireamh,

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‘tilled land’. He argued that if you said the phrase quickly enough it would sound like ‘Errew’ – I have tried it, and it doesn’t!

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Appendix 1.5 Date: Format: 15 June 2011 The following is an e-mail response from Fáilte Ireland after a request

was made to for a publishable statement regarding the issues tourists had with the Dingle placename change from the national tourism agency. Notes: Previous information had been obtained from a member of staff in the

Dingle office, although when Anna Farrell, Manager of Visitor Servicing West was contacted she advised that I seek an official comment from Nessa Skehan, a researcher in the Policy & Futures department. Nessa contacted Paddy Mathews who provided the following statement. Hi Gary, The following is a quotable statement from Fáilte Ireland in relation to this matter. You can attribute the quote to me if you wish. Although there is no statistical evidence which can point to a drop in tourist numbers as a direct result of the change of the official name from ‘Dingle’ to ‘An Daingean’, Fáilte Ireland has anecdotal evidence from both the Tourism Information Office in Dingle and also from correspondence received on this issue from both overseas and domestic visitors, that the change has led to confusion among visitors and a dilution of the brand value of Dingle. This, however, is virtually impossible to quantify in any concrete terms. The placename of ‘Dingle’ in English is considered to have brand status, meaning that overseas visitors in particular will be very familiar with it and will have particular associations with it prior to visiting – for many it is on their ‘must see’ list of places to visit. From a tourism perspective, the change of the placename from bi-lingual to Irish only, on all road signs erected by or on behalf of the Local Authority (to which the Official Language Act applies), is considered to have had a negative impact on tourism in a general sense of losing a valuable tourism brand and causing confusion from a way-finding perspective for visitors. 124

In 2007, Fáilte Ireland, in response to this perceived problem, erected a number of brown tourism directional signs for ‘Dingle Peninsula / Chorca Dhuibhne’ at a number of strategic locations on and approaching the peninsula, including at Tralee, Farranfore and Castlemaine. Two ‘Welcome to the Dingle Peninsula / Fáilte go Chorca Dhuibhne’ signs were also located on the Peninsula on the two principal access roads (from Killarney on the R561 and from Tralee on the N86). These ‘welcome’ signs were located just outside the Gaeltacht area and, therefore, did not have to be in Irish only. The reason for the use of ‘Dingle Peninsula’ on these signs was that it referred to the Peninsula rather than the town and so the bilingual issue did not arise to the same exert, as the translation of ‘Dingle’ when used as ‘Dingle Peninsula’ is not the same as the town. The western portion of the peninsula is referred to in Irish as Chorca Dhuibhne. The purpose of this signage was to provide clarity to overseas visitors who were familiar with the placename ‘Dingle’. Best regards, Paddy Mathews Manager Destination Development Fáilte Ireland 88-95 Amiens St Dublin 1

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Appendix 2 Sections of Irish Government Acts Which Relate to Placenames.

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Irish Government Acts
This appendix provides the reader with easy access to the Irish Government Acts which refer to placnames from 1946 to 2010. English acts prior to 1946 have excluded as they were repealed by the Local Government Act, 1946. The Acts of local corporations and urban councils have also been excluded from this appendix as the scope of this thesis deals with the regulation of the state of the Republic of Ireland and the not the local bi-laws of counties and towns. The Acts will be divided into two sections dealing with 1.Acts dealing with the changing of placenames and 2.Acts dealing with Irish-language placenames. Only sections of the Acts which refer to placenames are provided below. Local Government Act, 1946. Local Government Act, 1955. Local Government Act, 1994. Local Government Act, 2001. General Scheme of the Local Government (Mayor and Regional Authority of Dublin) Bill 2010 Place-Names (Irish Forms) Act, 1973. Official Languages Act, 2003.

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Appendix 2.1

Number 24 of 1946. LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 1946.

PART V. Miscellaneous.
Changing of name of urban district or town.

76.—(1) Subject to this section, the council of an urban district or the commissioners of a town may apply to the Government to make an order under this section changing the name of the urban district or town. (2) The council of an urban district shall not make an application under this section unless— (a) four-sevenths of the ratepayers in the urban district have consented to the application being made, and (b) the council of the county in which the urban district is situate have also consented to the application being made. (3) The commissioners of a town shall not make an application under this section unless either— (a) (i) four-sevenths of the ratepayers in the town have consented to the application being made, and (ii) the council of the county in which the town is situate have also consented to the application being made, or (b) (i) the commissioners, have by resolution passed before the commencement of this section, purported to change the name of the town, and (ii) the Minister certifies that such resolution has been adopted by the commissioners and that the new name specified in such resolution has been used for official purposes. 128

