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Voting on the letter 'w' to cost taxpayers €70k

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A Palmerston Sign.

A Palmerston Sign.

Palmerstown road sign

Palmerstown road sign

A Palmerstown Sign.

A Palmerstown Sign.

A Palmerston Sign.

A plebiscite to include a 'w' in the name of a Dublin suburb could cost the taxpayer more than €70,000.

The motion to conduct a direct vote on the naming of Palmerston was approved last December.

Six hundred inhabitants of the area will vote on whether they want to have their area known under its current title or its unofficial name, Palmers- town, with a 'w'.

A motion before South Dublin County Council in 2009 to rename it Palmerstown failed.

However, confusion still remained, with many councillors, officials and even Dublin Bus referring to the area as Palmerstown.

What further added to the confusion was that despite the failed plebiscite, road signs depicting both spellings remained along dual carriageways and the M50 motorway, which runs adjacent to the West Dublin area.

A spokesman for South Dublin County Council confirmed the plebiscite would cost more than €12,000 due to administrative costs, ballot papers and return-stamps.

What will anger Palmerston residents is that only one side of the area has the chance to refer to itself as Palmerstown.

The Palmerston Lower side, where Stewarts Hospital is located, will hold the vote among some 600 residents and 30 local businesses.

This constitutes only 7.5pc of the electorate (around 8,000 residents voted in the 2009 plebiscite).

The Palmerston upper side, closest to Ballyfermot, will remain as Palmerston, regardless of the outcome.

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Palmerstown road sign

Palmerstown road sign

Palmerstown road sign

Replacing a single motorway sign with the correct spelling would cost at least €4,000, and closing the motorway to facilitate the sign swap could see the price of replacing two signs rocket to around €45,000.

slammed

In addition to the two motorway signs that display the for now incorrect spelling of Palmerstown, several dual carriageway and local road signs would have to be changed if the motion was carried, costing at least €600 each excluding labour and road closure costs.

The plebiscite is expected to be held early next month, with the official result not being made public until after the ballots are presented to the council in early January.

The motion to spend such a large amount on changing the area's name has already been slammed.

Labour councillor Dermot Looney questioned "the merits of the letter 'w'" and if spending €70,000 on it represented "value for money".

hnews@herald.ie


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