Dingle Redux

RTÉ reports an apparent u-turn by the Irish Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív at a meeting of Kerry County Council, except for the proviso that “he will not oppose any decision on the renaming of An Daingean as long as it is within the law.” It is, though, a change from his previously stated position. And there’s a telling paragraph in the RTÉ report

Mr Ó Cuív admitted to a special meeting of the council that he had not anticipated that a Gaeltacht place would want an English name and he admitted that perhaps consultation beforehand was not broad enough.

Quite.

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  • FF/PD Government consulting people? Are you mad?

  • Pete Baker

    Possibly, Green Ink.

    But I was equally pointing to the admission that “he had not anticipated that a Gaeltacht place would want an English name..”

  • Ulick

    Pete, as I’m sure you are aware, your posts are arrogant to the point of extreme annoyance. Mostly I couldn’t be bothered replying to them but I have to pull you on this one. Instead of linking to a previous post please explain to us how Minister Ó Cuív’s position has changed, because it’s not immediately obvious from your link. As far as I’m aware he as always said the plebiscite had no legal authority and he could only consider the matter on recommendation from the County Council. So what exactly are you trying to say with this post?

  • Pete Baker

    I’ve added the intended link, Ulick, which may, or may not, resolve your issue with my arrogant posts…

  • George

    Pete,
    how has Éamon Ó Cuív done a u-turn? He has always said the vote had no legal effect and it still doesn’t.

    From the RTE post you linked to, which I assumed iterated his previous positon:

    “He said if Kerry County Council comes to him with a request that he can act on within the law, he would be willing to give it serious consideration.”

    His current position:
    “The Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív, has said he will not oppose any decision on the renaming of An Daingean as long as it is within the law.”

    Where is the u-turn here?

    As for people from a Gaeltacht place, he has also just met with people from the Gaeltacht place of which you speak who weren’t allowed vote saying they weren’t happy with Dingle.

    The Gaeltacht is bigger than An Daingean.

  • Pete Baker

    The difference in his stated position, George, is in his previous description of the plebiscite as “a pointless and misleading exercise”.

    Now it’s his fault because “he had not anticipated that a Gaeltacht place would want an English name and he admitted that perhaps consultation beforehand was not broad enough.”

    Clear?

  • George

    Pete,
    the plebiscite could very well still be “a pointless and misleading exercise”.

    It hasn’t changed anything and Dick Roche could still tell them to suck on An Daingean.

    Just because he hadn’t anticipated that people in a Gaeltacht area wanted an English name doesn’t mean the plebliscite was any more or less pointless.

    There has been no u-turn, merely an admission/realisation that he never imagined the people of An Daingean wanted to retain Dingle.

    His stated position has remained the same, namely that he will not oppose any decision on the renaming of An Daingean as long as it is within the law.

  • George

    Might I be so bold as to add:

    Clear?

  • Pete Baker

    That would be the ‘apparent’ reference, George..

  • George

    Pete,
    it’s not “apparent” because it’s not clear.

    There is no u-turn and there is no “apparent” u-turn from what I can see.

    The only thing that has changed is that Éamon Ó Cuív has admitted that he had not anticipated that a Gaeltacht place would want an English name.

    Everything else remains the same. An Daingean will be called An Daingean tomorrow and the plebiscite has changed nothing.

    Dick Roche can still tell them all to sling their hook. Where is the u-turn, apparent or otherwise?

  • bohereen

    so, is Dingle berried, or not?

  • J McConnell

    George

    But it is a u-turn.

    Remember we are dealing with a DeValera here. And by DeValera family standards Ó Cuív retreat from his previous overweening diktats as chief warden of the language police is a sharp and humiliating u-turn.

    The town was called Dingle in the past and it will be called Dingle in future no matter what a bunch of civil servants in Mespil Road may say its ‘official’ name is.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Ulick is right about Pete’s posts being arrogant. They’re mostly ignorant. He can’t wait to have a go at Irish language isssues – just to show how illiberal he is.

    The fact is that the placenames aspect of the Official Languages Act was subject to a wide consultation beforehand. This happened under the radar of the English language media in the south because they can’t be bothered with the Irish language unless it’s an opportunity to knock it. The fact is also that the people of An Daingean didn’t bother to respond to the consultation until a local politician decided it was an issue he could get some media attention with – and there were some business people in the area willing to help out.

