Road signs put Dingle back on the map

 

A nine-year campaign to have the name of Dingle, Co Kerry, which is in the Gaeltacht, printed in both Irish and English on road signs is almost over.

The names Dingle/Daingean Uí Chúis will be on all road directional signposts leading to the peninsula by the end of next month. New signs are to be erected by the National Roads Authority (NRA).

Dingle tourism operators, who claimed that visitors trying to get to the area were being confused by the road signs, reacted angrily in 2004 following a Fianna Fáil-led government decision to change the town’s name to An Daingean, under the Official Languages Act.

Some visitors would be unable to understand the Irish-only signage on roads leading to the area, it was claimed.

Plebiscite

A campaign then got under way to have the bilingual name on signs and, in 2006, more than 90 per cent of the people voted in a plebiscite for the name Dingle/Daingean Uí Chúis.

In July 2011, the Oireachtas passed legislation signing the bilingual name into law.

Cllr Séamus Cosaí Fitzgerald (Fine Gael) yesterday welcomed confirmation of the new signage from the NRA, saying it would be timely in advance of the tourist season.

“It has taken a long time, but the wishes of Dingle people are, at last, being adhered to,” he said.

“Over the years, we’ve been getting a lot of reports about visitors intending to come to Dingle ending up in other areas because of confusion caused by road signs. Hopefully, that is all over now.”