We have a rich cultural heritage in our placenames in Northern Ireland, but sadly there are far too few times when we see the original language (Gaeilge) in use on public signs.
This is probably due to the language being seen to be “Nationalist” and therefore not of interest to the rest of the population. However, I would contend that it is of interest to both those who live here – and those that visit this small part of the world. Why should we just give the names of our towns in English? Often they make more sense when given in Irish.
…in the transport system
I have often thought that Translink (Northern Ireland’s main public transport provider is missing a trick on this. Translink is in the middle of station improvements, but they seem not to be making much move on using Irish as a means of communication.
Certainly, I have seen Metro timetables in both languages but only on the Falls Road opposite the Royal Hospitals. I’m sure that this occurs in other parts of the city as well, I have just not seen it.
So why not have bilingual signs at least at the railway stations.
… in our street signs
Why could we not have a standard template for streetsigns in Northern Ireland? Each district/borough/city council could adapt the template by using their own corporate colours. We could have additional information added to the signs: Postcode, Townland, District/Borough/City council area.
An example of one for a road in Newtownabbey is shown below.