D Day for Derry to be December 6th

The High Court has set 6th December as the day for a hearing into the long-running dispute over the name of the city of Doire/ Derry/ Londonderry (take your pick time.) The issue has long divided nationalists and unionists along predictable lines. In this Irish News report, Sinn Fein’s Mitchel McLaughlin, whose party jointly proposed the official re-naming of the city with the SDLP at council level three years ago, suggests that one way of preserving the name ‘Londonderry’ would be to officially give that title to the inner walled city.

  • dantheman

    pakman,

    if you stated exactly what areas you would cede and for what reason, then people would be able to indicate if you have a demographic motive for doing so.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,
    Dantheman

  • DK

    Dantheman has a point. If you take all the Catholics, only a proportion are nationalist, and of nationalists, only a proportion would be interested in joining the 26 counties. What that would be in Derry is unknown, but here is my mad guess from figures largely memorised:
    Derry = 75% Catholic; of which 75% vote (largely nationalist, have to assume the rest don’t care); of which, er, 75% want Derry to leave NI and join the Republic. So thats …. 42%.
    Not sure if I’m making a point here or just having fun with stats.

  • Proud

    Why bother? I call Newtonards ‘Ards’ all the time, as it’s shorter – doesn’t mean I want to rename it for my own convenience though. Call it Derry, call it Londonderry – no need to waste more time and money over this pettiness. Besides, the London Corporation played a large part in Derry’s history – why try and erase that?

  • dantheman

    Prod,

    The walled city would be called Londonderry, hence the London part would remain. There was little account taken for the history of the settlement when the first name change from derry to londonderry occured. Derry has a history well before the planters arrived

  • Axe

    Oooh, dantheman, ultimate Freudian typo there, “Prod” instead of “Proud”, lol. Or perhaps it was a clever misspelling?

  • harpo

    ‘Derry has a history well before the planters arrived’

    dantheman:

    True.

    I think this renaming part of the place has merit, but Mitchel has it slightly wrong.

    Surely the only part that should have the name returned to Derry is the part that was originally called Derry. Before the walled city was built and the whole place renamed Londonderry, Derry only consisted of the town on the east side of the river.

    Thus only the part of the current day city that is on the east bank of the river should have its name changed to Derry.

    There was nothing on the west side of the river before the name was changed to Londonderry, and everything on that side of the river was built while the name was Londonderry, so there is no reason why anything on the west bank should have its name changed. The Bogside and Creggan were developed while the name was Londonderry and they aren’t part of the original town of Derry, so why should they be included in the renamed Derry?

  • Niall Gormley

    Anybody know what’s happening with this High Court judgement?

  • John East Belfast

    You dont see New Yorkers or New Englanders wanting to erase their colonial past.
    Its part of their history.

    From memory Londonderry has been the official name since early 17th Century ?

    that is a lot of water under the bridge.

    Irish nationalism needs to realise that the Anglo Irish and then the Ulster Scots are an important part of any current or future all Ireland nation.

    They have played a major role in Irish Cities – any desire to erase that contribution and replace it with a pure ethnically Irish one is at best disengenous and at worst down right racist.

    This shows an insecurity in nationalism that it feels it needs cultural uniformity (language, music and sports) in addition to religious separatism – Catholicism – to maintain the force of its arguments.

    Irish nationalism needs to realise our shared history in addition to our shared future – no matter how unpalatable the former may be to them.

    Like the RUC cap badge – Harp & Crown – Londonderry recognises both traditions but unfortunately some nationalists want it all as usual.

    I would call it

    LondonDerry

    giving due importance to both

  • darth rumsfeld

    “The gerrymandering and discrimination against the Catholics in Derry for very many years is legendary. ”

    oops- another MOPEist owngoal in the stampede to throw on the victim’s mantle. Isn’t a legend..er..a fairy story?

    Frankly, I don’t see why nationalists should compromise 100% just to accomodate Unionist “sensibilities”.