    Pete may or may not be aware that the vote in An Daingean was ‘gerrymandered’ to an extent which unionists would be proud of – ie the town’s boundaries extended and contracted to suit the perception of the Dingle supporters as to whether or not they would get support in a particular town land or not. Now an investigation is underway as to whether voters were intimidated. The ballot was not secret – voting papers had to be signed and the counting was carried out in public in An Daingean – so an employer with a team of skilled tallypeople could tell if his/her employee had voted the ‘right way’. Very much the colonial way to do ‘democracy’.

    By the way there’s a considerable amount of people in the ‘Dingle’ peninsula who weren’t consulted or asked to vote – I wonder why not?

    So Pete – and your fellow travellers – please do some homework before you come on here with your half baked, arrogant and ignorant posting on Irish language issues.

  • Darren Mac an Phríora

    At least O’ Cuív admits now that he did not widely consult on the name change. There was an ad in Foinse and a discussion on Ráidio na Gaeltachta but thats all.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Darren – that’s a pile of crap. There was a widespread consultation on the issue of the place names order with ads all over the place, numerous press releases and the ads and discussions you mention. How come that An Daingean is the only Gaeltacht community which remained ignorant of it? And which only objected after the fact?

  • Smithsonian

    A significant number of people want to use the name Dingle.

    Mediocre politicians trying to make political capital in advance of an election. No common sense, no focus on the real issues, just pathetic partisan political interference for self gain.

  • Pete Baker

    “half baked, arrogant and ignorant”

    Admit it, Oilibhear, you’re really Peter Hain ;o)

  • Darren Mac an Phríora

    “Darren – that’s a pile of crap. There was a widespread consultation on the issue of the place names order with ads all over the place, numerous press releases and the ads and discussions you mention. How come that An Daingean is the only Gaeltacht community which remained ignorant of it? And which only objected after the fact?”

    No it is not. The only consultatin ads- in Dingle anwyay- were in Foinse.

  • Darren Mac an Phríora

    An Daingean is not in the Gaeltacht. Most of the areas that the Order related to are in the Gaeltacht and have no problem with their names being in Irish only.

    An Spidéal and An Fal Carrach are not strong Gaeltacht areas but at least their names are similar to that of their English. An Clochán Liath-Dungloe is the only area that isn’t. I have heard of some tourism guy complain there. I expect there will be more complaints from there.

    An Clochán Liath is a beautiful name but I would be interested to see how the Order is worked there.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Darren, if you persist in being ignorant of the facts, why bother taking part in a debate. An Daingean is in the Gaeltacht – that’s the whole problem. That’s why the Minister for Gaeltacht Affairs is involved – O Cuív.

    Your point about consultation ads indicates an even more profound confusion. There were, of course, no ads pertaining specifically to An Daingean but there were ads and press releases and radio interviews etc relating to the place names order throughout the media prior to it happening. You have to realise that the Minister didn’t wake up one morning and decide to pick on An Daingean to revert it from its colonial name (Dingle) to its original name An Daingean. Experts on placenames carried out a consultation far and wide throughout the Gaeltachtai – some few thousand names were consulted upon and changed or not depending. The result was put out to consultation and this was met with general indifference by the English language media who, as usual, failed to report it. But it was consulted upon – yet the people of An Daingean remained silent. It wasn’t until the whole thing was signed into law by the minister that they woke up and began making a noise about it.

    I don’t know whether there was an ad in Foinse or not – but that wasn’t the only vehicle for consultation by a long shot and your persistence with this line indicates that you are perhaps out of your depth in this debate.

    As for Pete Half Baked – as usual he has a weird and one sided view of the facts but he doesn’t let get that in the way of a dig at Irish speakers. Sure he’ll be asking us not to wear burkhas next.

    Post liberalism I’d call it. Or neo-illiberalism…. whatever.

  • Pete Baker

    “As for Pete Half Baked – as usual he has a weird and one sided view of the facts but he doesn’t let get that in the way of a dig at Irish speakers. Sure he’ll be asking us not to wear burkhas next.”

    I’m not sure which blog you’re reading Oilibhear… but it wasn’t this one. Feel free to read it again.

