Motorway signs a little bit too Irish

One of the problem road signs.

Motorists heading for Claregalway are ending up half an hour away in Belclare – because they don’t understand Irish.

That’s because the signs on the new Gort to Tuam motorway carry the Irish version of Claregalway – Baile Chláir – which some drivers are interpreting as Belclare.

One particular individual who was due to attend a book launch in Claregalway recently could not find their way to the village.

The book launch was delayed by more than an hour-and-a-half as the person, who was travelling from the south-east, ended up between Tuam and Gort on a number of occasions.

Because Claregalway is officially in the Gaeltacht area, all signage to the village has to be ‘as Gaeilge’ so those wishing to access it will just come across signs showing Baile Chlair and nothing else.

And now Galway East TD Seán Canney has called for a common sense solution so that motorists don’t go 24 kilometres out of their way in the wrong direction.

“The issue has arisen due to the fact that Claregalway is part of the Gaeltacht and as such signage must be erected in Irish,” he explained.

He said that it was ridiculous not having the English equivalent on every signpost and he believe that there is a loophole in the legislation that will allow for this.

“The lack of signage has resulted in confusion for visitors and has resulted in people ending up in Belclare instead of Claregalway.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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