C: DCC Conservation Section (Twitter)

Álainn: Iconic Cló Gaelach street signs to be restored by City Council 

The Conservation Section of Dublin City Council have committed to the specialist repair of a number of the enamel Cló Gaelach – Old Irish Script – street signs in Dublin 8. The project will be supported by Creative Ireland. 

Cló Gaelach is the beautiful Irish script often seen on signposts or shop signage across Ireland. The script was widely used throughout Ireland from the 16th century up until the mid-18th century or the mid-20th century, but is now rarely used. The original gaelic type comes from the Latin alphabet. It was used by Irish monks, and had its origins in copying Latin religious scripture to express the Irish language. 

The plans to inject new life into the Cló Gaelach signs which can be found in Dublin 8 were tweeted about by the official Twitter account of Dublin City Council’s Conservation Section on Thursday, using the hashtag ‘#repairnotreplace’:

The Conservation Section, with the consent of property owners, will take the street signs down from the start of next week, 3 October, to carry out their repair. The signs will be absent for one month, but following repair, will be returned to their original locations. 

Explaining the interesting background behind the historic street signs, DCC’s Conservation Section said: “The iconic green and white Cló Gaelach street signs largely date from the early 1900s and reflect a significant time in Irish Nationalism and the ‘Gaelic Revival’. Ten of these much-loved signs, dating to circa 1922, survive within the Tenters (Fairbrother’s Fields) Housing Sch”.

The initiative was praised on social media, with volunteer group Crumlin Community Cleanup describing it as “brilliant”.

Another social media user was pleased that new life would be breathed into the signs, some of which had clearly “been through the wars” and were in need of some TLC.

“At last, some recognition of beautiful #lettering #typography #calligraphy in our city, and doing something about it. Well done to all, and can we have more of this please! (There are some of these signs around Sandymount and other places too.),” Twitter user Coffee Doc said.

One supporter of the rejuvenation shared a recent photo snapped of a dilapidated looking street sign near Dún Laoghaire.

I took this photo near Dún Laoghaire the other evening, up close you could see it was very well made but in the wars since,” Twitter user David Kenny said:

“Comharthaí álainn,” another supporter said, while another person took the time to tweet: “Lovely! Great to see this being done”.

Others wanted to see the renovation of the much-loved signs extended to other parts of Ireland, with one person encouraging Limerick City Council to “take note”:

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