Dingle: Our Town - Our Name - Our Heritage



If you would like more information about the Dingle peninsula, please visit the Dingle Peninsula Web Site.

Dingle Goes Hollywood:

"It is An Daingean, full stop,"
Minister Has Last Word:

Eamon Ó Cuiv
Minister for Community,
Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs

John Moriarty, Chairman of Cairdis Idirnaisiúnta Chorca Dhuibhne

Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh

Senator Joe O'Toole
Dingle Truth Stranger Than
An Daingean Fiction:

Please support us by leaving a message on our guest page

Or make your opinion known to the following government bodies:

The Department of the Gaeltacht
and Rural Affairs
Email: aire@pobail.ie

The Department of Arts Sport and
Email: ministersoffice@dast.gov.ie

The Department of the Taoiseach
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie

If you would like more information about the Dingle peninsula, please visit the Dingle Peninsula Web Site.

Dingle: Our Town - Our Name - Our Heritage



The true origins of the name Daingean Uí Chúis
The O Sheas and their cousins the O'Falveys were descended from Corc who gave his name to Corcu Duibne. The O'Sheas held territory on the south side of the Dingle peninsula , and the north and west of the Iveragh peninsula.  It is believed they were a branch of the Earna or Erainn, themselves a branch of the Fir Bolg or Belgae who came to Ireland  500 to 300 BC. Circa 1200 AD, the tribe was known as Aes Iorruis with the additional name of Tuaiscirt for Corca Duibne and Deiscirt for Iveragh. Most settlements were small family farming units within Raths or Lioses and extended families in Cahers (stone forts).

As late as 1815, Caherciveen consisted of only 5 houses. By 1835 the population was 1,200. Almost from pre Christian times local agricultural products were exported and luxury goods from the continent imported from nearby small sheltered bays such as Dingle. As early as 1287 taxes from this little port amounted to one percent of the national revenue. Never the less, even then smuggling took place especially with Spain . In 1585 Elizabeth I of England  granted 300 Pounds to wall in her new borough here, to try and bring order to the area and protect the new settlers.

In Irish, Dingle was always known as Daingean Uí Chuise . Based on the works of the famed historian Miss Hickson about 1900 (see my article in our March newsletter, entitled "Musings on O'Shea Orgins"), I submit that "Daingean Uí Chuise" translates as: " The Settlement of the O Sheas ". Dingle was granted a Charter by James I in 1608. In 1765 Parliament granted 1000 pounds to build a town pier. About this time it had its own identifiable coinage. A cottage industry for linen as well as a local mill were developed, fostered by the Knight of Kerry. Dingle has for some time now been going through a phase of redevelopment for tourism!

So, a town with a significant place in Kerry history is getting a chance to decide its future name and perhaps its destiny?

Kindly submitted by
Brian O'Shea

Back to top


Dear Kate,

I would like to congratulate your group on your very principled stand against the excesses of deputy O'Keeffe. When I first heard that O'Keeffe intended to change the name of Dingle, I had to be assured more than once that it wasn't a joke.

It is this kind of edict and dictatorial attitude which has turned generation after generation of young people against the Irish language.

I have spent quality time in Dingle on a few occasions and was most impressed with the way you preserved the integrity of the place alongside a hugely successful tourist industry.

Go ndeirigh an bother libh.

PJ Corry
26th April 2006

Back to top


To the people of Dingle

I'm from the North and live in England .  The new name means nothing to me - I cannot pronounce Irish nor your new name. How can I advise my friends to see the Ring of Kerry and the town once called Dingle? Surely the Tourist Board have enough wisdom to inform Minister O'Cuiv that he is making a big mistake and deliberately harming the community of Dingle by confusing Tourists And thus reducing the income of the population?  By all means have the Irish version and the English version together on signposts but recognize that Irish is only an official language of Ireland not known to many outside Ireland . Communication is important but Minister O'Cuiv has brought you back seven hundred years.

Fight on - make sure all maps have DINGLE in large letters and the Irish version in small letters  so visitors are not confused.  Over here we all have heard of the dolphin in DINGLE BAY !  We need to know where to go to see it.