(4) (a) The power conferred by subsection (1) of this section shall be a reserved function. (b) the giving by the council of a county of consent to the making of an application under this section shall be a reserved function. (5) The Minister may make regulations prescribing the procedure to be followed in ascertaining for the purposes of this section whether not less than four-sevenths of the ratepayers of an urban district or a town consent to an application being made under this section for an order changing the name of the urban district or town. (6) The council of a county shall before consenting to an application being made under this section consult the prescribed persons. (7) (a) Where an application is duly made under this section by the council of an urban district or the commissioners of a town, the Government may by order change the name of the urban district or the town to such other name as they think fit. (b) An order under this subsection shall come into operation on the 1st day of January next following the expiration of six months from the date of the order. (8) Every order made under subsection (7) of this section shall be published in such manner and as often as the Minister may direct and shall be notified to the prescribed persons. (9) Where an order is made under this section changing the name of an urban district from its existing name to a new name, then, as on and from the date on which the order comes into operation every reference in any instrument, document or map to the existing name shall be construed as a reference to the new name. (10) A change of the name of an urban district or a town made by an order under this section shall not affect any rights or obligations of any authority or person or render defective any legal proceedings, and any legal proceedings may be continued or commenced as if there were no change of name.
Changing of name of townland or non-municipal town.

77.—(1) Where a townland or a non-municipal town is situate wholly within one county, the council of that county may, after consultation with the prescribed authorities and with the consent of four-sevenths of the ratepayers in the townland or non-municipal town, apply to the Government to make an order under this section changing the name of the townland or non-municipal town. (2) Where a townland or a non-municipal town is situate partly in one county and partly in another county, the councils of those counties may, after consultation with the prescribed authorities and with the consent of four-sevenths of the ratepayers in 129

the townland or non-municipal town, jointly apply to the Government to make an order under this section changing the name of the townland or non-municipal town. (3) The power conferred by subsection (1) or subsection (2) of this section shall be a reserved function. (4) (a) Where a non-municipal town is wholly situate in a particular county, the secretary of the council of the county shall, if and when so directed by the council, prepare and submit to the council a list of the ratepayers in the non-municipal town and such list when adopted, with or without alterations, by the council shall, for the purposes of this section, be the list of ratepayers in the said non-municipal town. (b) Where part only of a non-municipal town is situate in a particular county, the secretary of the council of the county shall, if and when so directed by the council, prepare and submit to the council a list of the ratepayers in the part of the municipal town which is situate in the county, and such list when adopted, with or without alterations, by the council shall, for the purposes of this section, be the list of ratepayers in the said part. (5) The Minister may make regulations prescribing the procedure to be followed in ascertaining for the purposes of this section whether not less than four-sevenths of the ratepayers in a townland or non-municipal town consent to an application being made under this section for an order changing the name of the townland or the nonmunicipal town. (6) (a) Where an application, in relation to any townland or non-municipal town, is duly made under this section, the Government may by order change the name of the townland or non-municipal town to such other name as they think fit. (b) An order under this subsection shall come into operation on the 1st day of January next following the expiration of six months from the date of the order. (7) Every order made under subsection (6) of this section shall be published in such manner and as often as the Minister may direct and shall be notified to the prescribed persons. (8) Where an order is made under this section changing the name of a townland or non-municipal town from its existing name to a new name, then, as on and from the date on which the order comes into operation, every reference in any instrument, document or map to the existing name shall be construed as a reference to the new name. (9) A change of the name of a townland or a non-municipal town made by an order under this section shall not affect any rights or obligations of any authority or person 130

or render defective any legal proceedings and any legal proceedings may be continued or commenced as if there were no change of name. (10) In this section the expression “non-municipal town” means an area (not being a county borough, borough, urban district or town in which the Towns Improvement (Ireland) Act, 1854, is in operation) which is designated a town in the report of the census of population which is for the time being the latest census of population.
Changing of name of street.

78.—(1) The appropriate authority may, with the consent of not less than foursevenths of the ratepayers in a street, change the name of the street. (2) The power conferred by subsection (1) of this section shall be a reserved function. (3) The Minister may make regulations prescribing the procedure to be followed by the appropriate authority in ascertaining for the purposes of this section whether not less than four-sevenths of the ratepayers in a street consent to the name of the street being changed. (4) The appropriate authority may cause the name of a street to be displayed on a conspicuous part of any convenient building or other erection. (5) In this section— the word “street” includes part of a street and also the whole or part of any road, square, lane or other public place; the expression “the appropriate authority” means— (a) as respects a street in a county or other borough, the corporation of the borough, (b) as respects a street in an urban district, the council of the urban district, (c) as respects a street in a town, the commissioners of the town, and (d) as respects any other street, the council of the county in which the street is situate.
Changing of name of locality.

