I wish I was back home in …….????

A row has erupted after a tourist was informed that no such place existed when looking to purchase a bus ticket to Derry at Belfast Central Station. Billy Armstrong, UUP MLA for Mid-Ulster, found nothing wrong with the behaviour of the Translink employee, comparing it to a tourist requesting a ticket for ‘Belfast’ but asking for ‘Coalisland’ instead on today’s Talkback (5-10 mins in), a remark surely deserving of some less than flattering award…..
UPDATE:
Apologies are in order to Billy Armstrong from myself and a visit to the dentist to clear the ears arranged. On Talkback today, Billy did not outline a comparison like that sketched above, but rather used the analogy of asking to visit ‘Island’ when meaning ‘Coalisland.’ Mea culpa Billy.

  • Comrade Stalin

    observer:

    -guarantee that no action will be taken against the guy. he has actually done nothing wrong. there is no place called derry. any action taken against him will end up in a tribunal.

    Bring it on. No tribunal is going to sympathize with a claim that a guy working for a bus company, dealing with hundreds of queries from tourists every week, did not know where “Derry” is.

  • hotdogx

    I dont usually post but i think after all the posts that have been made here about this ridiculous subject (that could only prevail in NI) somebody has to make the point that;

    1 If the north is a “democratic” place the people of a town should have the right to decide what they want to call their town even if it is to be renamed bumsville! Its called democracy Coming soon to NI i hope. In the republic people of AN Daingean decided to change the name they had a vote , hey presto and it was done. Royal charter what NONSENSE! The UK seems more like communist Russia to me. Stalingrad? did the people decide on this name?

    2 This translink guy should be fired for bringing political issues up with visitors.

    3 unionism also brought us the closure of the entire north western rail network! I dont think the need more ticket sales people like this guy.

    4 I cant imagine the mess we’d have if we had the same president in power until death, this is like a dictatorship, no wonder the uk is a mess!

    5 Mick fealty has stated the facts as they stand but,It should be put to a vote to all living in the region and the issue put to bed once and for all.

    But since NI exists due to a total disregard for democracy this is all very normal i suppose.

  • Outsider

    Bring it on. No tribunal is going to sympathize with a claim that a guy working for a bus company, dealing with hundreds of queries from tourists every week, did not know where “Derry” is.

    Incorrect he could argue that he is being dircriminated against for using the correct name of the city. It could also be argued that the tourist was being ambiguous e.g. did he/she mean Edenderry, Derrylin, Londonderry or a town in England call Derry, therefore at a tribunal this employee could easily win hands down.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Outsider, hole, stop digging.

  • Outsider

    Tochais Síoraí

    Afraid he may win are you?

  • Diluted Orange

    That’s it. What we all need – another costly tribunal based about Derry. Oh to be a lawyer in that city.

  • Dawkins

    Outsider,

    “Incorrect he could argue that he is being dircriminated against for using the correct name of the city.”

    He could plead insanity. I for one would believe it immediately.

  • Harry Flashman

    *How do u know he understood Spanish ?*

    Um, dunno, it’s a tricky one, maybe because he was a Spanish bloke in the second biggest city in Spain, what do you think?

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>How do u know he understood Spanish ?<

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I’ve always wondered why the Apprentice Boys of Derry are so called. The usual explanation (IIRC) is that this was the name of the city at the time of the siege (or perhaps the time of the loyal order’s foundation?).

    But if the term ‘Derry’ is regarded as so ‘nationalist’, then why did the ABoD never change its name? While Londonderry is undoubtedly the official name, it’s too much of a mouthful for most, doesn’t fit in signs or headlines as easily, and sounds contrived. Derry is used by many Prods anyway, and if it’s good enough for the Apprentice Boys not to change their name, why on earth not?

    The train conductor is obviously a neanderthal prick. Londonderry can stay the official name, and I am aware of the royal warrant etc, but I could care less. Eventually only him and Gregory Campbell will be using it.

    A suitable compromise might be made by referring to the whole city by one name (the newer one) and the part inside the walls by the other (historic).

    On a slightly related note, there’s a letter on the letters page of today’s Tele, in which someone complains about the paper using the terms ‘Ulster’ (nine county province) and ‘Northern Ireland’ (six county region) being wrongly used interchangeably.

    At the top of the page, the headline on the leader column is “Money backing the new Ulster vision”!

  • Dawkins

    Prince Owen and Harry,

    My own memories of Barcelona and environs include the amusement of the local peeps on hearing my Mex-Spanish, mixed with their delight on encountering a Brit who’d bothered his bum to learn a language other than his mum’s and the ability to say “dos cerveza and somewhat pronto, Pedro.”

    Re the Czech town, there’s a slight difference in the LondonDerry situation that may have escaped you. The peeps in Northern Ireland who make a fuss about this non-issue are all English speakers.

  • Valenciano

    Prince E, not just in Czech Republic. One of the biggest cities in Transylvania is alternatively Cluj, Napoca or Klausenberg depending on whether you’re ethnic Hungarian, Romanian or German. NI doesn’t have a monopoly on idiotic pedants.

    Harry’s quite right of course – while there are thousands of Catalan speakers who don’t speak Spanish, almost all of them live in Andorra, Perpignan or Sardinia. I have been similarly “corrected” by arsey employees for using the Spanish pronunciations of names instead of the Valencian.

  • Valenciano

    “A suitable compromise might be made by referring to the whole city by one name (the newer one) and the part inside the walls by the other (historic).”

    Or just have two official names a la numerous European cities and be done with it? Oh and discipline any employee whether Belfast or Dublin based who pretends to be too thick to know where (London)Derry is?

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Outsider, hole, keep digging.

