Local developments must have local names

Craigavon Borough Council has drawn ‘a line in the sand’ for property developers by insisting that “townland names are incorporated in the naming of new developments” – a Council policy that developers seem to have been ignoring.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, Councillor Kenneth Twyble, chairman of environmental services, said: “It takes two months to get names approved, by which stage many developers have promotional material printed and advertised, often without consulting the council.

But, if and when the council rejects the proposed name, the developers have to discard their original material and this can be time-consuming and expensive.”

So, no actual additional fines – just the implementation of council policy.. well, it’s a welcome statement anyway.

  • Davros

    Excellent news. Townlands are part of our heritage, unique to Ireland.

    And I hate that euphemism, “developers”.

  • George

    A great idea. Any chance they could ensure prominence is given to the Irish language as well like with similar legislation south of the border, considering the townland names are almost always of Irish origin? At least then the people would know why the townlands are called as they are.

    Local Government Bill, 2000
    “A town council will ensure that any proposed new name shall be based on local and indigenous traditions and that the Irish version of the proposed new name will be given the same prominence on all signage as the English version,”.

    Nearly makes me think; Who needs North-South bodies when the brethren are doing it for themselves.

  • Davros

    George, it’s horribly Ironic that of all places it’s Craigavon that has taken this step! That monument to Unionist greed, malevolence, incompetence and corruption. Devastated a unique way of life along the track of the accursed M1.

    Best not mention the Irish language dimension – might damage the cross community support shown in the battle against the Post Office in NI πŸ˜‰ -my Italics

    Yet her characterization of the townland names as ‘the only record which survives of kin-groups and
    families who once held the land, particularly in heavily planted areas where native families were
    dispossessed’ suggests a more troubled history. In contrast, one local politician could proclaim ‘Over my dead body will they put an Irish name on Drimnahuncheon’ (probably itself a Gaelic name dr

  • maca

    Good info Davros, thanks.

  • Davros

    I have a couple of pdfs that look at this – Irish placenames rather than my hatred of “developers” or Craigavon – in detail that I’ll happily share.

  • George

    Cheers indeed Davros,

    Re townlands:
    south of the border the government is now going back and obtaining the original Irish place name for every townland in the country.
    At the moment the only legal names are those on the Ordinance Survey maps dating from 1824 and the publication of a townlands index with the 1851 census.
    The maps and the placenames are exclusively in the English language (for the most part they are anglicised spellings of the original Irish language placename) as this was done by the British.

    They reckon they’ll be finished the job by 2007, when all townlands will be in both languages and the townlands in the Gaeltacht areas will have the Irish name as a priority.

    At the moment, in legal terms only the English version counts.

    Interestingly, one of the advantages for this given is Irish language global positioning systems. Those gaelgeoirs think ahead πŸ™‚

    The relevant goverment page here

  • Davros

    Dodgy Link George.
    There was an interesting discussion on the restoration of Irish names – as to whether to use Standardised irish, Modern Provincial or Medieval.

  • George

    I think it’s
    here this time.

  • Davros

    Thanks George.

  • George

    Davros,
    can you send the pdfs to the usual seoirse@?

  • Davros

    No Problems. And I’ll send them to you as well Maca.

  • Davros

    George, you need to empty mailbox. The two are just over 1 MB.

  • maca

    Thanks Davros, much appreciated as always!!

  • Davros

    They will keep you busy for a while πŸ™‚

  • George

    Forgot to delete my GAA pdf. All clear now.

  • maca

    Too late George, he already gave it to me, you snooze you lose baby!!

  • Chris Guthrie

    “The recent erection of street and placename signs in the predominantly Protestant area of the north Ards Pennisula in County Down that are bilingual – not English/ Irish but English/Ulster-Scots – is part of a move to promote the Ulster-Scots variant of Lowland Scots as a minority language, and, through it, to assert the link between Scotland and Protestant Ulster.”

    A small point, but Ulster Scots is a variety of Scots and not a variant. It is sometimes wrongly stated that the Scottish National Dictionary classed Ulster Scots as a variant of Scots, when in fact it said that it was a variant of two very specific dialects in West Central and South-West Scotland.

    I rather doubt whether “Ulster-Scots” signs assert a link between Scotland and Protestant Ulster, though the best will certainly do that. The orthography chosen for some, however, suggests that the intention is to provide Ulster Protestants with their own language and allow the new creation to become emblematic of the Northern Ireland state in the same way as the sometimes tokenist, sometimes real promotion of Irish in the South is emblematic of that state. Furthermore, many of the names are simply made up, for example, Castlereagh has adopted the bizarre invention “Stye Braes o Ulidia” for its bilingual stationery, the final element being not Scots but Latin. At its worst, it’s an exercise in marking out territory.

  • willowfield

    What’s the difference between a variety and a variant?

  • Chris Guthrie

    I think that Dutch could be called a “variant” of Low German, since its elaboration and codification makes it more distinctive than a variety, meaning that it no longer necessarily functions as part of LG, even though the traditional varieties on each side of the border would be identical.

    Essentially what the SND was getting at was that the Ulster varieties are contact versions of WC or SW Scots or of a combination of the two.

    As Scots has been codified in neither Scotland nor Ulster, the Ulster variety couldn’t really be described as a “variant” of Scots in Scotland, which includes some peripheral dialects which have less in common with mainstream central belt Scots than US does.

    Hiberno-English varies from English in the same way that Ulster Scots varies from Scots in Scotland. It would be admissible to describe HE as a variant of specific source dialects, but describing it as a “variant” of English could suggest that it is no longer English.

    Essentially, the term “variant” isn’t used very much, since it isn’t clear whether the variety in question is “in” or “out”.

  • willowfield

    Er, thanks! (I think.)

  • George

    Chris,
    top post. You should be called upon to explain the difference between a diallect and a language next time we have the Ulster Scots – Irish conflab, which shouldn’t be too long.