79.—(1) The appropriate authority may, with the consent of not less than foursevenths of the ratepayers in a locality, change the name of the locality. (2) The power conferred by subsection (1) of this section shall be a reserved function. 131

(3) The proper officer of a body, which is in relation to a particular locality the appropriate authority, shall, if and when so directed by the said body, prepare and submit to the said body a list of the ratepayers in the said locality, and such list when adopted, with or without alteration, by the said body shall, for the purposes of this section, be the list of ratepayers in the said locality. (4) The Minister may make regulations prescribing the procedure to be followed by the appropriate authority in ascertaining whether not less than four-sevenths of the ratepayers in a locality consent to the name of the locality being changed. (5) In this section— the word “locality” means any area (not being a street within the meaning of section 78 of this Act) which is— (a) a portion of a county or other borough, urban district or town for which a separate name is in common use, or (b) a portion (other than an urban area, a town, a townland or a non-municipal town, within the meaning of section 77 of this Act) of a county for which a separate name is in common use; the expression. “the appropriate authority” means— (a) as respects a locality in a county or other borough, the corporation of the borough, (b) as respects a locality in an urban district, the council of the urban district, (c) as respects a locality in a town, the commissioners of the town, (d) as respects a locality in a county, the council of the county; the expression “the proper officer” means— (a) as respects the corporation of a county or other borough, the town clerk of the borough, (b) as respects the council of an urban district, the clerk of the council, (c) as respects the commissioners of a town, the clerk of the commissioners, (d) as respects the council of a county, the secretary of the council.

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Appendix 2.2

Number 9 of 1955. LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 1955.

Amendment of sections 76 to 79 of Act of 1946.

53.—(1) Section 76 of the Act of 1946 is hereby amended by the addition of the following subsection:— “(11) (a) The council of an urban district or the commissioners of a town may cause a list of the ratepayers in the urban district or town to be prepared, and such list when adopted, with or without alterations, by the council or commissioners shall, for the purposes of this section, be the list of ratepayers in the said district or town. (b) Adoption under this subsection of a list of ratepayers shall be a reserved function.” (2) Section 77 of the Act of 1946 is hereby amended by the substitution of the following subsection for subsection (4):— “(4) (a) Where a townland or a non-municipal town is wholly situate in a particular county, the council of the county may cause a list of the ratepayers in the townland or non-municipal town to be prepared, and such list when adopted, with or without alterations, by the council shall, for the purposes of this section, be the list of ratepayers in the said townland or nonmunicipal town. (b) Where part only of a townland or a non-municipal town is situate in a particular county, the council may cause a list of the ratepayers in the part of the townland or non-municipal town which is situate in the county to be prepared, and such list when adopted, with or without alterations, by the council shall, for the purposes of this section, be the list of ratepayers in the said part. (c) Adoption under this subsection of a list of ratepayers shall be a reserved function.” 133

(3) Section 78 of the Act of 1946 is hereby amended by the substitution for subsection (5) of the following subsections:— “(5) (a) The appropriate authority may cause a list of the ratepayers in a street to be prepared, and such list when adopted, with or without alterations, by the appropriate authority shall, for the purposes of this section, be the list of ratepayers in the street. (b) Adoption under this subsection of a list of ratepayers shall be a reserved function. (6) In this section— the word ‘street’ includes part of a street and also the whole or part of any road, square, lane or other public place, the expression ‘appropriate authority’ means— (a) as respects a street wholly situate, or a building or other erection situate, in a county, the council of the county, (b) as respects a street wholly situate, or a building or other erection situate, in a county or other borough, the corporation of the borough, (c) as respects a street wholly situate, or a building or other erection situate, in an urban district, the council of the urban district, (d) as respects a street wholly situate, or a building or other erection situate, in a town, the commissioners of the town, and (e) as respects any other street, such two of the said local authorities as may be appropriate acting jointly.” (4) In sections 76 to 79 of the Act of 1946 (including the subsections added by the foregoing subsections of this section) “ratepayer” shall, with respect to a small dwelling within the meaning of the Local Government (Rates on Small Dwellings) Act, 1928 (No. 4 of 1928), of which the owner within the meaning of that Act is not also the occupier, mean the occupier and not the owner.

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Appendix 2.3

Number 8 of 1994 LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 1994

PART XI Miscellaneous
Amendment of sections 76 to 79 of the Act of 1946.

67.—(1) Sections 76 to 79 of the Local Government Act, 1946 (amended by section 53 of the Local Government Act, 1955 ) are hereby amended by the substitution of— (a) “the majority of the qualified electors” for “four-sevenths of the ratepayers”, and (b) “qualified electors” for “ratepayers”, wherever the expressions occur in the said sections. (2) For the purposes of the said sections, “qualified electors” means every person who in relation to the urban district, town, townland, non-municipal town, street or locality, as the case may be— (a) is registered as a local government elector in the register of local government electors for the time being in force, or (b) not being so registered is the rated occupier of a hereditament other than a hereditament the valuation of which attracts an allowance equal to full abatement of rates pursuant to section 3 of the Local Government (Financial Provisions) Act, 1978 .

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Appendix 2.4

Number 37 of 2001 LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 2001 PART 18 Changing of Names of Areas and Display of Names of Streets, etc.
Interpretation (Part 18).

