Name-calling up north

What’s in a name?

Ask the citizens of Londonderry-Derry-Doire or the residents of Dingle-Dingle/Daingean Uí Chúis. Both ends of the country have witnessed fractious debate over a name.

While the controversy in Dingle-Dingle/Daingean Uí Chúis has waned, things are hotting up in the North.

A decision by Derry City and Strabane District Council to change the official name of Londonderry to Derry has been described as “sectarian” and “disgusting” by unionists.

It passed with the full support of Sinn Féin, the SDLP, and the Independent councillors, despite opposition from the minority unionist bloc.

The issue isn’t really about a name, but about identity. Nationalists prefer Derry as the Anglicised version of its ancient name while unionists stick to Londonderry, reflecting their history and culture.

Perhaps the people of the city should do what they did in Kerry and have a plebiscite on what to call the town they love so well.


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