    “The city is Doire or for those who cannot speak their native tongue, then Derry is acceptable.

    Hmmm. So London+Derry is a 100% victory for the black Prods? But..isn’t the second bit of the name..er..Irish? perhaps you’d prefer Derrylondon.

    “The city is Doire or for those who cannot speak their native tongue, then Derry is acceptable.”
    Well, actually a small piece of ground was called Doire/Doirecalgach but the city was built by the Romans/British- and what have the Romans?British ever done for us?And if ciaran is so anxious to stick to his native tongue, why troll in the Saxon tongue? Oh yeah, noone would be annoyed, cos noone would understand it.

    If ciaran is consistent (yeah,yeah, I know… one rule for the MOPErs..), the town name has to be in the language of the of the “natives”- whoever they are- then we’ll soon see Manchester, Chester etc all have to change their Latin-derivative names. And after the Romans, let’s get into the Saxons of Essex, Wessex, and Sussex, and the Vikings of York and Strangford. I think I’ll invest in shares of satnav companies…all those new place names. Oh, and all those english speakers in Dublin, are going to get mighty confused in Blackpool

  • Dread Cthulhu

    JEB: “You dont see New Yorkers or New Englanders wanting to erase their colonial past.”

    The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers and New Englanders are the descendants of the colonizers. This is not the case in Derry.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “The city is referred to as Derry by the vast majority of people here,”

    Again another red herring. The adjoining borough incorporates the charming city of Newtownlimavady, reflecting the fact that it ws built on a greenfield site two miles from the Gaeilic settlement yet not one single inhabitant refers to it by that name. To my knowledge it has never been a criminal offence to call the city Derry, or even its proper name “that heap of crap at the arse end of Lough Foyle” – so the oppression that weighs so heavily on the shoulders of the poor dolehounds and assorted sweaties of the metropolis is only imposed when those inhabitants who can read are forced to open their tv licence summons or DHSS appointment cards. It’s hardly Auschwitz.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Ulster is now and has always been 9 counties, and a place where I am truly truly proud to call home. It is not however, just a synonym for Northern Ireland. Only 2/3 of Ulster are in Northern Ireland”
    Oh what a fertile thread this is for finding the historically ignorant!! Remind us again axe- who divided Ireland into counties? Well knock me sideways, it was our old benefactress Queen Elizabeth 1st. But Ulster predated her local government reforms, and wasn’t nine counties, cos there were no counties.BTW, she gave us County Coleraine to play with, and her heir was tempted to put the county seat in NewtownLimavady, recognising its natural superiority.
    Ulster has had a long and fluctuating existence- like every country in the world. Ask the Berwick-on-Tweedians, who even declared war on Hitler separately to avoid confusion as to whether it was Scottish or English. Ask the Danzigers whether they were/are German? The blessed Arsene Wenger’s dad fought for the Germans in WW2 as a German Alsatian- now he’s French. So we can call the 6 counties Ulster if we want.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers and New Englanders are the descendants of the colonizers. This is not the case in Derry.”

    back again in the interests of truth and jutice….now dread, you just know that’s not true. Noo Yawk is the melting pot of a hundred ethnic groups. I’d hazard the descendants of the original planters are among the smallest of those communities. There’s certainly more irish, Italian and Blacks not to mention Chinese. Not up to your usual standard, as you must know. What’s the matter- embarassed by the blatant majoritarianism of the mythical paragon of powersharing?

  • darth rumsfeld

    yawn- from the 2000 census of New York
    Italian 14.4%
    Irish 12.9%
    Black 7.7%
    English 6%

    hardly WASP central dread

  • Henry94

    Esmeralda: What is your name?

    Butch: Butch.

    Esmeralda: What does it mean?

    Butch: I’m American, honey. Our names don’t mean shit.

  • Doctor Who

    Of course the Irish News article and Chris Donnelly´s carefully selected extract is not accidental.

    This court action brought by republicans at a cost to the NI tax payer is not how we can best preserve the Londonderry name.