188.—In this Part— “functional area” means as respects— (a) a city council, the city, (b) a county council, the county exclusive of any town which has a town council situated in it, (c) a town council, the town; “locality” means any area which is a portion of a county, city or town (or any combination of them) for which a separate name is in common use, and where such portion is not a town, townland, non-municipal town or street; “qualified electors” means every person who in relation to the town, townland, nonmunicipal town, street or locality, as the case may be— (a) is registered as a local government elector in the register of electors for the time being in force, or (b) not being so registered, is the rated occupier of a hereditament other than a hereditament the valuation of which attracts an allowance equal to full abatement of rates under section 3 of the Local Government (Financial Provisions) Act, 1978 ; “street” includes part of a street and also the whole or part of any road, square, lane or other public place by whatever name known. 136

Changing of name of town.

189.—(1) A town council may by resolution, for which at least one-half of the total number of members of the council vote in favour, adopt a proposal to change the name of the town to a proposed new name. (2) Where a town council adopts a proposal under subsection (1) it shall— (a) notify such persons as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Minister of the proposal and such persons shall be entitled to make submissions in writing to the council within a period of 2 months from the date of the notification, and (b) publish a public notice of the proposal inviting submissions with regard to it from any person concerned within a period of 2 months from the date of the public notice, and (c) consider any submissions received. (3) Following compliance with subsection (2), the town council may by resolution, for which at least one-half of the total number of members of the council vote in favour, decide— (a) to proceed with the proposal (in this section referred to as the “original proposal”) in accordance with the resolution under subsection (1), or (b) to proceed with a proposal (in this section referred to as the “amended proposal”) to change the name of the town to such other name as it considers appropriate, or (c) not to proceed with the original proposal. (4) Where the town council has made a decision under paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (3), the town council shall seek, in accordance with regulations made by the Minister under section 196 , the consent of the majority of the qualified electors in the town concerned to the proposed new name as set out in the original proposal or amended proposal as the case may be. (5) (a) Where a majority of the qualified electors consent to the proposed new name the Cathaoirleach of the town council concerned shall make a declaration, in a form prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under section 196 , confirming such consent and specifying the proposed new name and the date on which, in accordance with paragraph (b), it comes into operation. (b) A proposal confirmed by declaration under this subsection shall come into operation— 137

(i) on the 1st day of January next following the date of such declaration where the interval between the date of the declaration concerned and the 1st day of January is not less than 3 months, or (ii) in any other case, on the first anniversary of the said 1st day of January. (c) Every declaration made under this subsection shall be published in the manner prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under section 196 and shall be notified to such persons as may be so prescribed. (d) Every declaration under this subsection shall be published in the Iris Oifigiúil, as soon as possible after its making. (6) Section 196 applies to this section, as appropriate.
Changing of name of townland or non-municipal town situated wholly within one county or city.

190.—(1) In this section “non-municipal town” means an area, not being a city or town, which is designated a town in the report of the census of population which is for the time being the latest census of population. (2) Where a townland is situated wholly within one county or city, or a nonmunicipal town is situated wholly within one county, the county council or city council concerned, as appropriate, may by resolution, for which at least one-half of the total number of members of the council vote in favour, adopt a proposal to change the name to a proposed new name of such townland or non-municipal town. (3) The area of the non-municipal town to which the proposal referred to in subsection (2) relates shall be described in that proposal whether by reference to a map or otherwise. (4) Where a county council or city council adopts a proposal under subsection (2) it shall— (a) notify such persons as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under section 196 of the proposal and such persons shall be entitled to make submissions in writing to the council concerned within a period of 2 months from the date of the notification, and (b) publish a public notice of the proposal inviting submissions with regard to it from any person concerned within a period of 2 months from the date of the public notice, and (c) consider any submissions received.

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(5) Following compliance with subsection (4) the county council or city council may by resolution, for which at least one-half of the total number of members of the council vote in favour, decide— (a) to proceed with the proposal (in this section referred to as the “original proposal”) in accordance with the resolution under subsection (2), or (b) to proceed with a proposal (in this section referred to as the “amended proposal”) to change the name of the townland or non-municipal town to such other name as it considers appropriate, or (c) not to proceed with the original proposal. (6) Where the county council or city council has made a decision under paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (5), the county council or city council shall seek in accordance with regulations made by the Minister under section 196 , the consent of the majority of the qualified electors in the townland or non-municipal town concerned to the proposed new name as set out in the original proposal or amended proposal as the case may be. (7) Where a majority of the qualified electors consent to the proposed new name the Cathaoirleach of the local authority concerned shall make a declaration confirming such consent and specifying the proposed new name and the date on which, in accordance with subsection (9), it comes into operation. (8) A declaration made by the Cathaoirleach of a local authority under subsection (7) shall be in such form as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under section 196 . (9) A proposal confirmed by declaration under subsection (7) comes into operation— (a) on the 1st day of January next following the date of such declaration where the interval between the date of the declaration concerned and the 1st day of January is not less than 3 months, or (b) in any other case, on the first anniversary of the said 1st day of January. (10) Every declaration made under subsection (7) shall be published in the manner prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under section 196 and shall be notified to such persons as may be so prescribed. (11) Every declaration under subsection (7) shall be published in the Iris Oifigiúil, as soon as possible after its making. (12) Section 196 applies to this section, as appropriate.

