The Placenames Branch
The Placenames Branch undertakes research into the placenames of Ireland to provide authoritative Irish language versions of those placenames for official and public use. The Irish versions determined by the Placenames Branch are given legal status by means of a placenames order made by the Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Seán Kyne, T.D. Prior to October 2012, these orders were made following public consultation and having considered the advice of the Placenames Commission. As the Placenames Commission is no longer in existence, future placenames orders will be made by the Minister of State following public consultation and on consideration of advice provided by the Placenames Committee.
Fourteen placenames orders have been made to date since the enactment of the Official Languages Act 2003. These orders declare the Irish versions of the names of provinces and counties, the names of administrative units and of other names in counties Cork, Dublin, Kilkenny, Limerick, Louth, Monaghan, Offaly, Tipperary and Waterford, and of the names of centres of population not covered by other orders. Two placenames orders have been made in relation to Gaeltacht areas. The first order, made in 2004, declares the Irish versions of the administrative units and the second order, made in 2011, declares the Irish version of all other placenames depicted on the historic maps of Ordnance Survey Ireland at a scale of six-inches to one mile (1:10,560). One other order was made to amend the placename order for County Limerick.