  • Dewi

    Harry – there are some monolingual Catalan speakers believe it or not….probably not in Barcelona admittedly – I suspect u pissed him off. Valenciano – Sardinia allways struck me as v.odd – it’s just one town they speak Catalan…is it still thriving ?

  • Dewi

    “That’s it. What we all need – another costly tribunal based about Derry. Oh to be a lawyer in that city”

    Bloody Sunday Inqiry still have not reported. It’s an absolute scandal IMHO.

  • Pounder

    What does it matter what the city is called, Derry, Londonderry, Stroke City (So called because I’m told by a friend who works in a Belfast Hotel that Gerry Anderson is fond of a wee stroke to the blue movies).

    The Translink guy was being a jerk and deserves the sack. When you work with the public you leave your prejudice at the door so you can do your job doubly so when it’s tourists and their fat wallets. If you can’t you shouldn’t work simple as. Surely Translink have a code of practice and CS training for their personnel?

    Maybe we should just name it Narnia or something, who wouldn’t want to be able to say they live in Narnia?

  • Sue

    I used to work in Altnagelvin and we had a two page memo on “recording of addresses in the Derry City Council Area”. Basically if the patient used Derry then that was how you were to record it, and if they used Londonderry you used that. I always used Derry when speaking to people, as in “is that Derry” and only once did someone say “Londonderry” – and that was some Brit that lived on the Derryside and was just making a point!

  • Outsider

    I always used Derry when speaking to people, as in “is that Derry” and only once did someone say “Londonderry” – and that was some Brit that lived on the Derryside and was just making a point!

    Oh one of the nasty Brits making a point by distorting the good name of Derry by adding London to it.

  • Phil

    Irish speakers,

    Out of interest, what do you make of nationalists who insist that the city and county are called Derry? Would you prefer them to be known by their Irish name rather than the Anglicised version or would you prefer the use of the word “Doire” to be used only when speaking Irish? I am also interested to know the Irish for Londonderry?

  • SlugFest

    I had a similar thing happen to me years ago at the Europa Buscentre. I asked for a ticket to Derry and was told very emphatically that there was no such place. The emphasis was strong, but the dagger eyes were a whole lot more frightening.

    I quickly acquiesced (being a tourist) and asked for Londonderry.

    Can’t help but wonder if this happens more often with tourists than with locals.

  • Outsider

    Slugfest

    If your story is true then thats unfortunate but lets look at it from another perspective, I have used the term Londonderry in the actual city and have been met with dagger looks and given a rather frosty reception.

    A message to the moderator, over the past month on Slugger there has been a litany of anti Protestant threads such as the Orange Order bashing threads, the ‘A life less ordinary thread’, this thread, even the IFA thread has been used to have a dig at Unionists/Protestants. I do welcome opposing views but most of the views on slugger are anti Protestant, there have been enough examples of Catholic bigotry against Protestant but it is rarely given any space on Slugger, maybe its time for some parity?

  • Garibaldy

    Slugger is sometimes in danger of becoming like an internet version of talkback – not only in terms of inane sectarian drivel but also with everyone accusing poor old Mick of favouring the other side no matter what happens.

  • Cahal

    “I have used the term Londonderry in the actual city and have been met with dagger looks and given a rather frosty reception. ”

    That’s because the people who actually live there find it offensive. Didn’t you know? Well you do now so I have saved you from future embarrasment. No need to thank me.

  • Pounder

    I’m in agreement with Sue, if someone calls it Derry in any work correspondence I use Derry, and if they use Londonderry I use Londonderry.

    Personally I call it Derry, for a start I’m lazy and Derry is faster to say and type. For a second if the majority of people who live there want it to be called Derry then thats their right. It’s a pissy insignificant thing to be getting your panties in a bunch over. Sometimes I think half you people are argueing about this because, like your chosen political representatives, you have no actual idea about what real politics is about and the petty arguments cover that.

  • Yukio

    Belfast Gonzo, regarding the naming of the ABoD, I believe that technically inside the city walls is known as Derry, while outside the walls is known as Londonderry.

    Ergo, ABoD retain the name of Derry, and one of the reasons why the airport is known as City of Derry airport.

  • IJP

    No, the city inside the walls is the very thing that was granted the status of city (as “Londonderry”).

    The ABOD, sensibly, use the shortened version, like most of the population. Ink’s expensive.

    Comrade is spot on by the way – the real issue here is customer service. And sectarianism.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Sardinia allways struck me as v.odd – it’s just one town they speak Catalan…is it still thriving ?<

  • Dewi

    Alghero it’s called methinks – God I’m a sad bastard !

  • Prince Eoghan

    Must make the two of us Dewi. I remember coming across an auld map of Europe from the pre-war era. on a few pages was a linguistic map that I found fascinating. The amount of German spoke from the Volga to the Danube was fascinating. In other areas they had graded areas with 2,3 sometimes more languages commonly spoken in the same areas. Sadly post war the ethnic Germans have been culled, many who did not retreat westwards with the Whermacht ended up in Siberia.

    Anyway is this Alghero much different to the Sardinian dialect of Italian?

  • Dewi

    No – they speak Catalan, Sard and Italian – except when they serve Harry – when they have to break into Ulster – Scots !

  • Prince Eoghan

    Oh Dewi you Bitch!

    I’ve noticed that auld Harry tends to rub a few people up the wrang wiy. I quite like the spunky no nonsense way he goes about his business. Even though the often pro-Union views get oan ma tits.

  • Dewi

    Iechyd da Prince – off for me tea !

  • Outsider

    That’s because the people who actually live there find it offensive. Didn’t you know? Well you do now so I have saved you from future embarrasment. No need to thank me.

    Cahal

    I certainly wasnt going to thank you for that tired response, besides what about the people who find Derry offensive or do we just have to suffer in silence for fear of offending good people such as yourself.