Irish language to be given parity on road signs



The proposed design change is based on recommendations published in a study by Conradh na Gaeilge and have received backing from Transport Minister Leo Varadkar.

In current signs, Irish is depicted in italics and sometimes abbreviated to fit limited spaces. The new design would use colour differentiation of languages and the Turas test typeface.

The Department of Transport has asked the NRA to trial run the historic newly-designed signs; it will be the first time in the history of the State that Irish is treated equally for this purpose.

A study, conducted by Royal Society of Arts Fellow Garrett Reil, aimed to find more efficient and safer means of delivering information to drivers whilst also offering equal status for the Irish language. It found that Irish typographic characters are poorly drawn on existing signs and that place names are less visible in Irish than in English.

Conradh na Gaeilge discussed the contents of the report with Mr Varadkar last week and he in turn asked the NRA to consider trialling it on a pilot basis. “I like the new design and I do think there should be parity between Irish and English where it matters, like road signs that people see every day,” he notes.

If adopted, the new signs would incur no additional cost on the State as they will only be introduced to replace decommissioned signs or where new signs are needed.