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Changing of name of townland or non-municipal town situated in more than one county, etc.

191.—(1) Where a townland or non-municipal town is situated in more than one county or partly in a county and partly in a city, one of the county councils or the city council concerned, as the case may be, may by resolution for which at least one-half of the total number of members of that council vote in favour, adopt a proposal to change the name of the townland or non-municipal town to a proposed new name of such townland or non-municipal town. (2) The area of the non-municipal town to which the proposal referred to in subsection (1) relates shall be described in that proposal whether by reference to a map or otherwise. (3) Before the county council or city council concerned adopts a proposal under subsection (1) it shall have acquired the consent of the other relevant county council or city council to that proposal by way of resolution, for which at least one-half of the total number of members of that council vote in favour. (4) Section 190 , other than subsection (2), applies to the adoption of a proposal to change the name of a townland or non-municipal town situated in more than one county or partly in a county and partly in a city, subject to such modifications or adaptations as are necessary.
Changing of name of street situated in one local authority area.

192.—(1) A local authority may by resolution adopt a proposal to change the name of a street in its functional area to a proposed new name. (2) The street to which the proposal referred to in subsection (1) relates shall be described in that proposal by reference to a map or otherwise. (3) Where a local authority adopts a proposal under subsection (1), it shall seek, in accordance with regulations made by the Minister under section 196 , the consent of the majority of the qualified electors in the street to the proposed new name. (4) Where a majority of the qualified electors consent to the proposed new name, the Cathaoirleach of the local authority concerned shall make a declaration confirming such consent and specifying the proposed new name and the date on which it comes into operation. (5) A declaration made by the Cathaoirleach of a local authority under subsection (4) shall be in such form, as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under section 196 . (6) Section 196 applies to this section, as appropriate.

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193.—(1) Where a street is situated in the functional area of more than one local authority, one of the authorities concerned, may by resolution adopt a proposal to change the name of a street to a proposed new name. (2) The street to which the proposal referred to in subsection (1) relates shall be described in that proposal, whether by reference to a map or otherwise. (3) Before the local authority concerned adopts a proposal under subsection (1), it shall have acquired the consent of the other relevant authority to that proposal by way of resolution. (4) Subsections (3) to (6) of section 192 apply to the adoption of a proposal to change the name of a street situated in the functional area of more than one authority, subject to such modifications or adaptations as are necessary.
Changing of name of locality situated in one local authority area.

194.—(1) A local authority may by resolution, adopt a proposal to change the name of a locality in its functional area to a proposed new name. (2) The area of the locality to which the proposal referred to in subsection (1) relates shall be described in that proposal, whether by reference to a map or otherwise. (3) Where a local authority adopts a proposal under subsection (1) it shall seek in accordance with regulations made by the Minister under section 196 , the consent of the majority of the qualified electors in the locality concerned to the proposed new name. (4) Where a majority of the qualified electors consent to the proposed new name the Cathaoirleach of the local authority concerned shall make a declaration confirming such consent and specifying the proposed new name and the date on which it comes into operation. (5) A declaration made by the Cathaoirleach of a local authority under subsection (4) shall be in such form as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under section 196 . (6) Section 196 applies to this section, as appropriate.
Changing of name of locality situated in more than one local authority area.

195.—(1) Where a locality is situated in the functional area of more than one local authority, one of the authorities concerned, may by resolution adopt a proposal to change the name of a locality to a proposed new name. (2) The area of the locality to which the proposal referred to in subsection (1) relates shall be described in that proposal, whether by reference to a map or otherwise. 141

(3) Before the local authority concerned adopts a proposal under subsection (1), it shall have acquired the consent of the other relevant authority to that proposal by way of resolution. (4) Subsections (3) to (6) of section 194 apply to the adoption of a proposal to change the name of a locality situated in the functional area of more than one authority, subject to such modifications or adaptations as are necessary.
General provisions relating to change of names.

196.—(1) The consideration of submissions received under this Part is a reserved function. (2) Where a change of name is made under this Part then, on and from the date on which the proposal comes into operation, every reference in any instrument, document or map to the existing name shall be read as a reference to the new name. (3) A change of name under this Part does not affect any rights or obligations of any authority or person or make defective any legal proceedings, and any legal proceedings may be continued or commenced as if there were no change of name. (4) A local authority shall give due regard to local and indigenous traditions in the development of any proposal for the change of a name under this Part. (5) (a) The Minister may by regulations make provision in respect of the change of name of a town, townland, non-municipal town, street or locality. (b) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a), regulations under this section may, in particular include provision in respect of— (i) the prescribed persons for the purposes of this Part, (ii) the procedures to be followed in ascertaining for the purpose of sections 189 to 195 whether the majority of the qualified electors concerned consent to the proposed new name, (iii) the prescribed form for a declaration under this Part, (iv) the publication of a notice of making of a declaration under this Part, (v) the arrangements for sharing of costs between authorities in respect of sections 191, 193 and 195, and any other necessary joint arrangements as may be appropriate, (vi) the publication of a public notice and the notification of specified persons of any proposal under sections 192 to 195 and consideration of submissions received. 142

Display of name of street, etc.

