From Daingean back to Dingle…

The Republic’s government’s decision to abolish the name of Dingle has led to a major opposition and the introduction of a new plebescite to decide whether to reverse the process. ONe of the most bizzare aspects (I’m sure someone will enlighten me) is that the name change was effected by plebescite of those electors living in the townland of Dingle, not the town as a whole. A re-run is to take place in mid October, this time to change it to Dingle-Daingean Uí Chúis. Those in favour of change will have to get 50%, but whatever the result, the decision to change will reside with politicians.

  • Keith M

    This is the latest botched attempt to re-name Irish towns in Irish Gaelic against the will of the people. In previous decades Athy, Newbridge, Navan, Charleville etc. were also to be victims of this nonsense until the locals saw sense.

  • steve ritson

    christ almighty,…cant believe what im reading,utter load of crap, dingle is dingle,nice,quaint, little sleepy fishing village in the arsehole of the south west,i have been there many times,beautiful place,surrounding countryside is the most scenic on the planet,however, with all the corruption going on in irish politics,you would think they would sort their dail out and leave the names of towns and villages alone,they have little to do, unreal….S

  • Setanta

    Keith M

    Forgive me, but I somehow don’t think logic or democracy is your motivation here.

  • Eoin C. Bairéad

    Since a huge amount of utter and uninformed shite has been written on this matter, I’m going to put the facts on record, but without any great hope of stopping the shite.

    The name if the town in English is, and remains, Dingle.

    In Irish the name of the town was either An Daingean or Daingean Uí Chúis.

    The reason for two (and, indeed more) names is that neither was the official name. That used to be Dingle, and that name was required on all legal documents.

    While from 1971 the Minister for Finance (the Minister for the Gaeltacht from 2001) could designate an Irish version for the official name, it was not until 2003 that the Placenames Commission provided the Minister with a full list of Irish language versions of places in the Gaeltacht, and the Minister made the Irish version the official one for such places.

    Until then, people in the Gaeltacht writing to the Department in Irish had to give the English language name of where they lived – that was the official name.

    So now if you’re doing official business you are no longer forced to use the English version of a place in the Gaeltacht – you use the Irish version, in theory the one used locally by Irish speakers.

    If the business ain’t official, you can use whatever name you like.

    Since everyone knows that the people of Dingle speak English, Polish, Lithuanian & Russian, it seems a bit silly pretending it’s in the Gaeltacht, but they get grants as a result. What they seem to want is to continue to get the grants, but not have to actually use Irish.


  • Fanny

    Oy, next you know they’ll be wanting to change the charming Hackballscross to something totally boring.

  • andy

    I’ve only been there a few times but I would have thought Dingle must be an affluent area with all the tourist $ being spent there.
    Why does it need extra govt funding?
    (sorry if this is a stupid question)

  • Tochais Siorai

    ‘…….This is the latest botched attempt to re-name Irish towns in Irish Gaelic against the will of the people. In previous decades Athy, Newbridge, Navan, Charleville etc. were also to be victims of this nonsense until the locals saw sense…..’

    So like myself you always use Kingstown, Queenstown, Kings County, Queens County, Maryborough….or do you go with Dún Laoghaire, Cobh, Offaly, Laois, Port Laoise like those damned uppity natives.

  • Fanny

    “…Dún Laoghaire, Cobh, Offaly…”

    I thought Cobh and Offaly were anglicizations – and pretty bad ones at that, Offaly especially. Didn’t somebody mention this before?

  • Tochais Siorai

    Yeah, Offaly is an anglicisation alright but Offaly/Uibh Fhailí was a namechange from Kings Co. like the rest.

    I was just making the point to the original contributor that some renamings (reverting to their original names in most cases) worked, some didn’t.

  • Fanny

    I’d much rather give my address as Kings County than Offaly (ugh!)

    There’s something kinda Tolkienian about Kings County. Meath should be called that, what with all those kings of yore….

  • Shuggie McSporran

    Tochais Siorai

    “Kingstown, Queenstown, Kings County, Queens County, Maryborough”

    Yeah, but Dingle is different because it is “an internationally recognised brand name” (read the website linked to above). The places you refer to are simply places, unlike Dingle.

