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. Shannon councillors have also passed in effect the same motion and it is council policy in Cork County Council that all social developments be named in Irish also although in the latter the policy does not often get implemented.
In 2003 Gael-Taca in Cork came out with a free service to property developments to give them names in Irish for their choice of names. Since then over 200 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. Pádraig Ó Cuanacháin their Marketing Director who died last year was the man responsible for dealing with the developers although I believe others in the organisation actually came up with the names.
Recently as I am working part-time and have a good bit of free time I went through some property websites (mainly daft.ie) for several counties and made slideshows of the developments named in Irish and uploaded them on Slideshare.net. I told myself that I would just do a few. But as seen as I have a lot of free time I said "Sure why not do them all." I have done 22 counties and will have over 400 names. I'll be finished them all on Tuesday or Wednesday and will try to get some coverage in the media for the topic.
I have uploaded the slideshows for 11 counties. I will let you all know when I am finished.
The counties so far with the most developments in Irish over the last few years are:
The majority overall in Galway are also named in Irish but I have yet to do that county. There are also a very large number in county Cork (there are few in the city and suburbs) and I believe a significant number in Wexford. There are a significant number in Cavan also. These are the four I have yet do.
I think that all councils- county, city and town- should have naming committees. Several counties 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 (and, no, I am not going to bother lobbying them about the latter). All developments should in my view be named bilingually at a minimum with equal-status in terms of size and font on the entrance pillars to new developments. The developer of course should be free to market whatever name he wants.
I am posting this up now instead of waiting until I am finished as frankly I find the development (or developments) very exciting and I was in Gael-Taca and had the honour of working with Pádraig Ó Cuanacháin. I sent him down the names of around 250 developments over a four 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(s)- largely over the last 5/6 years- 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...
The counties with the smallest number of developments named in Irish I could see in terms of the overall number of developments are 1) Dublin 11 2) Kildare 9 3) Carlow 5 4) Laois 6 and 7) Wicklow 1.
Again, I will post up when I am finished. I believe that my little 'project' is going to be a great resource and very encouraging for those of us who love the language.
R-Tionscadal Tithíochta (2009) | Housing E-Project (2009)- Darren J. Prior (Mac an Phríora)