197.—A local authority may cause the name of a street, place or area to be displayed on a conspicuous part of any convenient building, or other structure or land.

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Appendix 2.5

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (DUBLIN MAYOR AND REGIONAL AUTHORITY) BILL 2010
Amendment of Principal Act (1) The Principal Act is amended by substituting the following for Part 18: Notes: Part 18 of the 2001 Act is replaced in order to give effect to the government’s decision in relation to An Daingean and the more general issue of placename changes. “Part 18 Changing of Placenames and Display of Names of Streets Etc. Interpretation 188. —In this Part— “functional area” means as respects— (a) a city council, the city, (b) a county council, the county exclusive of any town which has a town council situated in it, (c) a town council, the town; “locality” means any area which is a portion of a county, city or town (or any combination of them) for which a separate name is in common use, and where such portion is not a town, townland, non-municipal town or street; “placename” includes the name of any county, city, town, village, barony, parish, townland, street or locality, or of any territorial feature (whether natural or artificial), district, region or place, as shown in the maps of Ordnance Survey Ireland;

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“qualified electors” means every person who in relation to the place to which the placename refers, or the street to which the name of the street refers, as the case may be, is registered as a local government elector in the register of electors for the time being in force; “street” includes part of a street and also the whole or part of any road, square, lane or other public place by whatever name known. Notes: Largely taken from s.188 of the LG Act 2001, excepting that the definition of “placename” from the Official Languages Act 2003 has been inserted. The title of Part 18 is being changed from “Changing of Names of Areas and Display of Names of Streets Etc.” to “Changing of Placenames and Display of Names of Streets etc.” for clarity The definition of ‘placename’ is drawn from s.31 of the Official Languages Act 2003. The provision in the 2001 Act also provided voting rights to persons on the register as well as every person, “also not being so registered, is the rated occupier of a hereditament other than a hereditament the valuation of which attracts an allowance equal to full abatement of rates under section 3 of the Local Government (Financial Provisions) Act, 1978.” In other words ratepayers in addition to natural persons were entitled to vote. This provision has been omitted as (i) it suggests 2 classes of voter (residents and rate payers), (ii) it is contrary to electoral norms, and (iii) it has given rise to interpretation issues during placename plebiscites in the past. Changing of placename 189. — (1) A local authority may by resolution, for which at least one-half of the total number of members of the council vote in favour, adopt a proposal to change a placename to a proposed new name, provided that — (a) the place to which the placename refers is situated wholly within the functional area of the local authority, or 145

(b) in the case of a town council the proposed name refers to the name of the town. (2) The area of the place to which the proposal referred to in subhead (1) relates shall be described in that proposal whether by reference to a map or otherwise. (3) Save as provided for in subhead (4) a proposal to change a placename shall specify the proposed Irish and English language versions of the placename. (4) A proposal under subhead (1) may specify that the Irish language version only of a placename shall be the placename version as and from the date the change comes into operation. (5) Where a local authority adopts a proposal under this head it shall— (a) notify such persons as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Minister of the proposal and such persons shall be entitled to make submissions in writing to the council within a period of 2 months from the date of the notification, and (b) publish a public notice of the proposal inviting submissions with regard to it from any person concerned within a period of 2 months from the date of the public notice, and (c) consider any submissions received. (6) Following compliance with subhead (5), the local authority may by resolution, for which at least one-half of the total number of members of the council vote in favour, decide— (a) to proceed with the proposal (in this section referred to as the “original proposal”) in accordance with the resolution under subhead (1), or (b) to proceed with a proposal (in this section referred to as the “amended proposal”) to change the placename to such other name as it considers appropriate, or (c) not to proceed with the original proposal. 146

(7) Where the local authority has made a decision under paragraph (a) or (b) of subhead (6), the local authority shall seek, by secret ballot, in accordance with regulations made by the Minister under Head 5, the consent of the majority of the qualified electors in the place to which the placename refers to the proposed new name as set out in the original proposal or amended proposal as the case may be. (8) (a) Where a majority of the qualified electors consent to the proposed new name the Cathaoirleach of the local authority concerned shall make a declaration confirming such consent and specifying the new placename and the date on which, in accordance with paragraph (b), it comes into operation. (b) A proposal confirmed by declaration under this subsection shall come into operation— (i) on the 1st day of January next following the date of such declaration where the interval between the date of the declaration concerned and the 1st day of January is not less than 3 months, or (ii) in any other case, on the first anniversary of the said 1st day of January. (c) Every declaration made under this subsection shall be published in the manner prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under section 192 and shall be notified to such persons as may be so prescribed. (d) Every declaration under this subsection shall be published in the Iris Oifigiúil, as soon as possible after its making. (9) Section 192 applies to this section, as appropriate. Notes: This Section now provides that the changing of placename provisions are contained within one section, as opposed to the four sections of the 2001 Act. The 2001 Act provided specific sections for changing (i) the name of a town, (ii) the name of a

