Press-statement: Over 700 residential areas named in Irish nationally
In the early 90's Galway City councillors passed a motion that in order to help foster a strong bilingual city that all future new residential
developments would be named solely in Irish. The policy is now in place in Dublin City Council and South Dublin County Council also.
At the turn of the century Irish language marketing organisation Gael-Taca in Cork came out with a free service to property developers to give them
names in Irish for their choice of names. Since then over 300 developments have been named in Irish through them. Every developer on the island
has received an information package from Gael-Taca; many have been contacted twice and a good few of them- although largely in Munster only-were
rang. The late Pádraig Ó Cuanacháin their then Marketing Director who passed away in 2008 was the man responsible for dealing with the
developers although others in the organisation actually came up with the names.
Starting in 2009 I looked at some property websites for several counties and made slideshows of the new developments named in Irish and
uploaded them on Slideshare.net. I have since extended the initiative to all counties in Ireland north and south to all areas irrespective of how old
with Irish names. When I come across an area named in Irish that I do not have recorded I add it to the e-project and I have a look at the property
websites every few months to get an update on the new areas names in Irish and similary add these new names to it.
The counties with the most residential areas names in Irish to date are:
1) Galway 121
2) Cork 92
3) Donegal 44
4) Clare 39
5) Kerry 38
6) Leitrim 32
7) Mayo 28
8) Wexford 26
9) Waterford 25
10) Limerick 25
I was in Gael-Taca and had the honour of working with Pádraig Ó Cuanacháin. I researched and sent him down the names of several hundred
names of new residential developments with Irish names over a five year period and he contacted the developers commending them on their
decision to choose an Irish name(s) and informing them of their free service for the future if they wanted to use it. Given that Irish was for most
years since independence a sign of failure I find this development to be brilliant. It shows that the language has economic value and is popular if
people choose to make use of out it as a marketing tool.
I think that all City and County Councils should have naming committees. Several councils have them. The use of names in Irish should be officially
encouraged although not required unless councillors vote to name all of their developments in Irish. All developments should in my view be named
bilingually at a minimum with equal status in terms of size and font for both national languages on the entrance pillars to the areas. The developer
of course should be free to market whatever name he wants.
1) None of the areas listed are single house developments.
2) The vast majority of the developments named solely in Irish in Cork are in the county. There aren't many in the city and suburbs.
Darren Mac an Phríora
21 Leamháin Chaisleán Cnucha,
Baile Átha Cliath 15
Fón: 086 3756275
Suíomh Gréasáin: www.darrenjprior.com