EN­NIS­CRONE OR INISHCRONE: WHAT’S IN A NAME

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - ON THE ROAD -

Res­i­dents of En­nis­crone be­lieve that they live in a town that has been lost by of­fi­cial Ire­land as a re­sult of a mis­placed name change.

The sea­side town in West Sligo is uni­ver­sally known by its res­i­dents and in the coun­try as whole by its old name, En­nis­crone.

But of­fi­cially, as a re­sult of a bureaucratic stroke of a pen in the 1970s, it is marked as Inishcrone on road signs, and this has caused much an­noy­ance in the area and con­fu­sion among vis­i­tors.

Tourists would be for­given for think­ing that Inishcrone and En­nis­crone are dif­fer­ent places, and lo­cals fear that their town is be­ing over­looked as a re­sult.

Res­i­dents will now fol­low Din­gle in hold­ing a plebiscite to de­ter­mine whether to change the of­fi­cial name back to En­nis­crone.

The Kerry town voted in 2006 to change its of­fi­cial name back from An Daingean to Din­gle af­ter a high-pro­file cam­paign, led by lo­cal busi­ness peo­ple.

En­nis­crone solic­i­tor Sinéad Durkan, who is help­ing to or­gan­ise the cam­paign for an of­fi­cial name change, says one would strug­gle to find any­body in the town who uses the cur­rent of­fi­cial spelling.

Al­though the of­fi­cial change was made in the 1970s, it only be­came ap­par­ent to many lo­cals when road signs were changed in the 1990s.

Durkan say the is­sue has be­come more press­ing in the era of the in­ter­net, so­cial me­dia and sat­navs. She says the dan­ger is that En­nis­crone is lost in searches be­cause it might not be recog­nised, be­cause of the of­fi­cial spelling.

The town is marked as Inishcrone on signs for the Wild At­lantic Way, and there have been re­ports of tourists get­ting lost as a re­sult.

Ed­ward Kil­cullen, whose fam­ily have run En­nis­crone’s sea­weed baths for a cen­tury, says: “The prob­lem is that peo­ple are putting En­nis­crone into in­ter­net searches, and they are not find­ing it. They get places like En­nis in Co Clare and En­nisty­mon.”

The lo­cal pla­ce­name com­mit­tee also wants to change the of­fi­cial Ir­ish name of the town, Inis Crab­hann, which they claim is mean­ing­less.

The cam­paign­ers for a name change says older mem­bers of the com­mu­nity agree that the Ir­ish lan­guage ver­sion of the name was Inis Eis­cir Ab­hann, which means the is­land in the esker of the river.

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