THE Irish language looks set to get parity on new road signs in Limerick following a motion by councillor Séighin Ó Ceallaigh.
The Sinn Fein city east councillor had a notice of motion passed at the last full meeting calling on the council to introduce a bye-law to have the Irish language and English language names spelt in the same font size on name plates, directional signs, and name plates. He wants to see a Gaelic-style font used in order to differentiate between Irish and English names.
“This will be implemented on a basis of new signage required, and will not require the replacement of any signs due to this bye-law alone,” his motion continued.
It was unanimously passed by councillors, and Cllr Ó Ceallaigh, who is fluent in Irish, was happy.
“I am delighted that the Council has passed this motion and that we are taking a step in the right direction by promoting language equality. I was never happy with the state of signs in Limerick or throughout the State, where Irish was in a much smaller font, or not on the signs at all. From now on every permanent, non traffic sign erected throughout Limerick will have both languages in equal size,” he said.
Cllr Ó Ceallaigh feels having the Irish translation written in a Gaelic script style would be more appropriate than it being written in italics, as it is now.
“This style will really complement the Irish name, and remind us of our wonderful language, history and culture. It’s quite necessary I believe to have the Gaelic style, as it is our own native style of writing, which I use,” he said.
There will be no full-scale replacement of signage, with only new signs having the script.
“Given the current economic circumstances and the hardship people are facing, I couldn’t place the financial burden on the taxpayer of replacing all signs in Limerick with new ones. The cost would have been huge, so it wasn’t something I have considered,” he said.
Cllr Ó Ceallaigh has also encouraged new mayor Kevin Sheahan to use his Irish title ‘Méara Luimnigh’, as much as possible.