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stroke city

Sinn Féin passed a motion to drop the 'London' from Derry and unionists are livid

And so it continues.

First published 10.12 am

THE ANCIENT DEBATE is rearing its head again, in Stroke City.

A Sinn Féin proposal to change Londonderry back to simply ‘Derry’ was passed by the city’s council last night.

The move has been decried by one unionist councillor as “disgusting”.

The council will now write to the Northern Ireland environment minister for information on how to go about changing the city’s name.

derry Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

What’s in a name? 

The ‘London’ prefix was added to the city when it was granted a royal charter by King James I in 1613.

In 1984 the name of the nationalist-controlled council was changed to Derry, but the city itself continued to be officially known by its longer name.

In 2007, a High Court judge ruled that was to remain the case.

The council had argued that government should accept its view that the name of the city was, in fact, ‘Derry’

However, the judge ruled that just because the council had changed its name that didn’t mean 17th century addition of the ‘London’ prefix also needed to change.

What happened last night?

Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley argued that his party was not trying to airbrush the city’s history, telling the council “we have a clear view that the city needs a clear brand, one single name, one single identity would help promote the city around the world” – according to the BBC.

The ensuing debate followed a well-worn course, with DUP councillor David Ramsey saying “London stone masons built the city, full stop” and that the issue shouldn’t be sectarianised.

“There’s just no end to it. It’s disgusting to say the least,” he said, according to the Derry Journal’s report.

28 councillors voted to seek advice on how to change the name, with nine voting against.

Almost 2,000 people have signed an online petition backing the change.

Read A Derry bus driver has gone viral after doing the most Irish thing ever

Read Derry Now might have just been responsible for the headline of the year

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