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townland or non-municipal town, (iii) the name of a street, and (iv) the name of a locality. Subheads (1), (2) and (5) to (9) taken from s.189 of the LG Act 2001 – subhead (1) has been amended in view of the adoption of a unified process and to allow that a town council may propose the changing of the name of the town irrespective of whether the geographic boundaries of the town are beyond the functional area of the town. Subhead (3) is new text, inserted to clarify the official language which a proposal is in respect of. Subhead (7) “by secret ballot” inserted. Changing of placename or name of street situated in more than one local authority area 190. — (1) Where a place to which a placename refers is situated in the functional area of more than one local authority, one of the authorities concerned, may by resolution for which at least one-half of the total number of members of that council vote in favour, adopt a proposal to change the placename to a proposed new name. (2) The area of the place to which the proposal referred to in subsection (1) relates shall be described in that proposal whether by reference to a map or otherwise. (3) Before the local authority concerned adopts a proposal under subsection (1) it shall have acquired the consent of the other relevant local authority to that proposal by way of resolution, for which at least one-half of the total number of members of that council vote in favour. (4) Section 189, other than subsection (1), applies to the adoption of a proposal to change the name of a place situated in more than one local authority, subject to such modifications or adaptations as are necessary.

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Notes: This Head deals with a situation where a place is found within the functional area of more than one local authority. Head based on section 191 of the Local Government Act 2001. An Daingean 191. — (1) The names of the(a) Townland, Civil Parish and Electoral Division declared as An Daingean in the Placenames (Ceantair Ghaeltachta) Order 2004 , and (b) the non-municipal town of An Daingean, shall, from the date of commencement of this section, be Daingean Uí Chúis in the Irish language, and Dingle in the English language, and shall be regarded as a change of name under this Part. Notes: This Head provides explicitly for the Irish version of An Daingean to be Daingean Uí Chúis and for the English version of the name to be Dingle. These versions of the name will supersede the version set out in the 2004 Placenames Order. (1) The text “shall be regarded as a change of name under this Part” is included to ensure that the savers of Section 192 apply in respect of this section. General provisions relating to change of names 192. — (1) The consideration of submissions received under this Part is a reserved function. (2) Where a change of name is made under this Part then, on and from the date on which the proposal comes into operation, every reference in any instrument, 149

document or map to the previous version or versions of the name shall be read as a reference to the new version or versions of the name. (3) A change of name under this Part does not affect any rights or obligations of any authority or person or make defective any legal proceedings, and any legal proceedings may be continued or commenced as if there were no change of name. (4) A local authority shall give due regard to local and indigenous traditions in the development of any proposal for the change of a name under this Part. (5) (a) The Minister may by regulations make provision in respect of the change of a placename. (b) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a), regulations under this section may, in particular include provision in respect of— (i) the prescribed persons for the purposes of this Part, (ii) the procedures to be followed in conducting a secret ballot for the purposes of section 189, (iii) the publication of a notice of making of a declaration under this Part, (iv) the arrangements for sharing of costs between authorities in respect of Section 190, and any other necessary joint arrangements as may be appropriate, (v) the publication of a public notice and the notification of specified persons of any proposal under section 189 and consideration of submissions received. (6) A local authority may make a proposal under section 189 in relation to a placename in a Gaeltacht area in respect of which a declaration under Part 5 of the Official Languages Act 2003 is in force and any change of name made under this Part shall supersede any such declaration (7) A declaration under subsection 32(1) of the Official Languages Act 2003 may not be made in relation to a place in a Gaeltacht area in respect of which a declaration under section 189 of the Local Government Bill 2009 is in force. Notes: This Head sets out a number of general provisions in relation to the changing of placename and is based on section 196 of the LG Act 2001, excepting subhead (6) and 150

(7). Subhead (2) altered to reflect that versions of the placename exist in Irish and English. Subhead (6) provides that a Placenames Order under the Official Languages Act 2003 does not prevent future changes to a placename using the provisions of the Local Government Acts. Subhead (7) provides that a Placenames Order under the Official Languages Act may not be made where a name has been changed under this Act. This provision is based on section 32(2) of the Official Languages Act 2003. Display of name of street, etc. 193. —A local authority may cause the name of a street, place or area to be displayed on a conspicuous part of any convenient building, or other structure or land.” Notes: This is a restatement of section 197 of the 2001 Act.

