Northern Ireland news

Concerns raised about anglicised versions of Irish road names

Una McGeown and Tyrone AOH member Catherine Sewell want authorities to revert to the traditional Irish name of a road at Brantry in Co Tyrone

THE Ancient Order of Hibernians has raised concerns about Irish translations used in bi-lingual road signs.

The Co Tyrone branch hit out after Mid Ulster District Council after residents in a rural part of the county were asked if they wanted dual language signage.

Tyrone president Gerry McGeough said the discussion should be around returning to original Irish place names rather than using the anglicised versions when erecting bi-lingual signs.

His solicitor Jim McGinnis, of Carlin Solicitors, recently wrote to the council highlighting his views.

Mr McGeough said concerns were recently raised in the Brantry area of Co Tyrone, which is near Dungannon.

"We have a road in this district known for centuries as The Killorg - the pathway to the burial ground,” he said.

“In the 1970s it was changed without consultation to 'Friary Road', based on the name of a lake in the general district.

“Our concern is that the attempts by Lár Uladh (Mid Ulster council) and other councils to erect an Irish language version of this will only enforce the error if Friary Road becomes known as Bothar an Phriorí, or some such nonsense.

“We want the original Gaelic An Cill Lorg to appear on the sign.”

He also said that the introduction of the postcode system by the British government decades ago has resulted in the “de facto eradication of traditional townland names, almost all of which are rooted in the Irish language”.

A spokeswoman for the council said: "Mid Ulster District Council has been at the forefront of promoting and protecting townland names, including them in addresses and on all new street name plates.

"With regard to street names themselves, while councils are responsible for new street names, pre-existing names are drawn from ‘Pointer’, which is the address database for all of Northern Ireland.

"The council can, however, consider requests to re-name existing streets and roads, where certain conditions are met."

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