  • Smithsonian

    Oilbhear Chromaill
    By attempting to denigrate both Pete Baker and Darren you demonstrate the paucity of your argument. If you have a point, make it.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    I am not denigrating either Pete or Darren – just their half baked and inaccurate arguments and snide commentary. The points I made regarding Darren stand – An Daingean is in the Gaeltacht, the vote, without the secret ballot, was a gerrymandered undemocratic and generally untrustworthy mechanism for ascertaining the true will of what the people of An Daingean thought about the issue. There was a wide consultation on the issue of placenames, over 3,000 such names if memory serves, and An Daingean was among them. If it wasn’t publiscised by the as usual lazy and unprofessional English language media in Ireland, locally in Kerry, nationally and internationally, it wasn’t for the lack of effort by Minister Ó Cuiv.
    I heard a recording of the meeting in An Daingean involving Ó Cuív and it has to be said that there’s no sense that he’s making a u-turn. He’s not empowered under the law to change the name of An Daingean to Dingle/Daingean Uí Chúis. The 1946 Act under which the ‘vote’ was carried out doesn’t have an impact in this matter and this is the advice he got from the Attorney General. Kerry County Council are aware of this advice and are pursuing the matter. I hope when the matter is finally dealt with and this spurious attempt to overturn the law of the land dismissed, that the individual members of Kerry County Council who voted for this course of action will be surcharged to defray the costs involved.

    Incidentally, do the people of An Daingean who want to retain ‘Dingle’ on signposts not realise that they haven’t voted for “Dingle” but a misspelt version of “Dingle/Daingean Uí Chúis” which is the only version of the town’s name that Kerry County Council is mandated to forward to Environment Minister Dick Roche? So if he were to ignore legal advice from the AG – a dangerous course by any standards – and say I will change the name to what was voted upon in An Daingean, he would be obliged by law to change it to Dingle/Daingean Úi Chúis which of course is bound to confuse tourists. What about the Dingle/Daingean Úi Chúis dolphin? Or the Dingle/Daingean Úi Chúis Regatta etc….?

    Both Pete and Darren are, in their own inimitable ways, ignorant of the issues involved here but feel free to comment on the matter despite this ignorance. This is a debating forum and I’m entitled to point out they’re inaccurate, misleading and illinformed on the issue. And I will do so.

  • Pete Baker

    “just their half baked and inaccurate arguments and snide commentary”

    There you go again, Mr Hain Oilibhear.

    The arguments about the plebiscite are largely irrelevant to the actual post – you can read it again if you wish – which focussed on the reported comments by Éamon Ó Cuív.

    How it resolves itself time will tell but in the meantime I’ll just quote this from an Irish Times article today[subs req]

    Earlier on Friday, Mr Ó Cuív had told councillors at a meeting in Tralee that he would “bow to their wishes” and would not oppose their application to Mr Roche for a bilingual name for the town.

    Mr Ó Cuív said that his position – under advice from the attorney general – was that the plebiscite held under the Local Government Act 1946 to change a placename would have no validity in a Gaeltacht area because of the Official Languages Act 2003.

    He also apologised to councillors for “a bad read on my part” and for not consulting the inhabitants of An Daingean.

    In a further conciliatory move to the council, Mr Ó Cuív advised the councillors that “Dingle” road signs were acceptable, as long as they had permission and were official local authority signs.

    This was a turnaround from when Mr Ó Cuív declared that Dingle no longer existed, officially, and “it is An Daingean, full stop”.

    According to Fianna Fáil sources, Mr Ó Cuív has come under pressure from Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism, John O’Donoghue, and former Dingle Fianna Fáil senator Tom Fitzgerald, to make a concession to the town’s inhabitants.

    You’re entitled to add to the information under discussion and even argue that I’m completely wrong by pointing to a shift in Ó Cuív’s position – just keep in civil and don’t invent arguments and/or comments that I haven’t made.

  • Darren Mac an Phríora

    “I don’t know whether there was an ad in Foinse or not – but that wasn’t the only vehicle for consultation by a long shot and your persistence with this line indicates that you are perhaps out of your depth in this debate.”

    The nerve of you!!!

    I have been following this debate. There was an ad in Foinse (circulation about 3,500 I believe) but none in The Kerryman or The Kingdom. I bet Radio Kerry wasn’t even contacted either on it.

    Do you still stand over your initial statement, never mind the other pompous rubbish you have come out with?

    “There was a widespread consultation on the issue of the place names order with ads all over the place”

    TG4’s Ardan had a live show outside the town a few months ago. A show of hands in the audience revealed that the vast majority of Irish speakers there were in favour of the town being bilingually known.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Rubbish, Darren, I saw the Ardán programme and the result was a resounding rejection of the Dingle/Daingean Uí Chúis option.

