The Southwest Feature


Dingle by Any Other Name

Residents of Dingle, especially those involved in the tourist business, are fighting a battle with the government for the right to continue to call their town and their peninsula by the name of Dingle. The problem arises because the western part of Dingle Peninsula—known in Irish as Corca Dhuibhne and its main town, Dingle (An Daingean, in Irish)—is officially an Irish-speaking area, part of the Kerry Gaeltacht. The Official Languages Act 2003 was introduced to strengthen the rights of Ireland's 90,000 Irish speakers to do business with the state in their native tongue—officially Ireland's first language. A side effect of this act was the necessity, under the new law, for all signposts for places where Irish is the official spoken language to be in Irish. So the name Dingle has disappeared from all signposts by official decree, to be replaced by An Daingean. The traders of Dingle claim that the name of their town is equivalent to an internationally recognized brand name, and are demanding that an exception be made in their case. The compromise suggested by the traders of Dingle, Dingle Daingean Uí Chúis, has yet to be approved by the government. Meanwhile, when heading for Dingle Town, follow signs to An Daingean. Only in Ireland.

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Fodor's Ireland 2014

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