The NI Equality Commission was highly critical of Derry City Council’s approach to attempting to officially change the name of the city from Londonderry to Derry and, in September 2009, “strongly advise[d] Derry City Council not to proceed with the policy as it is currently proposed”. That attempt stalled on Monday when the Council failed to agree what its next step should be. Sinn Féin and the SDLP are blaming each other for that failure – an Irish News report provides the detail.
Members voted on two separate proposals – an SDLP plan to form a working group to discuss the name change and a Sinn Féin motion to petition the Privy Council to change the name. The SDLP proposal was voted down by Sinn Féin and the DUP. The Sinn Féin motion to change the name was defeated by the SDLP and the DUP. Both the SDLP and Sinn Féin accused each other of thwarting any name change.
SDLP councillor Helen Quigley said the Privy Council would have rejected any petition after considering the Equality Commission and Community Relations Council reports. However, Sinn Féin’s Kevin Campbell accused the SDLP of opposing the name change.
Adds I should have mentioned the bid to become the UK City of Culture…