    It is about sticking two fingers up to the Unionist communitty that survives in the city after years of itimidation.

    If the Sinn Fein / SDLP pan nationalist front win this it will open the floodgates for other Nationalist controled councils to try to change the name or spelling of a particular town.

    Sinn Fein would be better employed trying to secure investment in Londonderry, instead of this waste of time and money….but hey it´s what their electorate want.

    Aint democracy wonderful.

  • Doctor Who

    Dread

    “The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers and New Englanders are the descendants of the colonizers. This is not the case in Derry.”

    Really Dread, perhaps you would like to tell that to the residents of Brooklyn and Queens.

    BTW hear Tuvalu is about to disapear very soon, do you think it will happen before they change the flag.

  • Mustapha Mond

    “yawn- from the 2000 census of New York
    Italian 14.4%
    Irish 12.9%
    Black 7.7%
    English 6%

    hardly WASP central dread”

    New York City or New York State?… I’ll get me coat.

  • George

    60% of the current population of New York City weren’t even born in the United States never mind New York.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Darth Rumsfeld: “now dread, you just know that’s not true. Noo Yawk is the melting pot of a hundred ethnic groups. I’d hazard the descendants of the original planters are among the smallest of those communities.”

    In the City, mayhap, but that is only a fraction of the state, Darth. Likewise, we are discussing place names, a matter of language and culture, rather than genetic heritage.

    The dominant culture still has its roots in British colonization and the English language. Likewise, given the aboriginal natives — colloquially called Indians and politically correctly as “Native Americans” — are still outnumbered and overpowered by the dominant culture and will remain so, leastwise until their casino businesses take off. The immigrants assimilated not into the native but into the dominant “planter” culture — learning English and “American” customs.

  • Mustapha Mond

    Canada seems to hold on to native names, Ottawa, Toronto, even the name Canada is native american, I think it means village, a Cannuck can verify this for me.

  • Axe

    “Ulster has had a long and fluctuating existence- like every country in the world. Ask the Berwick-on-Tweedians, who even declared war on Hitler separately to avoid confusion as to whether it was Scottish or English. Ask the Danzigers whether they were/are German? The blessed Arsene Wenger’s dad fought for the Germans in WW2 as a German Alsatian- now he’s French. So we can call the 6 counties Ulster if we want.”

    Hmmmm, well now, there’s a factual smokescreen if ever I saw one. So perhaps I made a small slip of the tongue. So maybe Ulster has not “always” been comprised of 9 counties. But according to folklore, the province of Ulster has been around for a long time. Whether or not it has always been the same shape/size, well, who knows? But I’d say it’s roughly the same size and location now, (purely guessing) and that what is now referred to as Ulster by some members of Northern Irish society (i.e. the 6 counties) is probably about two thirds of what is commonly recognised as the province of Ulster. I am aware that I have used counties to approximate that portion, and I know they are all different sizes and that they were initiated by Queen Elizabeth I, but really, if you have to clutch at those sort of straws, then you are scraping the bottom of the barrel to contradict me.

    It is highly amusing to see you grab wildly at examples such as Danzig to try to justify the use of the word “Ulster”. Danzig was made a free city under the League of Nations under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, subject to a plebiscite after 15 years. How exactly does this liken to the naming of Northern Ireland as Ulster?

    I mean, I can to a small extent see your point that Ulster is a constantly changing terminology, i.e. it does not have to refer to what it referred to 200 years ago. But my point is, that in its current state, it is a bad word to use because what “Ulster” represents to one side of the community is not the same as what it represents to the other, therefore its use could be confusing. And as the purpose of language is solely to communicate your meaning, there are other, more appropriate terms that could be used, such as Northern Ireland.