    I stand over everything I’ve said. Do you still stand over your ridiculous and factually incorrect claim that An Daingean is NOT in the Gaeltacht?

  • Darren Mac an Phríora

    No way- unless Ardan were there twice!!!

    Dingle is in the official Gaeltacht but everyone knows that it is not in the real Gaeltacht like e.g. Baile an Lochaigh and Baile an Fheirtéaraigh.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Dingle is in the official Gaeltacht but everyone knows that it is not in the real Gaeltacht like e.g. Baile an Lochaigh and Baile an Fheirtéaraigh.

    It’s like a ‘wee bit pregnant’ is it? Darren?

    As for the vote on Ardán, I saw it. It was a resounding no. So good luck to you on proving otherwise.

  • Darren Mac an Phríora

    Maybe. There are enough Irish speakers there for Irish to become the primary language of the town if the marketing was done properly. But as it stands now most of the town speak English only.

    Re: Ardan
    See: “The Coiste’s Campaign” on:

    http://www.dinglename.com/articles/article.asp?a=99

    Someone else spoke about it on politics.ie. You have to be a member to access the thread, but I can post up the link if you like.

    I have no reason to lie. I was in favour of the Irish name only, but I am a democrat and will go along with what the people want.

    You can argue about the neighbouring areas having a vote, but as was evidenced on Ardan a majority-a large number of Irish speakers anyway- there are in favour of the bilingual names.

    I don’t think that Ardan were there twice. I think that you are either lying or were half a sleep wathching it.

  • Darren Mac an Phríora

    Just to reconfirm- the show was on last March?

    I spoke to the presenter Paidí O’ Lionaird the following week at Tóstal na Gaeilge in Galway about it. Unless of course, I am making that up as well???

  • J McConnell

    Oliver Cromwell

    Maybe I am mistaken but I thought you let slip in a previous thread that you were a nordie. So I do know how you can be too familiar with what passes for ‘local consultation’ by the political ruling class in the south.

    They have a quick chat with the usual suspects. They talk to the quango class of political cronies that supplies almost 100% of the nominees for all the various health boards, semi-state boards and all those cushy well paid jobs that are in the remit of the ruling party. They talk to the local county councilors whose name no one can remember because, after all, their only real purpose is to get your land rezoned. Oh yes. They also put some anodyne ad in the local paper that is owned by someone sympathetic to the party, right beside the notice from the Dept of Agriculture saying that this years headage payment will be less than last years. That’s ‘local consultation’, Irish style.

    The only purpose of the Gaeltacht is enable the 80% of its inhabitants who pretend to speak Irish ( as distinct from the 20% who actually do) to keep collecting large subsidies from Dublin. And to enable those patronizing gits in Mespil Road and their ilk to keep on pretending that the Irish language is still alive. Oh look, those hearty looking culchies living on the side of some wind-blowing mountain, or in the middle of some rain sodden bog, still seem to be speaking Irish. So the language cannot be dead. Can it? No matter what all those black-hearted sassanachs may say.

    Just because you can travel from one end of the country to the other without hearing one word of Irish spoken by ordinary folk going about their business does not mean it is dead. On no…

    And as long as TnG keeps broadcasting Irish language programs with 30,000 viewers the language will be alive. Yes it will. Of course the fact that the majority of the TnG viewers are reading the subtitles because they cannot fully understand the Irish language soundtrack after 12 years of compulsory Irish is neither here nor there…

    The only reason for the whole Dingle fracas is so that O’Cuiv can pretend that he is actually doing something to earn his ministerial merc and his E100K+ per year. Gesture politics at its finest.

  • Darren Mac an Phríora

    J McConnell,

    Your post is rubbish. We already went through the local consultation and it does not fit with what you say in this case- although you may not be interested in actually discussing the area.

    20% of people in the Gaeltacht speak Irish? Yea right. MAYBE if you think include a lot of Galway City and other areas (which are actually in the Gaeltacht- until next year).

    30,000 people watching TG4?
    http://www.tg4.ie/Scan/scan.htm

    “The only reason for the whole Dingle fracas is so that O’Cuiv can pretend that he is actually doing something to earn his ministerial merc and his E100K+ per year. Gesture politics at its finest.”

    Instead of trying to poke at Irish speakers on a thread about Dingle, how about discussing the area rationally?

    I don’t like O’Cuív but he had done a lot for Kerry. Of course you wouldn’t we interested in that.