Best wishes to you all
10th April 2006

Back to Top

MR. O CUIV'S DOUBLE STANDARDS (Dingle can go take a hike)
"The heavy hand of the law will not resolve the underlying issue because a
law that people do not buy into is unenforceable in a situation like this"

Eamon O'Cuiv (as quoted in the Irish Times, friday 17th February 2006).

Unfortunately, Minister O'Cuiv is speaking in relation to the issue of
access to farmland by ramblers and not the dingle/an daingean issue.

Strangely enough, he depends on connemara farmers, and not the great
unwashed of dingle, for his votes.

It seems only the people of dingle can 'go and take a hike'.

Tom Burke
27 TH February 2006

Back to Top


Each year since 1999 we have been bringing cyclists, mainly from the UK, to County Cork and County Kerry, and run a bike ride in September which finishes in Dingle, spending two nights in the town. 

Here in the UK a lot of people have heard of Kerry and of Dingle, and it is a good thing for British people to visit and learn about Ireland's past and the role the English have played as many British people are unaware of what the British have done to the Irish people, though nonetheless we have always enjoyed a very warm welcome in the republic.

It is important to learn the Gaelic names for place, but having a dual listing of names helps visitors to navigate, and find their way, as well as showing what the Irish name is and how it was anglicized.   So you could argue that abolishing the anglicized names will make life harder for visitors and hinder their understanding of the Irish language.

Good luck!
Paul Hobbs
Bike Events
23 rd February 2006

Back to top


Hi There,

Just to tell you that I support what ye are trying to do for Dingle and
I will always use Dingle as my Birthplace as that is where I was born. I
wrote a letter to the Irish Independant and the Examiner about this and
because I have moved here to Utah . If Immigration, which I have to go
back to in August , ask me where I am from I tell them Dingle,
but then they may say there is no such place on the map. This is why I
wrote to the papers.

Faithfully ,
Robert Flannery,
15 th January 2006

Back to Top


28 th March 2006

My wife Joan (Siobahn) and I renewed our vows at a mass at St. Mary's in June, 2004, on our 40th wedding anniversary.  28 of our friends came with us and spent the better part of two weeks in the wonderful town of Dingle .  Please restore the name "Dingle".
We will return to "Dingle".
Marty O'Donnell Parks

Back to Top


28 TH March 2006

As a regular visitor to your beautiful and historic town, I respectfully
request the name "Dingle" be retained.  While I am trying to study your
historic and important language, I fear I am too old to master it now. While I
can recognize the Gaelic name on signs, probably because I am always on the
penninsula when I read it, I believe business would decline if all your
visitors were required to negotiate Kerry in Gaelic  language, alone.  Thank
you for listening. See some of you in August. 
Mrs. Marnee McLean

Back to Top


I am writing as one who loves the town and people of Dingle, the beautiful surrounding Dingle peninsula, its literature, and the rich heritage of one of the world's loveliest places.  I grew up in Holyoke , Massachusetts learning in both English and Gaelige about Dingle from my maternal grandmother, Catherine Fitzgerald Scanlon of Kilcolman and Milltown, and those happy childhood visions have led me to visit Dingle often over the years and to have the area always in my mind and heart.  I don't believe anything is to be gained by changing the name, which many of us children of emigrants treasure, back to its previous Gaelige version.  I love the Irish language and do my best to honor and preserve it through the Irish league, through trying to study and speak and read it as best I can, which is not very well.  However, that's very different from changing place names back to their ancient origins.  I also enjoy and am nostalgic about the Latin Mass, but its usual observance should now be in English for many practical reasons.  If I may respectfully suggest, the way to preserve your wonderful history and traditions, which gladden so many of your descendants elsewhere in the world, is not through changing the name of Dingle to An Daingean, but rather through seeking other more profound ways of deepening their recognition and celebration for those who are fortunate enough to live there, and for the rest of us who think of it as our place of origin and our second home. 
Tom Cody USA

Back to top 

Your comments and enquiries are always welcome.
If you have any questions about anything you have seen on this web site, or if you would like more information about the Dingle/Daingean Uí Chúis, please email them to us at info@dinglename.com