The Placenames’ Committee
The Committee consists of representatives from various organisations, backgrounds and expertise, so that names chosen for new developments in Galway city have a local relevance and fit into the landscape and city environment..
Why have a placenames’ Commitee?
The Placenames’ Committee is an initiative founded in 1992 with Galway City Council as a response to what one former Minister of the Environment referred to as ‘The Tuscany Downs Syndrome’ – new housing estates given names such as ‘Tuscany Downs’, that had no relevance to the location, history or language of the area. The Placenames’ Committee was set up to provide developers with suitable Irish names for new housing developments in the city.
The Approach: Culturally relevant and inclusive
The approach the Committee has adopted is that the names they suggest are in Irish only but simple enough that a non-Irish speaking person can easily pronounce them. New residential developments that have been named by the Committee include Cluainín – Cluneen (Little Meadow), Sáilín – Saw lean (Little Heel), An Logán – An Lug On (Little Hollow) and Luí na Gréine – Lee na Grain Ya (Setting of the Sun). Not only do the names effectively describe the location of the development, but they also contribute towards creating a bilingual environment.
Today 99% of new housing estates in Galway city are named in Irish. Other parts of Ireland are also following Galway’s example by setting up similar committees in their own areas.
We wish them every success!