Donegal county council finds itself faced with an unusual problem.
Following complaints that there is no authorisation to display a ‘Stop’ sign in the Gaeltacht using the Irish word ‘Stad’, the council must replace the signs with standard English language ‘Stop’ signs.
The council points out that ‘Stop’ is also an Irish word, to assuage Irish language enthusiasts put out by the complaints, reportedly from a holiday home owner in west Donegal.
The man who made the complaints, said there was no mandatory sign in the Department of the Environment traffic signs manual with ‘Stad’ on it, the Irish Independent reported.
So I called the department of the Environment, who in turn referred me to Transport.
‘Directions in relation to the use of Irish and English regarding traffic signs are contained in the Traffic Signs Manual,’ a spokesperson told me. ‘The Minister is satisfied with these directions and he does not intend to make any amendment.’
But I have to wonder, in a week when union leaders are apparently being threatened with the IMF, how much would it cost for a minister to sign a regulation or order making ‘Stad’ legal.
Certainly less than replacing all those signs, I imagine.