  • Actually the plebescite is new and also non-binding. The previous decision to change was made by order of the minister.

  • I wrote my tuppence worth on this subject sometime ago. Have to say that personally I think it’s beyond ridiculous that English no longer has to appear on signposts in the Gaeltacht. The vast majority of the population don’t even speak Irish and yet they won’t put English on the signposts – never mind what tourists are supposed to do!

  • Tochais Siorai

    Shuggie, no prob with the ‘internationally recognised brand name’ or that many locals want to keep it but it does seem to me that many in Dingle/An Daingean want their bread buttered on both sides – town/brand name in English but retaining all the benefits of being in the Gaeltacht as well.

  • Fanny

    “Daingean” to me means Daingean Reformatory in Co Offaly – oh fuck, there’s that awful name again – home to kiddie rape and other perversions.

    I don’t understand why anyone in Dingle – which has a nice pleasant “ring” to it – would want to be associated, even remotely and tangentially, with the above.

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    Im going to set the record straight about this for once. Im a resident of the town.

    People on this peninsula have been calling the town An Daingean for the past thousand years. We had a bastardised english version of the name was forced on us, and up until now the irish version had no legal standing.

    The process put in place for the official placenames act consulted thouroghly with Gaeltacht inhabitants and political parties. The wasn’t a whimper of opposition, and the act recieved total cross-party support.

    Now, Fine Gael at a local level saw this as an issue to use to try to win its first seat in Kerry South in 20 years, against their percieved Fianna Fáil led discrimination. Crys went out about brand names, lost tourists, heritage etc, all scaremongering tactics to win votes.

    Were talking about the official name here. The Gestapo won’t be going around shooting anyone who dare utter the word Dingle. People will still have their brand name, and any tourist who dosen’t know that they ar in dingle don’t deserve to be their- the first shop they pass is called, they pass the dingle pub, dingle crystal etc etc etc…..nobody will stop these businesses from using these names. Dingle businesses will be ruined by overdevelopment of the town, exhorbitant prices, and the losing of the charm it had as a sleepy little fishing village, not by a name change.

    As for Daingean Uí Chúis, these people had no problem when it was dingle/an daingean on the signposts for the past 80 years. Again, it is just a Fine Gael stunt to discredit the Fianna Fáil Minister for the Gaeltacht.

    As someone mentioned before, dingle shouldnt even be in the Gaeltacht, I hear more Polish on the streets these days than Irish. It will be thrown out of the Gaeltacht sooner or later.

    The vast majority of the people of this town dont really care one way or another.


    “ONe of the most bizzare aspects (I’m sure someone will enlighten me) is that the name change was effected by plebescite of those electors living in the townland of Dingle, not the town as a whole”

    Originally, this idea was mooted, but the entire town and some outlying townlands now ar entitled to vote- that is some 1144 voters, plus 178 business owners in the town.

  • BoxtyChamp

    The obvious solution would be to add Londondaingean to the list of options submitted by Kerry County Council in the referendum. Sure, it works great up here.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    To add to the farcical nature of the Dingle/Daingean Uí Chúis proposition, the result of which will be announced tomorrow (Friday) at around lunch time, is the misspelling of Daingean Uí Chúis on the voting paper.

    Daingean Uí Chúis i s spelt on the ballot paper, a legal document, which has to be signed by the voter (with God knows what implications for the secrecy of the ballot) as Daingean úi Chúis. Perhaps you didn’t notice that – the fada in Uí is over the ‘u’ instead of the ‘i’. Needless to say, if Kerry County Council can’t get the name of the town right on the ballot paper, we’re in for more incorrect spellings on signage throughout the county and the country.

    According to the 26 County Attorney General, the plebiscite has no legal import and it’s moral impact is greatly diluted by the intimidation by the ‘yes’ camp of the 1200 voters who have a right to vote in the referendum.

    It’s a pity that the entire “Dingle” campaign has been fuelled by ignorance and shoneenism of the worst order.

  • I think to be fair that both sides have engaged in intimidation and scaremongering to some degree. Fact is that this renaming was the result of more cultural imperialism from the Galwegian Gaeltacht. If we weren’t allowed to say táim instead of tá mé in the Irish exam then I don’t see why we should be letting him interfere with our ‘local’ ways.