Saturday, June 09, 2007

Genealogical Society of Ireland

Ireland's Genealogical Gazette Volume 2, Issue 6:

"In the 20th century and especially, following independence in 1922, placenames on official signage included a rendering in the Irish language. Whilst, this was the new State asserting its national identity, now it is a requirement in law to provide such signage in the two official languages, Irish and English, or in Irish alone in the various Gaeltachtaí (Irish speaking districts). The responsibility for the erection of such signage rests with the local authorities and, in some cases, with the National Roads Authority.

But the provision of a high standard of bilingual signage has never been a priority with little concern shown for grammar, spelling, consistency of nomenclature, correct translation, regional variations or even local history. This has very frequently allowed for the Irish versions of street-names to be completely different on signs at either end of the same street. This deplorable and embarrassing situation is further complicated by nonsensical quasi-translations and fanciful creations by those designing or ordering such signage.
Clearly any concern for the accuracy of bilingual placename and street-name signage has been abandoned by the local authorities. So is a unique placename heritage which has been handed down through generations, though disguised by Anglicization over the past few centuries, set to be lost or rendered meaningless?"

Martello Tower

In July 2004 the Board of Directors of the Genealogical Society of Ireland held its first meeting at our new headquarters and the main item on the agenda was the countdown to the official opening of An Daonchartlann on Wednesday September 15th 2004. The ceremony was performed by the first citizen of the County of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown, Cllr. Niamh Bhreathnach - Cathaoirleach of the County Council. The official opening took place at 14.30hrs with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque. This was an important occasion not only for the Society and the owners of the Martello Tower the County Council, but for Irish genealogy in general.
Unlike many national societies in Great Britain, the USA and Australia, where having a society premises is almost the norm, here in the Republic until now no voluntary genealogical organisation had its own premises.


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