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Appendix 2.6

Number 24 of 1973 PLACE-NAMES (IRISH FORMS) ACT, 1973

AN ACT TO AUTHORISE THE MINISTER FOR FINANCE TO SPECIFY FOR THE PURPOSES OF LAW FORMS OF PLACE-NAMES IN THE IRISH LANGUAGE AND TO PROVIDE FOR OTHER MATTERS CONNECTED WITH THE MATTER AFORESAID. [21st November, 1973.] BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:—
Interpretation.

1.—In this Act— “the Minister” means the Minister for Finance; “place-name” includes the name of any province, county, city, town, village, barony, parish or townland, or of any territorial feature (whether natural or artificial), district, region or place, as shown in the maps of the Ordnance Survey; “place-names order” has the meaning assigned to it by section 2 of this Act.
Place-names orders.

2.—(1) The Minister, having received and considered advice from the Commission, may by order (in this Act referred to as a place-names order)— (a) declare the equivalent in the Irish language of a place-name specified in the order to be such word or words as he specifies in the order, (b) amend or revoke a place-names order. (2) Every place-names order shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order is passed by either such House within the next subsequent twenty-one days on which that House has sat after the order is laid before it, the order shall be annulled accordingly but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder. 152

(3) In this section “the Commission” means the body known as an Coimisiún Logainmneacha and established by warrant of the Minister dated the 24th day of October, 1946
Construction of words in legal documents.

3.—(1) A word or words, declared by the Minister in a place-names order to be the equivalent in the Irish language of a place-name specified in the order, shall be construed in a legal document as having the same meaning and the same force and effect as the place-name so specified unless the contrary intention appears. (2) In this section— “legal document” means— (a) any Act of the Oireachtas passed after the operative date, any statutory instrument made under any such Act or the official translation of any such Act or instrument; (b) any instrument having or intended to have legal effect or consequences and executed on or after the operative date; (c) any document used in or for the purposes of legal proceedings, and made, issued or served on or after the operative date; “the operative date” means the date on which the relevant place-names order comes into operation.
Expenses.

4.—The expenses incurred by the Minister in the administration of this Act shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.
Short title.

5.—This Act may be cited as the Place-names (Irish Forms) Act, 1973.

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Appendix 2.7

Number 32 of 2003 OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT 2003

PART 5 Placenames
Definitions.

31.—In this Part, save where the context otherwise requires— “the Commission” means the body known as An Coimisiún Logainmneacha and established by warrant of the Minister for Finance dated the 24th day of October 1946; “placename” includes the name of any province, county, city, town, village, barony, parish or townland, or of any territorial feature (whether natural or artificial), district, region or place, as shown in the maps of Ordnance Survey Ireland; “placenames order” has the meaning assigned to it by section 32 .
Placenames orders.

32.—(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Minister, having received and considered advice from the Commission, may by order (in this Part referred to as a “placenames order”)— (a) declare the Irish language version of a placename specified in the order to be such word or words as he or she specifies in the order, (b) amend or revoke a placenames order. (2) The Minister shall not make a declaration under subsection (1) in relation to a place in a Gaeltacht area in respect of which a declaration under Part 18 of the Local Government Act 2001 is in force.

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(3) Every placenames order shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order is passed by either such House within the next subsequent 21 days on which that House has sat after the order is laid before it, the order shall be annulled accordingly but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.
Construction of words in legal documents.

33.—(1) A word or words, declared by the Minister in a placenames order to be the Irish language version of a placename specified in the order, shall be construed in a legal document as referring to the same place and as having the same force and effect as the English language version of the placename so specified unless the contrary intention appears. (2) Where the Minister makes a declaration under section 32 in respect of a placename in a Gaeltacht area, the English language version of the placename shall no longer have any force and effect as on and from the operative date but without prejudice to anything done before or after that date including the use of that version other than its use— (a) in any Act of the Oireachtas passed after the operative date or any statutory instrument made after that date under any Act, (b) in such maps prepared and published by or with the permission of Ordnance Survey Ireland as may be prescribed, or (c) on a road or street sign erected by or on behalf of a local authority. (3) In this section— “legal document” means— (a) any Act of the Oireachtas passed after the operative date, any statutory instrument made after that date under any Act or the official translation of any Act or instrument; (b) any instrument having or intended to have legal effect or consequences and executed on or after the operative date; (c) any document used in or for the purposes of legal proceedings, and made, issued or served on or after the operative date, “the operative date” means the date on which the relevant place-names order comes into operation.
Amendment of Ordnance Survey Ireland Act 2001.

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34.— The Ordnance Survey Ireland Act 2001 is amended by the substitution of the following paragraph (h) of section 4(2): (h) to depict placenames and ancient features in the national mapping and related records and databases in the Irish language or in the English and Irish language.
Repeal.

35.— The Place-Names (Irish Forms) Act 1973 is repealed.

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