Committee Welcomes Progress on Townlands

Session: 2009/2010

Date: 19 April 2010

Reference: CAL 13/09/10

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure has welcomed the news that the Assembly Commission has accepted its suggestion that the townland name be included in the Assembly’s official address.

This will mean that the Assembly’s new address will be Parliament Buildings, Ballymiscaw, Stormont, Belfast, BT4 3XX. Ballymiscaw means “townland of the fort of the shadows”.

Barry McElduff MLA, the Committee Chairperson said:

“The Committee welcomes the fact that the Assembly Commission has decided to include the townland name in the Assembly’s official address.
It is significant that when people receive correspondence from the Assembly they will now know that Parliament Buildings is situated in the townland of Ballymiscaw.
Progress is being made and this latest move is an important symbolic victory in the Committee’s campaign to preserve and promote the use of townland names.”

In January 2010 the Committee wrote to the Assembly Commission and to all government departments asking that they lead by example and start using townland names in their official addresses. To date a number of government departments have indicated that they will begin using townland names, whilst others have indicated they are still considering the matter.

Mr McElduff continued:

“The Committee will continue its campaign to promote townland names. We would encourage all government departments to now follow the Assembly’s lead and formally adopt the townland name into their official addresses.
It would be a significant step in terms of raising the profile of townlands and recognizing how valued they are by many people.
Townland names are in the common ownership of the entire community and all traditions. Everyone shares a great passion for them and they are an important part of our shared heritage.”
This latest move reflects the Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee’s ongoing commitment to bring townland names back into popular usage. In June 2009, the Committee organised a major seminar at Parliament Buildings to promote and raise awareness of townland names which was attended by a range of experts and enthusiasts.
ENDS

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