A misspelled, "meaningless" Irish name has been assigned to a new social housing estate in Dingle, a town where the protection of the Irish language is a key objective of development plans.
The newly opened 20-house development has been named “Pairceanna na Glas” – a name that is “gan bhrí” and “gan chiall” and incorrect in terms of grammar and spelling, according to locals. The Tuiseal Ginideach of glas – if what is meant is a stream – would be glaise.
Locals are pressing Kerry County Council to correct the error.
The name was put forward by architects in May 2018 as part of the original application to facilitate connection with the ESB, and it was chosen and approved by the council planners.
Locals including poet Simon Ó Faoláin who is a resident began warning the council about the meaningless name last October. However, to add insult to injury the name stone has now been erected, and it lacks the requisite “fada” in “páirceanna”, they told the Irish language programme An Saol Ó Dheas on Radio na Gaeltachta.
Chief placenames officer Pádraig Ó Cearbhaill told the programme the name was ungrammatical and, in a Gaeltacht town, was truly shameful.
Local GP Peadar Ó Fionnáin and Green Party representative said no one was really sure what "glas" means in the context because of the poor grammar and locals should have been consulted. The local name for the field was "Gort Mór" .
The tenants for Pairceanna na Glas have been allocated from the council housing list. However, it has emerged that the assessment of whether applicants for the homes had Irish, as the planning permission included a language clause, took place through English.
The council said “on the basis of information available to the council in respect of individual housing applicants, the council was satisfied at that time that the planning condition in respect of language on this specific development had been met”.
Kerry County Council said it was now in talks with housing agency Clúid to seek to change the name.
“In relation to the naming of the estate, this formed part of the original planning application, as with all such applications,” a council spokesman said.
The spokesman said the council acknowledged that local concerns had been raised and said it had made contact with Clúid to ensure that this matter was addressed “as soon as possible”.
Clúid said it would “examine the issue further”.
It is not the first time a row has erupted over a place name in Dingle, which has been designated as a Gaeltacht service town.
A 2004 Placenames Order by then minister Éamon Ó Cuív removed the name Dingle as an official name, replacing it with An Daingean which locals said was meaningless. The move sparked fury and a lengthy campaign included a plebiscite in 2006 to reinstate Dingle alongside Daingean Uí Chúis.