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23rd Aug 2022

Donegal Councillor applauds graffiti over English place names

Fiona Frawley

road sign in Donegal

A Donegal County Councillor has said he not only applauds but encourages the spray-painting over English place names on road signs throughout the county.

Donegal Daily have reported that dozens of signs have been graffitied, particularly in Gaeltacht regions. The graffiti consists of red spray paint being used to cover the English translations for town or village names, leaving only the Irish name to be read.

Signs for villages and towns including Creeslough, Ballybofey, Letterkenny, Killea, Newtowncunningham, Lifford, Carrigans, Ballyliffin, Moville, Greencastle, Quigley’s Point, Carndonagh, Malin Head, Fintown and Muff have all been vandalised in recent days, according to Donegal Daily.

Chairman of the Irish Language Committee on Donegal County Council, Councillor Micheal Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig has refused to condemn the graffiti, saying he fully supports those behind it.

The councillor said:

We have vandalism on all sorts of signs around the county and nobody condemns it. But yet when somebody takes a stance on the Irish language we treat it as vandalism.

I am delighted that this issue has been brought into the public domain and perhaps now we can have a public debate about it.

In my opinion all signs in Donegal should only ever be in Irish in an effort to encourage the Irish language which is being eroded day after day.

Gaelic is used by our councils and Government merely as a gesture and in a patronising way and it never gets the first place it deserves.

He also said that many of the English translations for Donegal place names do not make sense.

His fellow councillor Councillor Michael McClafferty has criticised the graffiti, saying it will cost the tax payer thousands and does nothing to solve the Irish language debate.

He said:

This ideology of thinking solves nothing at all, apart from putting pressure on the resource purse for new signs when required. And then we have to wait until funding becomes available in many cases. Locals get angry due to lack of progress.

Header image via Shutterstock 

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