Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Londonderry or Derry?

Has the County of Londonderry, and the city, now unofficially changed its name to Derry? An increasing number of websites, documents, notices, papers and advertisements now allude to Derry by name. Many websites list the county on their drop-down columns between Armagh and Down, rather than under the letter L.

I know this is a contentious issue; I merely wish to know whether we are expected to recognize this name change; and that pro-Union people accept the name-change by dropping the longer title, verbally and grammatically? An Ulster Orchestra pamphlet I read last week advertized a concert in "Co Derry"; and even the popular quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire recently had a contestant on from "County Derry".

Has there been any lobbying on the issue from Irish embassies, the Irish Government or the Irish Diaspora in general, asking heads of organizations, doubtless whilst being plied with a generous measure of liquor, to respect the wishes of the Irish people by dropping the official name?

Perhaps Chekov and O'Neill, fellow-bloggers, could offer me some guidance?


Owen Polley said...

Tim, the council has long referred to itself as Derry City Council, but the high court recently found that Londonderry was still the official title, despite the council's protestations.

If sources are referring to the city as Derry, they are not using its official name. I guess it depends on the context whether that is appropriate or not.

Barry Phillips said...

Please please why don't they just change the name completely to something like Foyle City and spare us all the agony of having to decide which term to use which will cause least offence.

Timothy Belmont said...

Barry, there's the county too! :-)

O'Neill said...

No dispute (yet) about the county name, Londonderry it remains. The city, the legal position is as Chekov says, although at the minute afaik the Equality Commission is taking submissions regarding whetehr or not the council has the right to take their case to the Privy Council at Westminster. Again afaik it's only that body (or I guess the monarch) which as ultimate legal authority to change the name.