    However, I do fully agree with your last point. Of course, you can call it whatever the hell you like, and I cannot stop you. My point is, that if you want your message to be understood, Ulster is an ambiguous term. “Not Brazil” would even be better understood.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Axe, dear boy, the province of Ulster- and of course even the terms “province” and “Ulster” have been replacements of the older names- has been just as fluid as the borders of England, France and everywhere else.
    More history. Ulidia- the Norman version- was basically present County Down, bits of Antrim and Armagh.Our hero Cuuchulainn was prepared to defend Ulster at the frontier in present day Louth. The Black Pig’s Dyke, may or may not have been a prehistoric border, which would have excluded Cavan, and much of Monaghan.
    etc etc etc. So yes, you were guessing, and getting it completely wrong.
    Danzig was German, a freistadt,German and now Polish.So many inhabitants have had several changes of nationality. Many may still regard themselves as German.

    And as for heritage, don’t forget the idealogues of the Irish Free State felt our neighbouring county shouldn’t be called Donegal (the fort of the Foreigners), since they didn’t want to be reminded of the foreigners, and renamed it County Tyrconnell in the 1920s, but the inhabitants were sufficiently proud of their heritage that this nonsense quietly dies a death.

    Now dread-“In the City, mayhap, but that is only a fraction of the state, Darth. Likewise, we are discussing place names, a matter of language and culture, rather than genetic herita ”

    hmmm-wasn’t it you who brought up the genetic heritage of the citizens of Londonderry earlier in this thread?-
    “The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers and New Englanders are the descendants of the colonizers. This is not the case in Derry.

    Posted by Dread Cthulhu on Dec 06, 2006 @ 02:44 PM”
    Glad you’ve recognised how fatuous that argument is. And it is interesting that you feel the need to rope in the State to bolster the argument. Funny how the councils of Limavady, Coleraine,Cookstown and Magherafelt (3/4 nationalist)didn’t feel inclined to join in this sorry exercise to change the name of the County too. Or were they even asked?

  • Axe

    Darth, yet again, you have deliberately missed my valid points in order to contradict small and insignificant threads of my argument.

    Firstly, a fairly obvious contradiction, it seems, “the inhabitants were sufficiently proud of their heritage that this nonsense quietly dies a death.” Is the pride of the inhabitants of Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan in being part of Ulster to be ignored. Should the “nonsense” of referring to the 6 counties as “Ulster” not similarly be allowed to “quietly die a death” as a result?

    A political cartoon from sometime during the 1910s showed John Redmond, champion of Home Rule, trying to lead pigs, representing provinces, through a gate marked “Home Rule”. However, the artist saw it fit that he needed 5 pigs to illustrate his point, marked Munster, Leinster, Connaught, NE Ulster and SW Ulster. Only the NE Ulster pig refused to follow him through the gate. The artist clearly thoought that having simply an “Ulster” pig dissenting would not be accurate, as it was only part of Ulster that was against Home Rule.

    But that, I am willing to admit, is all simply sidetracking from the main issue, that of confusion. This is a completely different issue from the Londonderry/Derry argument, because no-one is confused as to what you are referring when you use either term, it is a political issue. But when someone uses the term Ulster, unless you know the person and can make an educated guess as to which of the two “Ulsters” they are referring to, 6 or 9 counties, you either have to ask the person outright, which has the potential to end up in an argument exactly like this one, or you have to do the standard NI “political biopsy” to analyse by their speech (e.g. aych or haych, Derry or Londonderry, church or chapel) to work out what exactly they mean.

    My point is, and you seem determined to miss it, that when there is a perfectly good name for this country, “Northern Ireland”, universally understood, if not always politically condoned, then why use a term which, most of the time, does not actually communicate your meaning, if not only to deliberately cause confusion and division?

  • Secur O’Crat

    The basic problem is we have a bunch of Protestant blow ins who atill want to colonise land and minds. Let them move back to Scotia (Scotland: I am unsure which Scotia is Ireland and which is Scotland). Why not build a massive urinal in Derry and call it Londonderry. So, instead of saying “I’m off the the bog”, just say “I will now show some cultural sensitivity to the Orange supremacists and do my Londonderry”.