19/09/2013 : Placenames Committee nominated by Minister of State McGinley

Thursday 19 September 2013: Dinny McGinley T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, announced the nomination of a Placenames Committee. The committee comprises ten members who will operate on a pro bono basis for a period of three years, in place of the previous Placenames Commission.

The main responsibility of the Placenames Committee will be to advise the Minister of State on the authoritative Irish versions of State placenames prior to their being given legal status through placenames orders. The work of the committee will be carried out primarily via an online system. Meetings will be held periodically to discuss issues.

Welcoming the establishment of the Placenames Committee, the Minister of State said, “The country’s placenames are a very unique aspect of our heritage and it’s vital that we preserve them. Undoubtedly, it is also essential that we have authoritative Irish versions of our placenames available for official State purpose.”

The Minister of State also said that the committee members deserve to be acknowledged for willingly donating their time and expertise on a voluntary basis and their efforts will greatly benefit the State’s placenames authorisation process.


The Placenames Branch of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht researches Ireland’s placenames prior to their being given legal status through placenames orders. Previously, this work was carried out in conjunction with the Placenames Commission which consisted of seventeen members. In accordance with a Government decision under the Public Service Reform Plan, it was decided to disband the Placenames Commission and to appoint a committee in its place which would operate primarily online and on a pro bono basis.

A list of the Placenames Committee members is set out below.

Members of the Placenames Committee

Professor Ruairí Ó hUiginn, Professor of Modern Irish, National University of Ireland, Maynooth (Chairperson).

Professor Micheál Ó Mainnín, Director, Northern Ireland Placenames Project, Professor of Irish and Celtic Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast.

Dr. Siobhán Ní Laoire, Lecturer in Irish and Irish Studies, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).

Dr. Caoilfhionn Nic Pháidín, Senior Lecturer/Research Project Director, Fiontar, Dublin City University (DCU).

Dr. Éamonn Ó hÓgáin, retired from Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

Dr. Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

Professor Liam Mac Mathúna, Former School Head, Irish Language, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore and Linguistics School, University College Dublin (UCD).

Donncha Ó Baoill, Language and Culture Executive, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Na Doirí Beaga, Co. Donegal.

Dr. Úna Uí Bheirn, Former Director of Foclóir Stairiúil na Nua-Ghaeilge, Royal Irish Academy, An Charraig, Co. Donegal.

Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, teacher and musician, Corca Dhuibhne, Co. Kerry.

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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