  • Darren Mac an Phríora

    Of course you choice to call OC by his English name says it all. Kind of like the DUP calling Bairbre de Brún Bairbre Brown…

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Sooner or later I thought that he would find himself drawn to this issue. It’s just too juicy to resist. But let me assure him of a few things – I’m not ‘a nordie’ whatever that is. I live in the northern part of Ireland but hail from the south and I know what consultation went on because I saw the press releases, I saw the ads, I informed myself of the issues, unlike some people I could mention.

    The Official Languages Act, which enabled the Placenames Order to be made, was passed unaminously in the Oireachtas. It’s not to help pretend the Irish language is alive but to recognise the fact that it is alive and that speakers of one of the country’s offiicial languages are entitled to service from the state in that language. Sure people get grants and don’t speak Irish all the time – I don’t condone that and if it happens people should be prosecuted, like any other fraudster would be. But it’s just as fraudeulent to pretend that the Irish language is dead or to make up figures off his head about how many do and don’t speak Irish.

  • Darren Mac an Phríora

    Do you accept now that there were no ads in any of the local papers in Kerry about the Placenames Order, and that they only ad in a newspaper was placed in Foinse?

    Céard faoi Ardán?

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    No – but I don’t care as I know there was a consultation. As opposed to previous attempts to ‘impose’ a name on Irish towns and villages, it was an infinitely better consultation. The consultation was wide and far reaching and it wasn’t merely confined to Foinse.
    As it covered more than 3,000 place names from throughout the Gaeltachtaí, I would have thought that it would have prompted debate in the local press, the likes of the Kerryman, Kingdom and Kerry’s Eye in Kerry for instance, but it didn’t because the English language media simply weren’t interested until the greasy till merchants of Dingle rattled their half pence to the pence. The Department issued press releases – the local media in Kerry ignored them. He went on the radio, he did the whole heap. I remember Lá covered the story. The people of An Daingean have only themselves to blame if they were uninformed and they have no right to feel unconsulted. The real people who weren’t consulted in the latest episode – who weren’t even given a vote – were the people from the ‘Dingle’ peninsula who have as much right to a say in the name of An Daingean as the gerrymandered voters of An Daingean.
    Are you not at all concerned that the secrecy of the ballot was compromised in this vote and that employers in An Daingean, who wanted this to go through, were in the position to ensure that their employees voted the right way? Is this type of colonial misdemocracy acceptable today? Address that question if you will and I’ll agree to differ on the Ardán/ad questions, though they are of minor importance anyhow.

  • Darren Mac an Phríora

    “Address that question if you will and I’ll agree to differ on the Ardán/ad questions, though they are of minor importance anyhow.”

    You are living in a fantasy world or, as I said, were asleep at the time.

    The vast majority of people on Ardán that night were in favour of the town being biligually known. Ask the presenter, Paidí O’ Lionaird, if you want.

    It is obvious that there should have been ads in the local Kerry papers in relation to the name change.

    You are fooling nobody but yourself.

  • Gaelgannaire

    The Dingle vote is not the end of the world – they have voted for a bi-lingual name – something without precident. Whilst I am sure that most of the Daingean gan Cúis brigade and their supporters would have been happy to use Dingle alone but have used Dingle / Daingean Uí Chúis to silence some Irish Speaking critics.

    This should be seen as an oppurtunity not a defeat (which it was never in my view!). I would be happy with all place-names / Road signage being given equal status to Irish and English throughout the country – Béal Feirste / Belfast, Baile Átha Claith / Dublin, Corcaigh / Cork.

    If they get it – ill be demanding it.

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    Darren, one of the most vocal of the Dinglish bridage, Cllr Seamus Fitzgerald, who is using this issue as a stunt to win votes next year, himself voted in favour of the Placenames Order when it was discussed by Udarás na Gaeltachta. When it passed through the Seanad, Sen. Joe O Toole said nothing in opposition to it. Whatever the breadth of the consultation process, these two representatives of Dingle people are showing serious duplicity now in their stance.

    By the way, a recent meeting held in An Daingean with Ministers Ó Cúiv and O Donaghue to discuss the issue was attended by 250 people, despite being boycotted by the Dinglish brigade, and voiced unamimious support for the traditional name ‘An Daingean’

    One thing that really irks me about the campaign is the way their using Daingean Uí Chúis as a tool to bring some irish speakers in the town on board. An Daingean has been the version on the signpost for the past Sixty-odd years, and no-one ever complained about it.